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Thursday, 01/23/2014, 06:20 am

Adriano Martins: A Donald Cerrone Fight Is A ‘Shortcut To The Top 10’


Sometimes in this sport, you have to be at the right place, at the right time.

Two weeks after Adriano Martins won his inaugural fight inside the UFC Octagon, he received a call that would turn out to be the harbinger of his greatest opportunity to date. It seemed that the UFC was having trouble finding Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone an opponent, and Martins was the next man on the list.

I got a call from my managers Alex Davis and Samir Nadaf on Friday night with the offer, and I immediately accepted,” Martins told MMA Fighting. “I got with my team, discussed the offer and said yes.

Apparently, UFC was having some trouble to find an opponent for Cerrone, so they offered this fight to me.”

It’s a big opportunity for me in the UFC,” he said. “I want to be one of the best, so it’s a good shortcut to the Top 10. I’ll work hard to get this win. I believe I deserve to be at the Top 10 after this win, and I’ve worked my whole life for this.

I have a history in the sport in Brazil, but it’s not normal to get in the UFC and fight a top 10 fighter that was close to getting a shot at the title one year ago. I’m happy with this opportunity. I’m sure we’ll have a great fight.

A great fight is typically a guarantee, when you face “The Cowboy” in the Octagon. While Cerrone can be a bit slow out of the gate, once he gets into his rhythm he’s an incredibly dangerous fighter, no matter where the fight ends up taking place. His stand-up is sharp and technical; his ground game is versatile and aggressive. And if you happen to find yourself in his guard, don’t expect to rest – Cerrone is always looking for the sweep or the submission.

Martins, however, feels that he’s up to the challenge.

He has a name in the UFC, fought some of the best, and I’m happy to get in there against him. I know I’m ready for this challenge,” he said. “I fought jiu-jitsu my whole life. I’ve fought a lot of jiu-jitsu world champions and I feel very comfortable on the ground. I don’t know if my jiu-jitsu is better than his, but I’m really comfortable on the ground.

I’ll do well if the fight goes to the ground. We always set up a strategy but you never know how the fight will be. I don’t know how I’m going to win, but as soon as I step inside the cage, I’ll only think about the victory. I want to win. I need to win this fight.”

We’ll see if he can pull it off, this Saturday night.

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