By Robert Balajadia
Former PXC heavyweight champion Roque Martinez has been on the road to recovery over the past two years after a football injury forced him into two leg surgeries. Martinez’ last fight was in 2013 and since then he’s been training hard and conditioning smart in preparation for his first MMA bout set to go down this weekend in Korea as part of Top FC.
Martinez will be going up against Korean Top Team’s (KTT) Doo Hwan Kim, who has a professional record of 8-2, in the main event of the card and GSPN caught up with the former champ on his return to MMA.
GSPN: Finally, after two long years you’re back! How has prep been for this fight coming off of those two major surgeries?
ROQUE: It’s been two long years since I’ve last competed. Fight prep and training after my two surgeries on my leg was a bit tough. I feel like giving my body the rest it needed from competition for those two years really paid off. I feel great and injury free right now.
GSPN: How good does it feel to just be back in an MMA lifestyle?
ROQUE: Although I’ve been out of competition for two years I’ve been pretty active with training. I’ve just been able to pick up the pace and intensity of training in recent months. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to train often and frequently. It has pretty much been a part of my lifestyle since I’ve been competing in sports most of my life.
GSPN: Who’s going to be flying out with you for your big fight in Korea?
ROQUE: My head coach Melchor Manibusan, a couple friends and my mother will be flying out with me.
GSPN: How did accepting this fight come about and how were you approached with it?
ROQUE: Basically this fight came about when KTT head coach showed interest in me fighting in his event. I was supposed to fight in the event a couple months back but had passport renewal issues. Once that was squared away he immediately offered me another fight.
ROQUE: The fans will see a better me, no doubt. I’m a lot smarter as a fighter now and I’ve trained smarter as well. But of course, they can expect an exciting fight from me as I usually like to try and put on a good show. Plus we’re the main event, so it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase my skills and how hard I’ve worked.
GSPN: How much do you know about your opponent Doo Hwan Kim and how have you prepared for him?
ROQUE: I know my opponent is one of the big up and comers out of Korea. He’s currently 8-2 and has fought at heavyweight and light-heavyweight. He’s currently ranked the #1 light-heavyweight in the region and is bumping up a weight class for this fight. Of course Korean fighters in general are known for being tough fighters with a lot of heart. I feel I bring the same thing to the table so it really has the potential to be a very exciting fight.
GSPN: Any shoutouts you’d like to give to people who have helped you on this long road?
ROQUE: I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, family, fiancé, friends, training partners, Coach Melchor and all the fans from Guam who still support me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of everyone! It’s been a tough road and a long time coming. I’m so excited for this fight! Dangkalo Na Si Yu’us Ma’ase everyone!
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