Jonathan Martinez (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) will take on Frankie Saenz (12-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) in a bantamweight showdown at UFC APEX on August 1.
“I think it’s a great match-up,” Martinez told MMASucka. “I don’t want this fight to go to a decision, because last fight, I had to go to a decision, and I lost.”
Martinez will look to put his UFC career winning percentage in the green when he meets Saenz. “Dragon” has wins over Wuliji Buren and Pingyuan Liu, while having dropped decisions to Andre Soukhamthath and Andre Ewell.
Saenz, a former top-15 UFC bantamweight, has wins over the likes of Merab Dvalishvili and Iuri Alcantara on his record. He’s also gone to battle with Marlon Vera and Urijah Faber. Martinez didn’t commit to saying a win over Saenz would mark his biggest to date.
“I honestly feel every opponent I fight is big for me,” he said. “Just another name. All the fights are tough. I’ve just gotta go in and do me.”
Martinez last fought in February. Meanwhile, Saenz last stepped in the Octagon in March 2019 against Vera. Despite Saenz’s nearly-year-and-a-half layoff, Martinez isn’t expecting his opponent to be rusty.
“A lot of people come back a year or two later, and they still come good,” he said. “He’s probably going to come in good shape and ready to fight. Same like me.”
Martinez’s two-fight UFC winning streak was snapped his last time out when he lost a split decision to Ewell. He doesn’t know where a win over Saenz would put him in a crowded bantamweight division, but his focus is on starting a new streak.
“2020 to start over again, pretty much. From there, we’ll see what happens.”
Martinez said preparing for a fight during the coronavirus outbreak has been “hard,” but “good” at the same time. He’s been training in his garage.
“I always stay in shape, no matter what,” he said.
Martinez predicted he’ll finish Saenz in the first or second round.
UFC Fight Night APEX is scheduled for August 1 in Las Vegas. The UFC has yet to announce how the card will be broadcast, but it will likely at least be on ESPN+. The card is headlined by former bantamweight champion Holly Holm and rising contender Irene Aldana, who face off in a 135-lb. clash.
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