UFC on FX 7 Prospect Watch: Five Things Fans Must Know About Lucas Martins
Lucas "Mineiro" Martins flies under the radar as a prospect, but does the kid hold promise as a name to watch in the lightweight division? You better believe he does.
Martins will present his skill set to the MMA world on the Fuel TV portion of UFC on FX 7, when he combats 10-1 phenom and fellow Brazilian prospect Edson Barboza. The bout marks the first of 2013 for both fighters, and we already know plenty about what Barboza brings to the table.
However, aside from B/R Featured Columnist Levi Nile's expert breakdown of the fight itself, what should we know about Martins?
"He's fighting Barboza" won't suffice, folks, so let me educate you, if I may.
The Muay Thai Background
When one talks about Martins and his style, one must mention two things, the first of which relates to his 18-1 record in Muay Thai.
Nowadays, Martins actually does add kickboxing to his training, along with jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but that all started for him when he first broke into the Muay Thai scene. Needless to say, he developed a knack for the art, a craving for excitement and a hunger for knockouts along the way.
In other words, he learned how to put people's lights out and became scary good at it.
The Chute Boxe Academy
Thank the Chute Boxe Academy for the aggression that comes with a Lucas Martins fight.
The legendary gym that spawned Wanderlei and Anderson Silva, as well as Mauricio "Shogun" and Murilo "Ninja", the Rua brothers, Martins now calls the academy home. With the likes of Leandro Silva and Evangelista Santos at the gym, Martins possesses a group of fighters that know how to prepare him for any and every possible situation.
Not only that, but in case y'all forgot, these dudes bring aggression in waves every time they fight, so don't get too shocked if you see Martins attacking with everything.
The Busy 2012
Eat your heart out, Donald Cerrone. You too, Chris Leben.
Martins wanted to keep himself on point and prepared for the call-up to the UFC, which most understand, considering how many times a year certain MMA fighters find themselves in action. However, the fighter that takes (and wins) 10 fights in one year doesn't come around every day.
Martins proves to be one such fighter, as all but the first two wins of his career came in 2012. As a matter of fact, his submission-by-punches win over Washington Rodrigues came almost one month after his win over Luiz Felipe.
Additionally, his unanimous-decision win over Rene Alves last August preceded a streak in which, from October to December 2012, he fought a total of six times within the three-month span. That streak included two wins on Oct. 25, two November TKO wins that stood only 10 days apart from each other and two December wins that came within just five days of each other.
The Undefeated Record
I suppose we can finally break down the 12-0 record of Martins, because you will need to understand exactly what he will look for on Saturday night.
First of all, he owns 11 finishes, along with the unanimous-decision win over Alves. Of the 11, six came in the first round, three came in the second round and two came in the third round.
Breaking down the record further, the 11 finishes are comprised of three submission wins, including the aforementioned win over Rodrigues, and eight wins by KO, including the win over Felipe.
The eight wins by TKO/KO are comprised of four first-round TKOs (all within the first two minutes of the fight), including the win over Felipe, as well as two second-round TKOs (including one by doctor stoppage at the end of the second round), a third-round TKO and the second-round head kick that ended his most recent outing at Jungle Fight 46.
In addition to the submission (by punches) over Rodrigues, Martins owns two first-round submissions: a recent 43-second win by rear naked choke and a late first round armbar win.
Martins vs. Barboza Will Look to Take UFC on FX 7's Fight of the Night Honors
Let's show some honesty for a moment: we encounter no mention of Barboza because we know what Barboza brings to every fight.
With the 10-1 prospect taking his talents to New Jersey to train with the likes of Frankie Edgar and Edgar's boxing coach Mark Henry, we can get a good grasp on one thing to expect from Barboza.
However, at the end of the day, we know what Barboza will want to break out against Martins, especially given that the fight takes place in Brazil. Martins hopes Barboza does just that, because he too would like to put on a show for the fans and prove that he deliver exciting fights every time.
Don't believe it? Look at Martins' career beyond this prospect watch, and then re-watch some of Barboza's fights. Though they both stand as prospects, they remain among the many lightweight prospects to watch because of how memorable they make each of their fights, even if they do go down on the losing end, as Barboza did against Varner.
Whether Barboza falls to Martins, both will look to deliver a great fight on home soil, as Barboza did in taking "Fight of The Night" honors after home victories against Ross Pearson and Terry Etim. If you tune in to UFC on FX 7's prelims on Fuel TV, you should expect the same.
Trust me, you won't regret it if you do.