“The squeaky wheel gets the grease” proves to be a tale as old as time when it comes to MMA awards. Under-the Radar Fighters of the Year can give quieter quality brands a chance to shine.
Jonathan Martinez, one of the UFC’s softest-spoken talents, was the ideal candidate for this award.
Martinez, a Factory X Muay Thai fighter from 2023, not only added two impressive names to the list of his accomplishments in the year 2023 but also showed his support for his team when he joined Edson Barboza and became the only UFC fighter to finish multiple opponents with leg-kicks after he defeated Adrian Yanez earlier this past October.
Jonathan Martinez joins Edson Barboza to become the only two fighters in UFC history to get multiple TKO's via leg kicks.pic.twitter.com/ZHxYcazyFx
— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) October 15, 2023
That win over Yanez marked Martinez’s sixth straight with the promotion, and he’s won eight of his past nine overall.
But if you actually understand what bodywork is and rewatch Martinez’s split decision loss to Andre Ewell at UFC 247, you’ll find some of the worst scores I’ve witnessed in the past half-decade in what should’ve been a clean sweep for Martinez.
Swing WILD at the end of the round!
Ewell and Martinez departing…