Rad Martinez and Shahbulat Shamhalaev were to finish the Season 7 featherweight tournament in early December. Shamhalaev caught food poising hours before the fight and the commission wouldn’t let him compete. Then Shamhalaev had to take care of his father who had suffered brain damage in a car accident.
They now meet almost three months later at Bellator 90 and Martinez certainly appreciated the break.
“I’m much more healthy,” said Martinez to MMA Weekly. “Those two bouts I had previously and then fighting the next month is hard for anybody to do, so I feel healed up in my body and not so beat up and exhausted.”
Martinez made it to the finals with two decisions. Shamhalaev finished his opponents in round one. Both are making their first appearance in a Bellator tournament.
Bellator 90 is later today, February 21, from the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, UT. Spike TV airs the main card live at 10 p.m. ET.