Tony Martin Looking to Crack the Lightweight Rankings at UFC Pittsburgh

After starting out his time in the UFC going 1-3, lightweight Tony Martin has managed to turn things around and currently finds himself on a three-fight winning streak.

For Martin, the biggest thing that has contributed to his turnaround is his maturation. Having been with the UFC for three years, Martin feels now he’s got a better sense of who he is and how to compete in the company.

“When I started in the UFC, I was still young in this sport,” Martin told MMAWeekly.com. “Now I’ve started to mature as a fighter and have been getting my skillset up to par with this level of talent.

“I thought it was a process I had to go through. It’s gone great. I feel like I’ve added a lot of new skills. I feel my latest fight with Johnny Case (in June) has showed that. I’ve built up a lot of momentum going into this next fight.”

For Martin, his recent success shows that the decisions he’s made in how he improves himself as a fighter have been the right ones.

“Definitely being on the winning streak makes you know you’re taking the right steps, you’re doing the right things; you’re putting the work in to obtain the goals that you have,” said Martin. “I feel like I’m doing everything the right way right now.”

Martin (12-3) puts his winning streak on the line against Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2) in a main card 155-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 116 on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

“He’s a fighter I’ve seen on multiple occasions and thought it would be a great match-up for me,” Martin said of Aubin-Mercier. “It’s short notice relatively, so the weight is going to be the biggest struggle, but it’s on track right now.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting fight. I should have a major advantage in the feet, and in the grappling department I feel like I can hang with anybody in the world.”

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As part of one of the deepest divisions in the UFC, Martin feels like further adding to his winning streak should get him an opportunity to face opposition that will differentiate himself from the pack.

“The main focus is just beating (Aubin-Mercier) and that will put me on a four-fight winning streak in the UFC in one of the strongest divisions in the UFC,” said Martin. “If I have a great performance it will put me in the mix with the Top 15.

“After this I would like to fight again towards the end of December, hopefully against someone in the Top 15. That would be the ideal situation.”

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