Renowned Xtreme Couture boxing coach Gil Martinez is busy gearing up to prepare undefeated Bellator Season Four Lightweight Tournament winner Mike Chandler for his Bellator title fight with Eddie Alvarez, but recently took the time to speak with FightLine, discussing the prospects of a Jay Hieron-Ben Askren rematch, as well as touching on Alistair Overeem’s presence at the gym.
Welterweight veteran Jay Hieron won the Bellator Season Four Welterweight Tournament to earn a shot at former U.S. Olympian Ben Askren, which came last month at Bellator 56. Hieron battled Askren to a split decision defeat, but, despite how close the fight was, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has said that Hieron won’t be getting an immediate rematch, as Askren will be taking on the season five tournament winner next. Though he admits his bias, Martinez believes that pitting Hieron against Askren in a rematch is the rightful move to make.
“Personally, I may be biased since I work with Jay, but if Askren has to fight a superfight, he should fight Jay. I think he deserves it,” said Martinez. “I don’t think Askren was happy with his performance and I don’t think he believes that he won. I think Jay did enough to win. If they want to have the best fighter to represent their title, this fight should happen. I wouldn’t mind Jay going through another tournament, because I know he has the skill, but he deserves a rematch. A lot of people want to see it again because it was a close and good fight. Even the announcers thought Jay did enough to win.”
Making news recently was former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem’s announcement of having joined Xtreme Couture to prepare for his impending UFC fight with Brock Lesnar; though Martinez has yet to work with the Dutchman, he did reveal that there is truth to the rumors that a conflict has brewed over The Reem’s inclusion at Xtreme Couture, considering Randy Couture’s intimate involvement in past Lesnar training camps.
“Alistair has been in the gym, but I haven’t had the chance or pleasure to work with him,” he said. “From what I understand, there’s a little situation since Randy trained with Brock but they’re trying to iron all that out. Randy is out shooting a movie though, so he can’t really help Overeem. Hopefully everything works out and he can make this his own though. It will be a pleasure to work with someone like Overeem, who is a star in the sport.”
Overeem and Lesnar will meet for battle on Friday, December 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.