There are many mixed martial artists who enter the amateur ranks. Fewer go undefeated as an amateur. Even fewer make it to the professional level with a high level of expectation. American Top Team is known throughout the world as producing world-class talent with world-class coaching. One of those new talents to watch is former state wrestling champion and collegiate wrestling star, Carlos Martinez.
Wrestling Career Leading to MMA
If it has been said once, it has been said a million times, a wrestling background tends to provide the best background for a successful MMA fighter. Looking at the champions around the world, the sentiment seems to be true. Representing First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, as a Junior in 2016, Martinez went on to win his first state championship in the 195lb division. Facing the previously unbeaten Timothy Abee of J.C. Draughn High School in Valdese, North Carolina, Martinez won in sudden victory. The win helped propel his high school to the top-scoring team in the 2A division. In his Senior season of 2017, Martinez ran the table and went undefeated, again winning the 2A state championship for back-to-back seasons in the 195lb division.
“I got into combat sports when I was in middle school. I wrestled 197,220, and 250lbs and went 14-0 my first year in the sport. Then 3 years later as a junior in high school I won my first state championships at 197 then my senior year I went 44-0 winning my second championship. I went on to wrestle at Delaware Valley University then I started MMA in 2019,” Martinez told MyMMANews. Martinez went on to continue his wrestling career at the collegiate level, attending Delaware Valley University. He ended up placing third in the MAC as a freshman as well as tieing for second on the team in pins.
Developing Into a Future MMA Star
Currently undefeated as an amateur at 5-0, Carlos Martinez decided American Top Team was the place to be if he wanted to be a champion. “I credit wrestling for the mental toughness and I don’t think there’s any other sport like wrestling. The work and dedication are just at another level but I have to credit my former coaches from Virginia, Coach Harvey, and Professor Diego Bispo. I learned a lot from them and once I arrived at ATT, Coach Ryan Quinn, Steve Montgomery, Steve Mocco, Gabriel De Olivera really showed me how to mix everything up,” stated Martinez. ” At ATT there’s always something new to learn. Every day I love being around world-class coaches and fighters. Even for a big gym, I feel like you still get the attention you need to improve on any weaknesses you have,” said Martinez.
Ready for the Professional Transition
On arguably the biggest fight card of the Cowboy Fight Series history, Martinez competed on the Cowboys Fight Series 4 card in December 2019, in which four titles were on the line. Martinez faced another high-profile amateur middleweight in which he battled Zion Tomlinson Sr. Earning the unanimous decision over a tough foe, Martinez knew he could handle the rigger of a professional workload. With Tomlinson now 2-0 in BKFC, including a first-round knockout at BFKC 16, it’s making the Martinez win look better and better.
“The jump to the pros is going to be fun. I feel like I’m ready to compete at the next level. I’ve put in the time and I’ll be ready for whatever anyone brings to the table,” stated Martinez. With his professional debut probably next in-store, what can we expect from the ATT warrior? “I always bring that wrestling intensity to the cage. I like to break opponents mentally and next time I step in the cage I’m expecting nothing but finishes!”
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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