CHICAGO—Fight week is a unique scenario for the competitors involved on a UFC card.
As the clocks ticks down closer to show time, the anticipation for the work to be done builds. Fighters deal with the final few pounds they need to shed in order to hit their required weight limits and the card's biggest names tackle a steady stream of media obligations. Balancing those various elements can be tricky business, and every fighter has their own way of handling the process.
Much the same way as time inside the cage provides crucial and valuable experience, the more a fighter goes through the pre-fight wringer, the better equipped they will be when the situation arises again. That said, there are some who seem to operate with a natural ease, and of this variety, Adriano Martins is certainly a member.
The 31-year-old Brazilian was on hand at "Ultimate Media Day" to field questions from the media in the build up to his bout against Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 10. The bout with "Cowboy" is undoubtedly the most high profile affair of his career and has the potential to launch Martins into an entirely different realm of recognition with a victory.
The Jackson/Winkeljohn-trained fighter has been a staple in the top tier of the lightweight division for the past two years and has built a solid reputation for being one of the most exciting fighters in the 155-pound weight class. Martins, on the other hand, is still somewhat of an unknown commodity where the UFC fanbase is concerned.
A situation of this nature can bring added pressure to the fighters involved. Nevertheless, those elements appear to have missed Martins entirely as he held a jovial demeanor throughout the two-hour stand with the MMA media. His presentation was a mixture of awareness and downright excitement as he answered the inquiries with the help of manager and translator Alex Davis.
Martins made it clear he has a strong grasp on just how much a victory over Cerrone would change his career. He also feels there is a lot for him to prove and he has every intention to do so when he steps into the cage with the former WEC lightweight title challenger.
"I know it is a great opportunity, but for me, this is just another fight," Martins told Bleacher Report. "I've prepared myself very well. I'm sure we are going to put on a really great fight for the fans and I'm ready to go. It really excites me to fight someone as good as he is. It is really going to bring the fight and it makes me feel proud because I deserve to be here.
"This feeling I have from being in a big fight is difficult for me to describe. What is important to me is to put on a great fight and make people see why I belong here. I know I'm ready and I'm going to show everyone else on Saturday night. I'm excited to be here. I'm ready to be here. And I deserve to be here. This is my time."
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.