Interview: Jose Martinez

“I definitely want to get a belt. Something I will always be able to look back on.”Ā

Jose Martinez

Interview by: Barry Laminack

After a one year lay off, Jose Martinez is getting back into the cage. He’s 1-0 as an amateur and is known for having a really nasty guillotine. His base is BJJ (that tends to happen with Gracie Barra fighters) but anyone that’s ever sparred or worked with him will tell you (as they told me) he’s got really heavy hands too. I had a chance to sit down and talk with Jose as he gets ready to face Yan Digalov at Cage Combat 5.

TCD: How did you end up getting involved with the Gracie Barra guys?

Jose: I grew up making some bad decisions, and I was also the guy who grew up wrestling with my friends and stuff. I thought that doing this stuff the right way, getting some disciple, it changed who I am. In the gym everybody is here to mess around and “play”, so at least now I am not annoying my friends who don’t like it.

TCD: How long have you been doing it?

Jose: Going on 5 years now! When did you transition into fighting? I always did jiu jitsu as a hobby. I had a double chin and stuff so I was just doing it to get in shape. Chad said let’s get you on a card, but I wasn’t that interested in getting punched in the face for free. Then I started seeing a bunch of teammates doing it and winning, and if they could do it I figured I can do it.

TCD: So your base is BJJ, but do you work as hard on your standup?

Jose: It is my thing, but I hit hard. I work hard on my standup. I still don’t like getting hit in the face. Gerardo is hitting me in the face here every chance he gets, my mom and girlfriend are noticing my black eyes. I tell them I am just getting ready. I know you can’t always win fights with jiu jitsu, so I am trying to be ready for whatever.

TCD: Do you know much about your opponent?

Jose: No, not really. Yan Digilav. I know he is at Paradigm and they produce some tough guys, but it doesn’t matter. Let’s just rock and roll. I’m training, and I am gonna fight someone who has been training too. I have great guys up here that I am training with and have taken a lot of time to get me ready, so it doesn’t matter who I face. If I can hang with my teammates, I can hang with whoever.

TCD: So what is your prediction for the fight?

Jose: If anything I would love to go for “Submission of the Year”, but I will settle for Fight of the Night or Knockout of the Night. Submission is what I am really looking for though.

TCD: Why have you not fought since last year?

Jose: I had a couple of tragedies with the family. My girlfriend’s mom was sick for a while. I had to postpone my engagement, and a limb fell on my family’s house and hurt a kid. Long stories, but everyone is getting better now. I finally got married, and I have a baby on the way now, due in November. I wanted to do this before the baby came. I will be on the Legacy card in October as well. I may not get to do this anymore once I have a kid, so wanted to cross it off the bucket list.

TCD: Your home gym has gone through some changes. Are you able to do as much training as you wanted to for the camp?

Jose: Oh yeah, I have been getting plenty of work. We aren’t going 3 rounds, we are going 6-7 rounds. 9 minutes is gonna be nothing for me. I just did 18 minutes on Monday. My diet is good. Win or lose, I feel great. And I may want to stick around a little closer to this weight. I normally walk around at around 170 or so, but I am hoping maybe for that October fight I can make it to 135.

TCD: Do you have any plans to keep fighting after the baby comes, maybe even to go pro?

Jose: I have to run everything by the wife. She is the biggest supporter of me, so I want to make sure she is good with it. I don’t know about pro, but I definitely want to get a belt. Something I will always be able to look back on.

TCD: What is something that the Houston MMA scene doesn’t know about you?

Jose: You will have to wait til Friday to see. I will give you a little hint. Jiu-Jitsu. That’s all I can say right now.

TCD: Do you have anyone you want to thank?

Jose: First and foremost, God. My wife, Paula. My twin brother. My mom. The whole GB North Houston family. Everyone from Champions MMA. Let me throw out some names. Gerardo. My professor Chad Robichaux. Alejandro, Alex, Jarred, Ricky, Marcus, Tyler, Matt, Cody, Jody, Charles, my whole team. Too many to name. But all of them got me ready for this. All my coworkers too, they have helped me out when I need time off. I am surrounded by a really supportive group.