Henry Martinez will be taking on Daron Cruickshank at this weekend’s UFC on Fox card. The two were originally supposed to fight at UFC 151, but after the cancelation of the event the fight with Cruickshank got pushed back to UFC 155. Now after training for him for several months, Martinez feels more than ready for the fight.
How’s it going today?
Everything’s going well. Feeling good. Excited. Ready to fight this weekend.
You are scheduled to fight Daron Cruickshank at UFC on Fox 5 in about a week. What’s training camp like now at the end of the process?
Oh, fight week is hectic. It’s a crazy bunch of chaos in my mind, that’s how it’s different. Up, down, and everything in between.
Safe to say the highest highs and lowest lows all culminate in this week before the fight?
Yup. And all in one, too. It’s not one thing.
The fight was originally scheduled for UFC 151 back in September, and after the cancellation of that event, it got rescheduled for December. Does it feel like you’ve been training for this fight with this opponent forever?
This training camp has ran on very long. I’ve been training about five months for this, so it’s got its positives and negatives. It’s been a real long camp, so that definitely wears on you, and being away from my family and stuff. But I feel like I’m bringing a lot more tools to the table. I feel like I’m super-ready for this fight. Sometimes you go into a fight and you have these doubts that kind of haunt your mind. You’re like, well, I feel good, but what if I don’t feel good in the fight, or I know I trained a lot, but what if I didn’t train enough. And I couldn’t have trained any more for this fight.
Did you take any time off after UFC 151 was canceled, or did you just keep on trucking?
I pretty much kept on trucking through. I live in Maine, and I was planning on going back, and then it got rescheduled, so I’m still here.
You live in Maine and train down at Jackson’s full-time?
Yeah. I’m from New Mexico, but I live over there now.
What are you expecting out of Daron in this fight?
I’m expecting him to bring the fight, you know? He looks like a tough guy, and he obviously got on the show because he’s got some skills. I’ve seen some of his fights – he’s got real flashy kicks. I think he wrestled division three in college. So he should be a well-rounded opponent. I think it’ll be fun. I think we’re both going to bring some heat and make an exciting fight for the fans.
To me he seems to be a heavy-handed fighter, but he likes to ground and pound his opponents by using his wrestling. What do you do in training to try and prepare for that?
Well I trained the way I always train, honestly. People haven’t seen my ground game. I think I’m much better on the ground and my wrestling is far superior to my stand-up. People that think they’re gonna take me to the ground and have a much easier fight are in for a rude awakening.
Now this is your third fight on your UFC contract, and you are 1-1. Is there extra pressure on you to perform well as the third fight is the decision-maker for the UFC?
I feel more so that this is another day in the office. I felt the pressure in my last fight, really. Being a newcomer in the UFC, coming off the loss to Riddle, I really felt the pressure that I needed to bring a W. And I think I kind of fought a real hesitant fight last time. I could have opened up a lot more. But from the results of the fight before, I think I lost the fight on positioning – where Riddle got the two take-downs really in the last round, and he finished on top with the flurry, and that really seemed like it did it in the judges’ eyes. And I knew Bernardo Magalhaes was just looking to get it to the floor, and not that I was afraid of being submitted, but losing on another view of positioning on a fight and being 0-2 in the UFC, no. Then as a newcomer I definitely probably would have gotten the axe. So that really weighed on my mind a lot.
Both of your fights were split decisions. Do you agree with the judges’ score cards from both of those fights?
I definitely don’t agree with the first decision. I don’t understand how… I definitely won the first round against Riddle, and I think I out-struck him in the second round. I took the fight on a last-minute whim, and I definitely was out of shape, but I think I won the first two rounds. I gave him the third round.
Looking ahead at your career, is there anyone in the UFC’s lightweight division you want to fight?
I think I can make an exciting fight with anybody. I’m game to fight whoever honestly. I took that fight with Matt Riddle – I usually fight at 155, and I took that fight at 170 with Matt Riddle, last minute. I’m one of those guys that – I like to fight. It’s fun, and I’m not gonna back down from it.
Where can the fans find you at?
You can find me on Twitter @HenryMartinez83. So give me a follow. I’d appreciate it.
Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
I’d like to thank all my training partners, my coaches. My coach Mike Winkeljohn, coach Greg Jackson, coach Brandon Gibson, my family for being very supportive, my girl Amanda. Just thank you everybody. Thank you so much for helping me get through this camp, and I appreciate all the love and support of all my fans.