Paul Martinez is a police officer with the Milwaukee Police Department; he’s also a mixed martial arts fighter on the Roufusport team. I recently caught up with Paul after practice to discuss his upcoming bout this Saturday and the King Of The Cage amateur heavyweight tournament in March that he will be competing in.
Wisconsin Combat Sports: You're fighting this Saturday, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your opponent, what his name his, what you know about him, and what his record is.
Paul Martinez: I don’t know much about him. His name is Mike Garcia, they call him “The Psycho” according to the website. It says he has a record of (7-1) other than that I have no idea. I’ve never heard of him, I’ve never seen him before, and I can’t find anything on him.
WCS: How do you prepare for a fight where you don’t have any videotape and you don’t know anything about your opponent? What are you expecting?
PM: I tell myself it’s going to be a three round war and to be prepared for everything and anything. In my mind, I picture that I’m fighting Fedor or the top guy out there. I don’t underestimate anybody and I treat all my opponents the same. I go out and give it my best, 110% all the time and we’ll see what happens that night.
WCS: I’m sure a lot of the Milwaukee fans are familiar with your style. For the people outside the area who aren’t familiar or haven’t seen you fight can you describe what type of fighter are you? Stand-up fighter? Ground fighter? Hybrid?
PM: Maybe hybrid I guess. When I think of myself, I like to box, I like the hands a little bit more. I can also take the fight to the ground if need be. I have a short wrestling background and dabbled in different martial arts since I was a child, but I personally like to keep it standing.
WCS: So what was it that got you into mixed martial arts? Was it the wrestling background or boxing?
PM: You know what, back in early 2000 I was living in Chicago and I got introduced to Shotokan Karate, it’s a bare-knuckle style of Kyukushin Karate but it involves grappling also. Their tournaments are Thai Boxing, Boxing, and Grappling. After that I really fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I started training with Bob Schermer at Combat-Do in Cicero, Illinois and I picked up some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo with him. When I made my move to Milwaukee everybody said that if you are going to Milwaukee, go with Duke Roufus because he’s the man. I heard of him, everyone knows of him and it’s been a good fit. When I started here, he started his mixed martial arts program, so it’s a good fit.
WCS: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your MMA record and when was your first fight?
PM: I’m (2-0), my first fight was August of 2007. My second fight was October of 2007 and my next fight is this weekend.
WCS: After this weekend you’ll be (3-0) and your next fight will be in the King Of The Cage Tournament in March. Can you tell me a little bit about that tournament?
PM: March 15th it’s scheduled for. All I know is from your website actually, it’s a 16-man tournament with a couple of alternates. To make it to the end you’d have to fight four times. Again I’m going to train my best, do my best, and go in there with a great mindset.
WCS: Prediction for this Saturday?
PM: I’m pretty humble person but I’m going to go out there and give it hell, do my best, and I should be victorious. May the best man win.
WCS: Is there anyone you wanted to thank?
PM: All my friends and family and my wife foremost. She’s the one that I’m apart from my wife and kids of course. Then Duke and your brother Red, all my training partners: Isaac, Rob Smith, Donovan, Scotty, everybody, Kyle, Danny Boy, and Dan Lasavage. Excuse me if I forget anyone. Everyone here at the gym, it’s a world class staff and team and I’m glad to be apart of them.