“I’m Tommy Martin 2.0.”
Tommy Martin does not come across as your average MMA fighter. He’s calm, soft spoken and mature beyond his 21 years. The first time I met him was in 2010 when he was bouncing around a wrestling class wearing an El Generico pro wrestling t-shirt.
“Yeah, it’s something I watched when I was a kid. Like most people, I grew out of it and transitioned into MMA. It’s nice seeing guys like him, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro getting a shot in the big time now.”
Tommy started training in 2008 with Tallaght’s Two Kings MMA (now known as Spartan MMA). In 2010 he made the change to SBG and hasn’t looked back since. I remember rolling with him in my very first gi class and being absolutely destroyed. Tommy laughs when I tell him this. “Haha sorry man! The gentle art!”
5 – 2 so far in his young amateur career, his only losses have been a bout with Kieran O’Brien and a flash KO on a Cage Warriors show in London. Tommy has a varied set of finishes including a flying triangle and putting another fighter to sleep with the dreaded Von Flue choke from half-guard.
Coming back from a loss is hard to do but Tommy has taken it in his stride. “I wasn’t myself for that fight. I felt like I was beaten before I got into the cage.”
He’s referring to his loss to the MMA Clinic’s O’Brien in April of this year. “I came out to ‘Start Me Up’ by the Stones but the irony is that I never got started myself. No excuses though, he was the better man that night.”
His next fight is against YSFC’s James McErlean on John Kavanagh’s Euro Fight Night that takes place on Saturday night.
“I’m excited about Saturday, I feel ready. I’ve been working with David Mullins (Conquer MMA) a lot to get my mind right coming up to this fight. I’m looking at different diets, trying to see what UFC fighters do to get ready and taking it from there. Obviously we have our own UFC fighter here in Conor McGregor.”
“I feel like I’m better everywhere” Martin says. “I’m not burning myself out with two-a-day training sessions. I’m working the appropriate classes for my level and working on the things I need without overdoing it.”
“I’m sparring with a lot of great fighters. Paddy Holohan, Richie Smullen, Keith Coady and Brian Moore. I hope I’m not leaving anyone out!”
A notable debut on the card is the editor of Joe.ie Mike Sheridan who is filming a documentary on MMA for Setanta Sports. He opens the show against Alex Swan at 7pm.
“I think it’s an awesome thing he’s doing” Martin says. “He should just go out there and feel the atmosphere and enjoy it. Not many people actually do this so he needs to feel it for himself. No amount of training can prepare you for the atmosphere.”
The main event is Johnny Dargan of SBG and Lillie’s Bordello making his step up to pro against French heavyweight Anthony Burger. Tommy’s prediction?
“Dargan. First round KO. BAM.”
Predictions for his own fight?
“My hand raised at the end.”
Euro Fight Night takes place at the Pavillion in The Red Cow this Saturday night. Tickets are going fast so check out http://www.facebook.com/eurofightnight and follow @eurofightnight for ticket information.