Tony Martin

Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tony Martin (red gloves ) reacts after beating Johnny Case (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rocco Martin says Demian Maia is ‘the gatekeeper to the title’

Anthony Rocco Martin is set for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday when he takes on Demian Maia. There, the welterweight has a chance, with a win, to enter the rankings, and possibly enter the top-10.

“It feels awesome, man,” Martin said to MMA Junkie. “This is exactly what I wanted. I asked for it, I got a lot tougher opponent than I really thought the UFC would give me. I didn’t think they’d give me someone ranked so high, a legend of the sport, but I’m really happy to bring that back home.”

For Rocco Martin, he knows how important this fight is for his career. Only the top welterweight have beaten Maia as of late, the likes of Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Kamaru Usman. But, when surging contenders like Lyman Good and Jorge Masvidal try, they have failed. So, for Anthony Rocco Martin to win this fight proves he is a legitimate contender for the belt.

“For sure, he’s definitely a world-class fighter,” Martin said. “He’s the gatekeeper to the title, man. He’s fought for the welterweight title, he’s fought the interim champ and the new champ, so he’s definitely the gatekeeper for the title. I plan on going in there and getting it.”

Although Anthony Rocco Martin is going in there to beat up Demian Maia, he has nothing but respect for the Brazilian. He believes he is one of the best but this is all apart of the job. In order to fight for the belt, he will need to get past him on Saturday.

“He’s definitely a nice guy, but once you sign on that bottom line, I want to hurt you,” Martin said. “Because I promise you there is nothing in the world I want to do more than winning that fight. So no matter who it is standing in front of me, I plan on going in there and hurting you, doing whatever I can to win the fight. You know, afterwards, we can shake hands. But I’m not here happy to be fighting Demian Maia. I’m here to beat Demian Maia.”