One might not expect a heavy-handed brawler with a penchant for going toe-to-toe with his opponents to actually outthink an upcoming foe.
But if there was ever a prime example of this uncanny ability, it just may very well belong to Terry Martin, making him an even more "Dangerous" threat to current MFC welterweight champ Douglas "The Phenom" Lima .
Martin (21-8) will challenge Lima (17-4) for the belt at MFC 29: Conquer taking place on Friday, April 8 at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. The co-main event, which will put a stamp on the live televised card on HDNet Fights, pits Martin's power-punching against Lima 's stylish jiu-jitsu. Martin, though, has a unique twist to his game planning.
The Chicago native happens to be one of the most-educated fighters in all of mixed martial arts, and fittingly, it is an impressive background in psychology.
"I guess I'm really starting to use this big ol' head now," laughed Martin. "I'm starting to put my knowledge to good use."
With a Bachelor's degree in science from Northern Illinois University already in his back pocket, Martin went on to earn to a Master's degree and is now pursuing his PHD in psychology at Concordia University in Oak Park, Illinois. Yet for all his book smarts and being a likely victor in a battle of wits with any opponent, it's a pure fighter's approach that Martin brings to the ring.
"There's a whole lot of stuff I can take from school and use in a fight, and it does help me at the start when it comes to putting everything together, but I think like a fighter," explained Martin, whose most notable career wins have come against Chael Sonnen, Jorge Rivera and Ivan Salaverry.
"It's hard to predict how things go in a fight. A lot of things can happen. I've gone at it with a lot of top people and I just go in there and do what I do."
While accustomed to researching information for term papers and presenting his findings for a thesis, Martin hasn't done any homework when it comes to what Lima will bring to their title fight. No late-night study sessions, no cramming at the last minute. Just take the test - pass or fail.
"I don't want to seem cocky. I was told he's tough but I don't care to watch anything about him," said the 30-year-old, who enters the showdown with Lima riding a three-fight winning streak.
"My training stays the same - very few modifications. I have my ‘Terry Martin' style and I'll be ready. My coaches will have studied him, but I'm not going to pay any attention to him at all."
What did catch Martin's attention, however, was a comment from Lima that the reigning champ was eager to face a well-regarded striker for the opportunity to showcase his own striking skills. Twelve of Martin's 21 career wins have come by way of knockout, including his stoppage of Rivera in a bout that lasted all of 14 seconds.
"Maybe he's just trying to build things up. Everyone can talk crazy till they get cracked," Martin responded.
"He can talk all he wants ... and then he's going to get cracked and all that stuff he said becomes irrelevant."
Tickets for MFC 29: Conquer are on sale now and available through www.caesarswindsor.com and www.ticketmaster.ca.