Local Surcheros employee finds the octagon

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Albert ‘Speedy’ Martinez, an impressionable personality that has worked behind the counter at both Surcheros’ Tifton locations for six years, has found another place to make an impression: the octagon. Martinez currently stands as the eighth-ranked fighter in Georgia Pro Bantamweights with a 4-2 record. His most recent fight took place in Hunt Valley, Maryland at the Jonathan Ogden Foundation’s Charity MMA Event, where he defeated Jamal Johnson via a Technical Knock Out shortly after the minute mark in the first round.

Martinez said, “I’m just a simple guy, I work like everybody else, try to work hard for everything. This is just a simple way to get it and make it like everybody else,” when asked about how he views his standing in life.

Martinez got involved in fighting when he was 21, a period in his life when he started to freak out about the transition into his adult life. He said, “I was just sitting there and I asked myself ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” After a few hours of contemplation on whether or not he should join the military, he watched coverage on an ongoing MMA fight and told himself, “man, I would like to try something like that.”

Martinez blames his time in Miami for his arrogant sense before his first training session. Martinez walked into a gym in Orlando and other fighters “tossed me around like a ragdoll and I loved every bit of it.” A few months and a move to Tifton later, he was asked if he wanted to take the chance and fight professionally.

“When I went in there, it wasn’t like the T.V. anymore. The next thing I knew, the guy punched me in the face, I felt something streaming down my face, and that’s when it got real,” Martinez recalled about his first fight.

Martinez thanked his hard work for overcoming his opponent through verbal submission in the second round. Ever since those first moments six to seven years ago, Martinez said, “I saw people doing great things and I just wanted to be a part of that.”

Fighting has molded and become a big part of Martinez’s life and he even said “I think I do it for me, I need it, and I do it so I can keep going.”

Aside from his mother’s remarks against his decade-old second life, Martinez intends to keep climbing through the ranks and make a name for himself. Martinez’s next fight will take place at Combat Quest 3 in Tampa, Florida on Jan. 26, 2019 against Jeremias Fernandez.

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