Despite Rizin Fighting Federation postponing its upcoming schedule due to the coronavirus, Roque Martinez is training as hard as ever and will be ready to rumble when the world returns to normal.
Following a knockout win on Feb. 22 in Rizin 21, the Guamanian heavyweight remains focused, hoping for a fight later this month, or early this summer.
With the three gyms where he trains - Paradise Fitness, Custom Fitness, and Spike 22 - closed due the island’s declared health emergency, Martinez, an MMA fighter, trains in near isolation.
“I’ve been training most of the time at home,” Martinez said. “I also train with Ray Chargualaf two days a week in a private open yard right off of the beach."
He said, "we are able to train, following the social distancing standards to be safe."
“The majority of my training is in my garage, where I have a punching bag, weights, kettlebells, a treadmill, and other training tools,” he added.
Keeping fit and using the time to work on his mental game, Martinez trains twice, sometimes three times daily.
“I’m definitely working a lot on my cardio,” Martinez said. “I’ve been working on my boxing with the punching bag to try and build up my punching power.
“I’ve really been working the mental aspect of the fight game by just envisioning fights and how they will play out when the time comes.”
With Guam’s mandated isolation in effect until April 13, with every indication it will be extended, the champ is disappointed but isn't letting anything stop him from becoming a better fighter.
“If the quarantine gets extended until the 30th, it will be frustrating, for sure,” Martinez said. “But, I truly believe these types of things - the adversity and such - builds character and makes us stronger.
“Honestly, I look forward to these types of challenges because I know I come out better every time. With that being said, be safe, everyone, and be strong. We can all get through this together.”
Martinez, eagerly counting the days when he can resume full-contact training, is ready for life to return to the way things were.
“If things get back to normal, soon, I am super eager to get back to hard training,” Martinez said. “I’m sure a lot of my friends who are fighters are also frustrated not to be able to train like normal.”