Just days after Rad Martinez’s heart wrenching story was revealed to the masses on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Bellator Fighting Championships has decided to ink the talented 24-year-old to a multi-fight agreement.
According to ESPN, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney claims to have been in talks with Levi Martinez, Rad’s brother and manager, over the last year. However, after learning of Martinez’s story from OTL, Rebney immediately decided to put pen to paper.
“He’s a very talented fighter who happens to have a very inspirational story, but he needs some help,” Rebney stated. “We’re trying to give a guy that could be a very special fighter for us an opportunity, and at the same time it’s doing something good that could work out really well for him and us.”
Martinez was only 11-years-young when his father was involved in a horrific car accident that nearly cost him his life. Although Richard Martinez was able to survive the incident, he suffered severe brain damage and was no longer able to function on his own.
After watching his grandmother tend to his father for the first eight years after the accident, Rad PROMISED his ailing grandma that he would personally care for his dad once she passed away.
Rad has spent the majority of his the five years feeding, cleaning and rehabilitating his father.
“Some people ask why I do it, why I have taken this on. I look at them and smile because the answer is so simple … he’s my dad,” Rad shared.
Bellator is reaching out to various sponsors who could assist with “putting Rad in a position where he has the economic wherewithal” to find full time care for his father. “Then he really has to focus on getting in the gym and being the best mixed martial artist he can be.”
Although Martinez has excelled in the lightweight division, a drop to the featherweight class is still in play.
“I feel like I’m going to be faster at 145 pounds, and I also think I’ll be able to carry most of the strength I have right now down to featherweight.” Martinez said. “I’m going to be strong and it will be nice to fight against guys that are closer to my natural size.”
Martinez owns a respectable 9-2 MMA record, but was last seen getting submitted by Brian Cobb this past May. He’s expected to make his Bellator debut during the promotion’s fall season, which resumes September 10th in New Jersey.