29-year-old veteran Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (19-3-0) is on the brink of achieving his dream of capturing a Brave CF championship. This isn’t the first time that Martins has found himself preparing for a shot at a Brave championship. After falling ill prior to his scheduled featherweight title fight against Elias Boudegzdame at Brave 9, he could be forgiven for thinking that his opportunity to be a champion had slipped away. Just five months later, Martins has been grated a second opportunity at the gold, this time at lightweight and in his home nation of Brazil.
Just days away from his planned meeting Luan Santiago at Brave 11 for the interim lightweight championship, I caught up with Martins to discuss the events which led to the cancellation of his last title shot and how he thinks Friday’s fight will play out.
Tom Mulligan – Can you talk me through what happened during your preparation for your title fight against Elias Boudegzdame at Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions?
Lucas Martins – Everything was going good, but when there was 1kg to go I started feeling ill. I’ve always made weight, even in a weight class below, but I ended up feeling ill, started feeling dizzy, and we decided to stop the weight cut, because health comes first. I think it was a mistake during my diet leading up to the cut, but it was a learning experience, so I’m making sure it doesn’t happen again.
TM – It must have been disappointing to lose out on your opportunity to fight for the title. How does it feel to be given a chance at the interim belt so soon after Brave 9
LM – It was frustrating for me to not be able to fight for the Brave title at Featherweight. We decided to go up in weight to test myself. Being able to fight for the title is very satisfying. I don’t mean no disrespect to any Brave athlete, but I know that there aren’t any athletes on my level in the roster, so that’s why they gave me the title shot.
TM – Moving on to your preparation for the fight against Luan Santiago. How has camp been going so far?
LM – My preparation for this fight has been going very well, I’ve been training in all disciplines and my strategy is to win this fight.
TM – Prior to the complications at Brave 9 you had always achieved weight. Have you made any changes to your plans for this weight cut?
LM – I basically did the same things, since it was a cut to Lightweight I could eat a little more and push through a little more in my physical training. I think that was a mistake, but it’s in the past. Every athlete must go through these types of situations so I’ve gained a lot of experience from that. And after this fight as a Lightweight, I’ll fight one more time and then come back down to Featherweight.
TM – Santiago has won 10 of his 12 wins via KO with 8 of those coming in the first round. Have you made any changes to your preparation to take this into account
LM – Like I said, the strategy for this fight is to win. After this, I’ll go back to the gym and train more.
TM – What do you picture being the key to winning this fight and walking away with the championship?
LM – There’s no key, no moment to win this fight. Like I said, wherever the fight goes I’ll fight, win and become champion.
TM – Looking ahead, how important is it to you to win this interim belt to get a second chance at facing Boudegzdame for the undisputed featherweight championship?
LM – For sure. I’ll win the Brave Lightweight title and settle my differences with Elias. I’ll go back down to my weight and fight him, for sure.
TM – If you had one message for Santiago ahead of your fight what would it be?
LM – My message to my opponent: I send him a hug.
Brave 11 is set to take place on Friday 13th April at Mineirao Stadium’s Terrace, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil and will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Lucas Martins and Luan Santiago. The full fight card for the event is below.