UFC-Pittsburgh results: Olivier Aubin-Mercier starts quick, survives late Tony Martin rally


Filed under: News, UFC

Olivier Aubin-Mercier started quick and survived a late rally from Tony Martin en route to a split-decision victory.

The lightweight contest closed out the FS1-televised prelims of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

The two fighters were cautious to start, feeling each other out from range. Aubin-Mercier did well from the outside, though Martin also found some success when jumping in and out of range. Aubin-Mercier eventually pressed inside, and though Martin defended well to start, his opponent’s continued efforts did get the fight to the floor. Martin did crawl relatively quickly back to his feet, and the round ended there.

Aubin-Mercier pushed forward to start the second, missing an early takedown but pressing the action to the cage and successfully getting it to the floor shortly after. Martin was active from his back, looking for opportunities to escape, but Aubin-Mercier controlled the positioning through most of the frame.

The action started quickly in the third, and Martin latched on to the neck, looking first for a guillotine and then a potential D’Arce choke, but Aubin-Mercier pulled free. Still, Martin maintained a dominant position and eventually moved around to the back, where he tried to find a way to sink in a rear-naked choke. Aubin-Mercier defended that option well, but Martin peppered in punches in spots and stayed in position until the final bell.

With Rounds 2 and 3 clear, the result came down to a closer opening frame. In the end, two of the three judges leaned Aubin-Mercier, earning him a split-decision win.

Aubin-Mercier (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) now owns a three-fight winning streak. Martin (12-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) sees his own three-fight run snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 116 results include:

For more on UFC Fight Fight 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

A win would be great, but Tony Martin wants his first KO at UFC Fight Night 116


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PITTSBURGH – The top 15 of the UFC’s lightweight division is out there, and it’s getting eyeballed by Tony Martin.

Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) takes on Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on Saturday in the featured preliminary card bout of UFC Fight Night 116, which takes place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card airs on FS1 following an early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

With a matchup against another 155-pounder who has his sights set on upper-echelon matchups in the division, Martin knows he has a prime opportunity to make his break.

“I think if I put Olivier away, I’ve earned a spot in the top 15, and earned a top-15 fight at the bare minimum,” Martin told MMAjunkie on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. “… I’ve been getting the right fights and taking the right steps in my career now to really make a push. The big thing is, I’ve got to go out there and perform. I can’t just go out there and win a 30-27 (decision) laying on him, or make a boring fight.

“I’ve got to go out there and get after him, knuckle down, put him away – and if I put him away, I think good things are going to follow and I can easily be in the top 15 and start getting some really big fights.”

After a somewhat rough 1-3 start in the UFC, Martin has won three straight. But his past two victories have been by decision. Getting a return to the win column by stoppage is something on his mind after going the distance against Johnny Case in June and Alex White in January.

Martin has eight of his 12 career wins by finish – all by submission. And against Canada’s Aubin-Mercier, he has an opponent also adept at tapping people out. Aubin-Mercier, who trains at the esteemed Tristar Gym in Montreal, has eight of his nine wins by submission – with seven of those coming by rear-naked choke.

Martin knows that’s the danger against Aubin-Mercier, but believes he may be the type of foe to counter it.

“He’s very good at taking the back – and when he gets on the back, he stays on the back,” Martin said. “… I’m fully prepared for him, and I feel like it’s a phenomenal matchup for me. I grew up training with Brock Larson and tons of wrestlers in Minnesota … I’ve been built from the beginning to beat this type of fighter.”

And not just beat him, but put him away.

“The main thing is just finishing,” he said. “I need a finish. My last two fights were decisions, so it’d be nice to get back to my finishing ways. A knockout is always just pretty cool – I haven’t had a knockout in my pro career yet. My grappling is so strong that I just submit people. I’d like to knock him out. I’ll take a win any way, even if it’s 30-27. But I’m planning to go out there, put on a good show, and really earn my spot in the division and bigger fights.”

For more from Martin, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2527 with Tony Martin

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guest Tony Martin.

Martin joined the program to talk about his upcoming fight vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Fight Night 116 on Sept. 16. The hosts also broke down the main card for UFC 215, which takes place on Saturday.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, Tony Martin

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, and Tony Martin.

Thompson will give an update on the status of his scheduled fight with Jorge Masvidal on Nov. 4 at UFC 217. Lauzon recently signed to fight Clay Guida on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120 for his 25th fight with the promotion. Lombard faces Anthony Smith on Sept. 16 at UFC Fight Night 116. Martin faces Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Fight Night 116. All four guests will call in to discuss their upcoming matchups and more.

Also, call in for a spot on the Canelo-GGG board for the chance to win a signed glove by Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who face off in a boxing superfight on Sept. 16. All you have to do is tell the hosts who wins and what round, and if the spot is available, it’s yours. The outcome of the fight will determine the giveaway winners.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier added to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City

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A lightweight bout is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City.

Officials today announced a fight between Tony Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and fellow submission specialist Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

Martin, a 27-year-old who turned pro in 2012, had a rough go early in his UFC career and lost three of his first four fights. However, he’s now riding a three-fight winning streak with a submission victory over Felipe Olivieri and decision wins over Alex White and Johnny Case. Eight of his 12 career wins have come via submission.

Aubin-Mercier, a 28-year-old Canadian fighter who fights for the first time in 2017, looks for his third straight victory. Following a decision loss to Diego Ferreira in early 2016, he’s rebounded with submission victories over Thibault Gouti and Drew Dober. Eight of nine career wins have come via submission since “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” runner-up turned pro in 2011.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 116 now includes:

  • Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
  • Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
  • Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 winner Tony Martin: 'I think I can be the best fighter in the world'

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tony Martin made no secret of his general dislike for Johnny Case ahead of their UFC Fight Night 112 scrap.

But he also believed Case (22-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) would be the right opponent to help highlight his own evolving skill set. As his unanimous decision win following an exciting, close fight showed, Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was on to something. For many – including Martin himself – Sunday’s battle was his best one yet.

And after 15 minutes of exchanged blows, nods and more than a few words, it seems like the two have reached somewhat of a truce.

“When you have a problem, you just get in there and you figure it out,” Martin said after the lightweight bout at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., which streamed on UFC Fight Pass. “You hash it out, and then you just earn your respect.

“I don’t have to like the guy; he doesn’t have to like me afterward. But at the end of the day, you do respect each other as fighters. He did show up, so I’ve got to respect that.”

For Martin, who says he’s used to “talking a little crap” to lighten the mood in training, having that kind of heat with Case helped him feel more comfortable inside the cage, even though some of those words, he revealed, were him calling Case a cheater after some eye pokes.

“But I was just amped up,” Martin said. “In the beginning of the fight, he hit me with a jab and said something like, ‘Alright, let’s fight now.’ I just faked a takedown. I said ‘alright,’ I started talking once I started landing. Like, ‘Let’s go, I’m here. You act like I was just going to try to take you down the whole fight, but I’m here. Let’s scrap.’

“And I think I broke him mentally. I think that he started fading. And I think that’s when I kept getting stronger. I think he didn’t expect me to strike with him the whole fight. He just expected to defend takedowns, and that was a bad game plan.”

But talking wasn’t Martin’s main tool – yet, it was the surprisingly crisp stand-up game he’s long been perfecting with the likes of boxing coach Eddie Alvarez. On his end, Martin understands why most weren’t expecting that level of striking coming from him.

Which is why Martin, who’s happy to go up against high-level strikers at the gym, took it upon himself to show it.

“I think my striking was extremely underrated coming into this fight,” Martin said. “And I haven’t shown it in any fight, so it’s not any disrespect to anyone else. But I had something to prove. I went out there, and I proved it. Now, people better start respecting my striking.”

Martin has faced some of the top competitors in the lightweight division before. In fact, he was rudely welcomed into the octagon by two of them, dropping back-to-back losses to Rashid Magomedov and Beneil Dariush before Fabricio Camoes became his first UFC victim.

But now, riding a three-fight streak and feeling like he’s finally come into his own as a fighter, Martin would like a new crack at the top 15.

“I was just this little kid coming in here, just an athlete,” Martin said. “And my skills weren’t anywhere near where they are right now. I’m at a whole other level. And really, just anyone. I just want to get in there and prove to the world. No disrespect to them, but that’s how you climb the ladder. You’ve got to start knocking down people.

“I’m just trying to be the best I can be. And I think I can be the best fighter in the world. I’ve just got to keep improving every fight, put the work in and train hard. Good things happen to good people that do things right.”

To hear more from Martin, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 results: Tony Martin wins hotly contested affair over rival Johnny Case

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If you didn’t know it was something of a grudge match before, all you had to do was listen to Tony Martin in the second round, informing Johnny Case that he wasn’t going anywhere in between counter right hands to the face.

The result was a unanimous decision win for Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), who outstruck a game Case (22-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and seized control of the fight down the stretch before claiming the win with scores of 29-28 across the board.

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 112 event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS2 and a main card on FS1.

Much of Martin’s success in this hotly contested fight was predicated on having the speed and the precision to stand in the center of the cage and counter as Case darted in and out. That allowed Case to get an early advantage in sheer volume, but as the fight wore on it was clear that Martin was the one doing the damage.

The action heated up in the second, with Martin landing a series of hard right hands while demonstrating a willingness to eat some shots from Case for the privilege. Soon Case was bleeding from his eye and nose, while Martin only gained in confidence and aggression.

In the third, Martin really took over the fight, walking Case down and battering him with crisp punches. In the final minute he even added a takedown and a last-second kimura attempt, which succeeded in driving home the point to the judges.

With the victory, Martin has now won three in a row in the UFC. Case has lost his last two.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 112 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Oklahoma City.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC's Tony Martin recalls aunt's career-changing health advice ahead of Johnny Case fight

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Whether it was his coaches, his wife, or even a distant aunt with an unexpected health tip, having the right people in his life at the right time was key to Tony Martin’s career.

Martin (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) heads into this Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 lightweight bout with Johnny Case (22-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) feeling the best he’s ever felt as a fighter. Martin is on a two-fight streak. He has the matchup he’s long been clamoring for. His technique is increasingly in tune with his lifelong athleticism.

“I feel like I have everything in the right category right now with my skill set, my athletic ability, my mental game,” Martin told MMAjunkie. “I feel like everything is perfect right now.”

But it took some imperfect times to get here. Bringing in an undefeated eight-fight record into his octagon debut back in 2014, Martin would go on to follow his first career loss to Rashid Magomedov with yet another setback, this time to Beneil Dariush. After a rebound win over Fabricio Camoes, a submission loss to Leonardo Santos would make for a rocky 1-3 octagon start.

There’s something to be said for the level of who he lost to: Magomedov and Dariush would both proceed to tear through the 155-pound division before recent losses, while “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” winner Santos has yet to lose in the octagon. There’s the fact that Martin, who doesn’t come from any specific martial art, was only three years into his MMA training by the time he debuted in the UFC at 24.

“I’m definitely underappreciated, I think, because I went 1-3 in my first fights,” Martin said. “But that was just maturity. My experience both in the octagon and general was very low. I came in with eight fights that I rattled off in two years. I was still very new to the sport.”

More sneakily, however, Martin was also yet to discover a health issue that he had some unlikely help in addressing.

“Leading into my first three fights in the UFC, something just didn’t feel right,” Martin said. “And it really came to a head in the Beneil Dariush fight. In the back, I just didn’t feel right. I had chest pain, I didn’t know what was going on. I felt like it as just severe heartburn. I was eating tums, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I couldn’t breathe. I was telling my coach, ‘Something just doesn’t feel right.’ And then obviously, fight time comes, and 3 minutes in I can’t breathe. Obviously, I panicked a little bit and lost that fight.

“After that, my aunt messaged me. I hadn’t talked to her in years. She reached out, ‘I noticed you got really tired fast. Acid reflux runs in our family, so you should look into taking this pill. ‘ And she told me about Ranitidine. I’ve been taking that ever since, and I feel great off of it. It has been a life-saver for me. So I’m forever grateful for that.”

Martin, who used to fight at 170 pounds, thinks the cutdown to 155 flared up the issue. And he now keeps his acid reflux at bay with medicine and a proper diet. But while he wishes that was something he’d discovered earlier, he doesn’t pin his losses on this – or on any isolated factors, for that matter.

Much like everything else, it was a lesson.

“After every one of those fights, I went back to the drawing board,” Martin said. “At no time I felt outclassed. Every one of those fights, I won the first round. It just came to a lack of experience. They weren’t stronger than me; they weren’t faster than me. They were just more experienced. Even in the category of the technique, I felt like I was there. I’d just get in a bad position, and I had never been in those positions in a fight.

“Training is a lot different – you start in bad positions, you get put in bad positions. But it’s different when the lights come on. It’s just one of those things: If you’re never put into the fight like that, you don’t know exactly how to react. Now I’ve corrected those mistakes. I’m six years in, and I feel my skill set has finally caught up to my athletic ability. And that’s why I think I’m one of the better fighters in here.”

‘I think he’s had one of the easiest runs in the UFC’

Martin sees a February 2016 submission win at UFC on FOX 18 over Felipe Olivieri as the mark of his “true beginning as a UFC fighter.” After a year-long layoff due to injury, he followed it up with another convincing victory, this time a UFC Fight Night 103 decision over Alex White.

Martin looks to keep this momentum going Sunday when he meets “Hollywood” Case at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. As if the motivation to add another win to his record and keep climbing the ladder wasn’t enough, Martin’s got some added fuel: For the first time in his career, he carries beef into a fight.

“I just feel Johnny Case has been a disrespectful person,” Martin said. “He’s too much of a showman. It seems he’s always acting. He seems very fake to me as a person. I just don’t like him. There’s nothing that I like about him. I’ve been trying to fight him for the last four years, and every single time there’s an excuse. He’s known that I’ve wanted to fight him.

Johnny Case

“Even when we’re in the UFC, I called him out, he blocks me on Twitter. Kansas City, Chicago twice. I’ve tried to fight him multiple times. I know he doesn’t like the matchup or we would have fought.”

Martin, a Minnesota native, says he’s had his sights set on fellow “Midwest boy” Case since his second professional bout in April 2012. Iowa’s Case, Martin says, already had a name by then. First, it was Martin’s inexperience that was pointed as the hold-up for the matchup by Case’s team. But it was only when both were in the UFC that Martin “really started disliking” his foe.

“He calls out Joe Ellenberger for a midwest fight, and I go there. I’m like, ‘Hey, I’ll fight you, I’m from the Midwest. It will be a great fight for the fans,’” Martin said. “And he’s just being disrespectful, saying that he could beat me and Joe on the same night, kind of dismisses me as a nobody.

“My last fight, in Arizona, Case was running the UFC snapchat. After I got home from the fight, my buddies were like, ‘Hey, your boy Johnny Case was talking crap about you on Snapchat.’ He pretty much was saying, ‘Well, now that that’s over, let’s get to the real fight.’ Just dismissing my fighting ability and my style.

“He’s disrespectful, arrogant, and I think he’s had one of the easiest runs in the UFC, as well. And I think it’s going to be a great fight for me to display my skill set.”

Martin is, unsurprisingly, looking “extremely forward” to meeting his No. 1 target on Sunday. But it’s not just because of the personal element. For Martin, a win over Case – who was on a four-fight streak before a submission loss to Jake Matthews in March – is certainly a solid way to put more ambitious plans in motion.

“I would fully expect, after the Johnny Case fight, for my competition to really jump up,” Martin said. “And by next year, to be in the top-10. I think that’s a reasonable goal with the competition that I fought, leading into my seventh UFC fight now. I’m only 27; I’ve only been training six years.

“I think I’m still a couple of years from my prime in the sport. I think around 30 is going to be my prime, where my athletic ability, my mental game and skill set really come to its full potential.”

‘Right away, I just felt like this is what I was meant to do’

It’s hard to overlook Martin’s strides as a mixed martial artist, especially considering that he didn’t even follow the sport that closely when he first got involved a few years ago. While turning into a pro fighter certainly took a lot of hard work, it also took the luck of being introduced to the right coach, UFC and WEC vet Brock Larson, at the right time.

“I’d just turned 21,” Martin recalls. “I started training, and I never left. They couldn’t kick me out of the gym; they couldn’t get rid of me. I just kept training and pushing myself, training two, thee times a day. Pretty much right away I just felt like this is what I was meant to do. It was a sport that really changed my life for the better.”

Unlike many of his peers, Martin didn’t have a base in wrestling or any form of striking. But he did have the drive, athleticism – he even played college football at North Dakota State – and the work ethic strictly reinforced by Larson.

Now, with the support of his wife, Kate, Martin is a full-time MMA fighter. He just received a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has just returned from a trip to Holland to hone his striking skills. He’s now ready for a serious push in his octagon career. But he didn’t do it alone.

“I’m lucky to have had the people I’ve had in my life,” Martin said. “And the surrounding I have in Boston. And my wife. When you do things the right way and good people are around you, it feels like everything works out in the end.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie