Patrick Martin has already dealt with far more in his life than any human being should.
He was orphaned as a child when he lost his mother after she suffered a stroke. He bounced in and out of group homes growing up before finally finding some semblance of structure by attending reform school in Iowa, where he built on his childhood love of boxing while also pursuing basketball and wrestling.
However, the lack of a consistent adult presence taught Martin self-sufficiency at a very early age.
“It was able to teach me about life pretty early,” Martin said. “There were no real Christmas or birthday celebrations for me growing up, so I learned to rely on myself. I hate asking for things; if I can’t get it myself, then I don’t want it.”
Martin still went through a period of making youthful mistakes like partying too much, dealing drugs “and chasing money – ignorant stuff,” he said. “But getting back to martial arts was life-saving.”
Martin actually began his mixed martial arts career in 2008 with a first-round TKO win, and took a break before returning to the sport in 2015. In between, Martin began working as a HVAC apprentice and receiving his license as a technician.
“My youngest daughter is 19 months, so she has me focused now,” said Martin, who has four children. “I do better with structure and I always try to be honest and fair.”
Martin has amassed a 5-3 record as a heavyweight for the Legacy Fighting Alliance, and has won three fights in a row. But to some MMA fans, Martin is still known as someone who was recorded on video having a hard sparring session with former UFC fighter Josh Neer that was the culmination of an ongoing disagreement between the two.
“The confrontation with Neer opened up my eyes and made me look at everything optimistically and take responsibility,” Martin said. “I’ve always loved MMA, and it made me a little embarrassed. But I’m giving the sport the respect it deserves and I’m focusing on the future.”
Martin’s future includes competing for LFA in March against Calyn Hull (1-0). Martin is constantly training hard, which he attributes to his desire to always be at the gym.
“I’m a different type of fighter,” he said. “I’ve fought all my life. I was born three months premature – the only baby at the University of Iowa hospital who was. I train like a pro athlete, with a lot of core work, balance, strength and weights. I don’t do a lot of sparring; I do more bag work and focus on technique.”
Martin reconnected with his father when he was 22, and Martin’s father and 13 brothers and sisters will be in attendance for his fight in March. Martin described himself as being “more pumped for this than fighting for the UFC,” he said. “This will be a hometown fight for me, and I’m really thankful LFA reached out to me.
“I’m going to do what I trained to do,” Martin added. “I’m going to rely on my coaches and dominate the fight. [Hull] lacks a lot of experience, and I’m going to be pumped with my family and teammates there.”
Martin, 34, will also listen to his coaches when it comes to how long his MMA career lasts.
“I still want to fight at least two more years,” he said. “I’m not afraid to fight anyone. I believe in myself, my training and my coaches.”
Martin would like to thank his coaches and teammates, as well as his sponsors, including Joseph Butler at goldminerselite.com. Martin would also like to thank his co-workers at TAME Heating & Cooling, as well as his girlfriend Brittany and his children. Follow Martin on Facebook.
Image Credit: tapology.com