One of Minnesota MMA’s top pound 4 pound fighters Tony Martin (11-3) is shooting for his fourth straight victory and fifth overall win in the UFC this Saturday night in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The surging lightweight prospect is set to meet dangerous mixed martial artist Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2) on UFC Fight Night 116. The showdown will be the main televised preliminary bout on FS1.

Martin made an explosive statement this past June when he battered respected veteran Johnny Case (22-5) over three rounds of action. The way Martin put his punches together in the fight sent a clear message that the BJJ Black Belt’s striking is just as dangerous as his submissions.

Martin took the fight with Aubin-Mercier on relatively short notice with just over five weeks to prepare. He told Minnesota Fight News that training camp went exactly as planned and that he’s ready to put on a show.

I trained in Boston, Massachusetts for this camp” said Martin. “I worked with my boxing coach Edgardo Alvarez at least once a day, everyday. I did some sparring and grappling at Sityodtong Boston under Mark Dellagrotte and Tyson Chartier. I also sparred at Grealish Boxing with Gabriel Duluc which is owned and run by Martin Grealish in Dorchester, MA. Most of my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was at PMA in Derry, NH under Professor Tim Barchard. I also flew Brock Larson out here for a week from Start BJJ MN in St. Cloud MN. My strength and conditioning was done in Chelmsford, MA at Skill of Strength under Mike Perry. So as you can see, I did a lot of traveling to train. But in order to train with the best guys and push myself everyday, that is what I have to do.”

Olivier Aubin Mercier will present a tough test for Martin. Most betting websites list the fight as a near toss up. And Martin says he knows Aubin-Mercier is a tough and skilled adversary. Yet there was no hesitation from Martin when asked whether or not he would accept the fight five weeks ago. Martin believes a win would propel him into the top 15 of an extremely stacked UFC lightweight division.
“I took this fight with Olivier Aubin Mercier on a 5 1/2 weeks notice. It’s a fast turn around from my last fight and that’s what I wanted to keep building momentum. I am healthy and feel great. Eddie (Alvarez) and I had been working boxing 4-5 days a week when I wasn’t in camp so I was confident in taking a shorter notice fight. Mercier is 5-1 at lightweight in the UFC and has never been finished. He is riding a 2 fight winning streak leading into this fight. He’s a very strong grappler and has a very solid striking game. He is a southpaw and seems extremely composed during his fights.”

“Honestly, I didn’t blink an eye in taking this fight because he is on the verge of being a top 15 fighter in the UFC and I really like the match up. I can out strike him on my feet and I know that I can grapple with him. My submissions are very good from people shooting in on me so I’m very confident that I can finish the fight if he makes one mistake. I have finally started to build good momentum in the UFC and I have never been more confident in my skill set. I still have only been training for 6.5 years and I am progressing everyday and every camp. This is a great building block for me and I can’t wait to get back inside the octagon.
I am just starting to feel very confident inside of the cage and I am happy to keep building on that.”

Tony Martin Minnesota MMA