Martin details ‘nightmare’ weight cuts that led to move up

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The UFC’s Tony Martin is moving from lightweight up to welterweight ahead of his fight vs. Keita Nakamura at UFC Fight Night 128. Martin started in the UFC on a 1-3 run, but has reversed his fortunes around with a 3-1. Although his most recent bout was a split decision loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Fight Night 116 on September 16, 2017, the change in division is due to the extreme weight cuts he was suffering through.

“My body was going through chaos,” said Martin, to Mike Straus for CageSide Press. “It’s rough. If I’m walking around at ’95, that’s 40 pounds right there that I have to cut. I can do it if I give my body like six months to come back to normal, but my body would just balloon up, I’d get up to 205 pounds.”

“I took that [Aubin-Mercier] fight five weeks out. I liked the matchup, but I was 195 pounds, so I needed to cut 40 pounds. It was absolutely brutal and I still have nightmares about that.”

“I moved down to ATT now. Every day I’m down here with the best guys, the best fighters in the world. If I’m being honest, I needed to work on my wrestling, my chain wrestling, and I’ve already wrestled more here than I have the last three and a half years.”

“It’s funny, as soon as we notified the UFC that I was going to 170, [the UFC] came back and offered me Jim Miller at 155. Dude’s a legend. He’s got 20-something fights in the UFC. I almost took the fight on principle.”

The UFC does not want to be in the business, however inadvertently, of keeping fighters in too light a division. The culture of extreme weight cutting robs fighters of health and fans of that fighter’s best performances. It’s wrong from every angle. Martin now fights Keita Nakamura at UFC Fight Night 128 on April 21, 2018, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“You will see a better version of me on fight night, I promise,” Martin promised.