Norway’s Marthin Hamlet is determined to put his country on the map in MMA.
After completing his first season with the PFL in 2021, Hamlet now finds himself one fight away from being a champion with a million dollars to his name. To close out October, he’ll be in one of six title bouts as he takes on former UFC middleweight contender Antonio Carlos Junior in the light heavyweight climax.
“No, because I have competed all my life,” Hamlet told MyMMANews regarding any pressure going into the PFL finals. “I have been to big competitions like the finals. It’s nothing new with this. It’s the PFL final, it’s a lot of media rounds and a lot of talk and that kind of stuff. But for me, it’s just a fight. So I have to be prepared as always and I don’t think about the million [dollars] or the championship belt. I think about me being the best version of myself Oct. 27. Hopefully, we can bring all that home.”
To bring the victory back home wouldn’t just be massive for Hamlet but for Norway as a whole. The country remains one of the few yet to legalize MMA thus making it all the more impressive when standouts emerge.
Looking to follow in his teammate Jack Hermansson’s footsteps, Hamlet believes they can make a difference for aspiring athletes across the land.
“I’m very proud of my country so it feels so good to represent them in the finals and a big stage like the PFL,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.
“[MMA] is growing quickly [in Norway], there’s a lot of clubs, lots of people going to gyms, training, setting goals. It’s pretty amazing. But you know, there’s two countries in the world where it’s not legal to have shows and that’s North Korea and Norway so I think it’s time to start that we can start having shows and stuff like that. But at the moment, I think the growth is very good here.
“It’s coming,” Hamlet added. “I think we need to have big names like Jack Hermansson, me, and other guys who will come. Then I think they will be open to it.”
Hamlet’s road to the light heavyweight finals couldn’t have been any weirder — which kind of worked out for the best.
Scoring a second-round submission against Dan Spohn before suffering an upset defeat to Cory Hendricks, Hamlet went on to battle Cezar Ferreira in the semifinals. The fight began, each man threw their body kicks, Ferreira fell down and the fight was over after Hamlet pursued the finish with punches.
A leg injury for Ferreira shut him down quickly therefore providing Hamlet with a short hurdle to the top. However, that was only on a surface level.
“It’s crazy because you prepare your body so much but also your mental game for the fight,” Hamlet said. “So of course, to just get the job done in 13 seconds and come out with no injuries, it feels good.
“The good thing about it is that I went through the fight week, I went through all the motions in the backroom, warming up, going into the cage. This is a very important experience. And the start of the fight, my plan was to make the pressure directly and that’s what I did. I gave the kick that was in my gameplan then he gave me a kick back because I know he likes to dominate from the beginning and my plan was not to let him do that. Then he got the hamstring and he fell down. Then I got a new experience that I can’t stress with the ground and pound. I pick my shots and that’s exactly what I did too. So all in all, it was a good experience for me.”
With the grand prize now within grasp, Hamlet’s goal is firmly in his sights and he has to get through the ever-talented Carlos Junior to make it a reality. When they meet, don’t expect the grappling to go out the window as it generally can when specialists collide.
“I like the guy personally,” Hamlet said. “He’s a very good guy, very friendly guy, and a very good athlete. About the matchup, I think it’s good for me. He’s a grappler, he’s an okay striker, and he had a long run with the UFC and BJJ so I think the matchup is good. It’s grappler vs. wrestler so we will see how this will go but I feel like I’m prepared for all aspects of the game. I think and I feel like it’s my time to be a world champion. I’m finally there.
“I will keep to my gameplan, keep to what I’m training to be, not get my emotions or anything affect me. So you will see a very dedicated fighter in there and I will do what I’m supposed to do in there. Of course, some punches will be like power punches and stuff but you will see a tactical fight there.”
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.