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Happy Ending Alert: Rad Martinez Scores Bellator Contract After ESPN ‘Outside the Lines’ Appearance

Hailing from West Jordan, Utah, Rad Martinez has compiled a 9-2 record as a professional MMA fighter while caring full-time for his father Richard, who suffered significant brain damage in a car accident twenty years ago. Martinez’s story caught the attention of ESPN, who produced a moving “Outside the Lines” video feature on the fighter, covering the multiple tragedies of his family life as well as his current struggle to balance his profession with his personal obligations. If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend taking 11 minutes of your day and checking it out above.

Thanks in part to the ESPN profile, Martinez has just gotten the first big break in his career, as Bellator announced this morning that they had signed the featherweight prospect to a fight contract. “Rad not only has an incredibly uplifting, powerful story, but he’s also a fierce competitor who will be a great addition to the Bellator family,” said Bellator chairman/CEO Bjorn Rebney in a press release. “We’re proud to have Rad under the Bellator banner, and expect big things from him inside the Bellator cage.”

A former NCAA Division I All American wrestler at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, Martinez competed alongside future UFC champ Frankie Edgar, who turned him on to the sport. “Frankie Edgar is definitely the one that talked me into giving MMA a shot,” Martinez said. “Every day he was always telling me how good I would be at MMA and how much I would love it, and eventually he just ended up talking me into it.”

Martinez, who currently trains at The Pit Elevated, is stoked about the opportunity he now has with Bellator: “I’ve always had confidence in my ability and felt like I could compete with anybody in the world, but when you’re talking about guys like Joe Warren, Patricio Pitbull and Marlon Sandro in the Bellator featherweight division, you’re talking about three of the absolute best featherweights in the world. I’m just really looking forward to being able to test myself against that elite level of competition.”

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ReX13- July 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm
i really can't say anything funny here, some really emotional stuff. Hope nothing but the best for Rad in Bellator.
Kid Clam Curtains- July 7, 2011 at 11:17 am
Man, that is some soul crushing shit.
Yazloz18- July 7, 2011 at 9:20 am
Good to see this happen. I just hope he doesn't become a huge bust. Idk if Bellator had him on their radar or not before the story but I hope he does well
Pen Fifteen- July 7, 2011 at 9:08 am
When I saw 'Happy Ending Alert,' I assumed it was a reference to the emergence of a Jenna-Tito sex tape. Come on, you know it's just a matter of time.
GistoftheFist- July 7, 2011 at 8:57 am
Yeah that was a pretty bitchin video. That guy has an unfair advantage in the cage due to his massive testicles. :) The only thing I didn't like was seeing Jonny Riche talking about Rad, Jonny is a real douchebag. He and Mike Stidham used to be commentators in Utah's UCE, for some reason they had a falling out and Riche pulled a Frank Shamrock. Before the UCE website went under, he went on the forums and advertised a rival promotion and tried to start a flame war with insults for a few months, it was really childish.
Crap Factory- July 7, 2011 at 8:55 am
Good for him. A 9-2 record with little training is ok in the junior leagues but I hope he does well with Bellator.
ExpectJesusBro- July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am
Well Played, Bellator. Well played.