Anthony Rocco Martin: I Can 'Really Hurt' Demian Maia At UFC On ESPN 3

In the heart of many fighters is the desire to go out and beat their opponents at their own game. Jack Hermansson openly stated it before he went in to face Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: He wanted to grapple with the very best and show that he could handle it. Ian Heinisch said as much when he faced Antonio Carlos Junior. Both men stepped into the belly of the beast and came out the other side victorious. 

Even with both these men making huge jumps up their division, we have to ask, is that the smart decision? 

Anthony Rocco Martin says no. The St. Cloud native finds himself in a similar situation as he looks to jump up the welterweight rankings with a win over the division’s, and perhaps the UFC’s, most noted grappler, Demian Maia. Martin isn’t about to test that grappling out for fun though. 

“The blueprint on Demian Maia is laid out there. You stuff takedowns and you keep it striking. That’s your best chance at winning,” Martin told the Top Turtle MMA Podcast on FloCombat. “I’m going to be prepared for everything, but the initial game plan is to stop his takedowns and keep it on the feet where I think I have the biggest advantage.” 

However, while this sounds like an easy plan, Martin acknowledges that nobody else grapples quite like Maia. 

“It’s difficult [to mimic him]. I almost want to call it a jiu-jitsu style wrestling, and he’s kind of mastered it,” Martin said. “It’s kind of hard to find specific bodies that are just like him, that are going to come in and grapple like him.”

Although it is hard, Martin has relied on American Top Team's host of grapplers to give him all that he could possibly take for this bout. 

“Obviously we [at ATT] have a lot of really good sub guys,” he said of his team. “I’ve been doing a lot with Gleison Tibau and obviously I worked a lot with Colby [Covington] before.”

In addition to Tibau and Covington from his usual training spot, coach Dan Lambert brought in help from some of the other ATT affiliates. UFC veteran Roan Carneiro made his way up from ATT Orlando to give Martin some extra wrestling looks in hopes of being able to keep this fight on the feet.

If he is able to keep the fight on the feet, Martin isn’t just looking for a solid win; he’s confident that he can become the second fighter in history to put Maia away (the other was Nate Marquardt). 

“If I land my right hand clean, I think that I could really hurt him,” Martin said. “I’ve hurt a lot of people with my right hand and all it takes it for it to land.”

Martin will be looking to land that right hand this weekend at UFC Minneapolis on the ESPN main card.

Alexander Volkanovski: "I'm One of The Greatest 145ers Of All Time"

You might imagine that a fighter in his first title fight, his first UFC fight scheduled for 5 round even, might find himself with a bit of pressure on his shoulders. In fact, first time challengers have from time to time remarked that having additional media obligations has made their first shot all the more difficult. However, Alexander Volkanovski feels right at home. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Alexander Volkanovski + Chase Hooper

UFC 245 is crazy loaded and so is our show this week. 

Cody Stamann: No Respect For Champ Cejudo

Since capturing his fight title, and even more so after winning his second, Henry Cejudo has turned up the theatrics. From calling for a fight with Valentina Shevchenko to cringe-worthy videos promoting himself as “Triple C”, his push to get more attention for himself has certainly been successful. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Yana Kunitskaya + Cody Stamann

 Finally, the UFC has come back to us and the boys from Top Turtle have the content you’re looking for. 

Dominick Reyes Is Ready For Jon Jones

After 27 fights by which he is functionally still undefeated (yes, I realize he has a loss on his record), we’ve heard pretty much everything when it comes to why this challenger will be the one. Especially since he’s become champ, it seems like every challenger that pops up has something that fans who want to see Jones go down latch on to and others write off. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Dominick Reyes

This week was a big one for fight announcements, and Top Turtle might have one of the biggest guests when it comes to those announcements. 

High-Level MMA Card Set For XFN 26

XFN 26 is bringing an assorted card of mixed martial arts action this weekend live on FloCombat. 

3 Title Bouts Headline V3 Fights 77

V3 Fights is back with another installment of action this weekend on FloCombat.

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Paddy Pimblett + Christian Edwards

There may be no UFC card this weekend, but the boys from Top Turtle MMA never sleep.

Bellator's Christian Edwards Is Ready For Top 15 Guy

It may have been his second bout in the promotion, but the head kick KO finish by Christian Edwards at Bellator 223 was his introduction to a lot of fans. The kick went viral through the various chains of social media, appeared on ESPN and had every MMA pundit talking.