For heavyweight prospect Brett Martin, 2018 was a both a productive year and a learning year.
After some changes in his personal life, Martin suffered his first career loss in MMA, which in turn created alterations in fight preparations.
“2018 was pretty good,” Martin told MMAWeekly.com. “I was very busy. I got a new job, a new house, and was trying to get my other life stuff figured out with my fight career.
“I had my first loss, so it was a very tough year (in that regard). It sucks to lose, but it was a good thing because it helps us learn. I was happy with 2018. I’m building my career, building my life, and I’m enjoying it.”
When it comes to his loss to Leroy Johnson at WXC 37 last August, Martin sees where things went wrong, and has since worked to rectify the issues that cost him that fight.
“When I took that fight with Leroy, the fight I lost, I just had knee surgery, so my body was just coming back together,” said Martin. “I got out-wrestled in that fight, but I’m the wrestler, I’m a good wrestler, I just didn’t show up and performed the way I should have.
“I definitely changed up a few things in my camp. I trained a little differently and made sure I hit up all aspects like my wrestling, my striking, my Jiu-Jitsu, and just working everything helped me out a lot more.”
On Saturday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Martin (5-1) will face his biggest challenge to date when he faces Josh Parisian (7-2) in a heavyweight championship co-main event of Lights Out Championship 2.
“I think it’s what everybody in Michigan wants to see,” Martin said. “Everybody talks about (Parisian) coming from The Ultimate Fighter, but he needs this as much as I need him.
“As long I stick to the game plan I always have and use my striking and wrestler the proper ways, I definitely think we’ll get the win.”
With the heavyweight division always in need of new talent, Martin could see 2018 be a breakout year should he get past Parisian and keep things moving forward.
“The UFC would be great; I’m ready to show them I’m ready whenever they give me that call; but if not, I’m going to keep going in there and winning fights, and do what I have to do to build my career,” said Martin.
“The ultimate goal is to be able to use this for all kinds of ins and outs the rest of my life; teach my kids, teach other kids, and show people what it is to chase the dream and do good, and no matter what the outcome is to still have fun and enjoy life.”