(Photo Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
Tony Martin suffered a tough loss Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Tulsa, Oklahoma against Jiu Jitsu ace, Beneil Dariush. Martin had split time between The Cellar Gym and GetSum Athletic Compound for this training camp and before the bout his head trainer, Brock Larson, stated this was the best Tony Martin he had ever seen.
For this bout, Tony had been getting extra Jiu Jitsu training in with The Cellar’s Marcelo Nunes, doing one-on-one striking work with The Cellar’s Chris Cichon, and getting extra sparring time in with The Cellar’s Muay Thai/Kickboxing fight team. Martin’s striking game had evolved tremendously during his time at The Cellar and it showed. The first round was all Martin as he landed vicious leg kicks and hammered Dariush with punches that bloodied his nose. Dariush also had trouble with Martin’s range and footwork as Tony was able to evade almost all of Dariush’s attacks. But in the second round, fatigue began to set in for Tony Martin. He was visibly tired and being a grappling based fighter at heart, Tony switched to his comfort zone of wrestling/jiu jitsu. Unfortunately, it was not the best game-plan for this opponent. Tony twice attempted to attack Dariush’s arm in explosive kimura attempts, but was unsuccessful. During the second attempt, Dariush was able to maintain top position and transitioned into a head & arm triangle to secure the 2nd round finish.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Martin who is moving next week to the East Coast to join his fiance while she attends law school in Boston, MA. We will truly miss his energy and humor at The Cellar Gym while he is gone, but we know Tony will continue evolving as a fighter and will come back even stronger next time.
After the fight, Tony had this to say:
— Tony Martin (@tmartinmma) August 24, 2014
Chris Cichon also posted the following on Facebook:
“When you know you’re destined for greatness, your potential haunts you. It keeps you up at night, you won’t feel complete until you succeed.”
Well, last night didn’t go as we planned it and I couldn’t sleep a wink last night as thoughts and emotions raced through my head. I’ve only known Tony for a few months, but he truly is a special athlete and person. He trained his butt off for this fight and I know he is disappointed right now, but I also know he will come back even stronger. Tony possesses a rare combination of drive, determination, athleticism, and a desire to improve that I’ve only seen in a select few. Last night may not have been his night, but trust me when I tell you, Tony Martin is destined for greatness! It has been an honor and a privilege to train with you these past few months and we are going to miss your energy and humor around the gym until you MOVE BACK from Boston. I know this experience will fuel you and make you stronger and I can not wait to watch you achieve your goals.