Alex Martinez will meet one of his idols in his pursuit of the PFL’s million-dollar prize.

Martinez (8-0) faces former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-11) in the main event of 2021 PFL 4 on Thursday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.

With both men coming from a taekwondo background, Martinez recalls being a young fighter who admired Pettis’ style.

“I actually used to look up to him a lot before when I was coming up in the rankings as an amateur when I was young,” Martinez told reporters at PFL 4 media day. “I used to love that he was a taekwondo fighter and also my background was taekwondo, so a big part of me was like Anthony Pettis would be a great fight for me in the future. One day it would be awesome to fight guys like that because that’s the same style that I have.”

He continued, “My style is a lot like his in a way, but mine is a little more down into traditional martial arts just because of taekwondo, but at the same time, I think I have what it takes to be able to finish this fight.”

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Martinez notched an upset win in his promotional debut when he edged out 2019 lightweight finalist Loik Radzhabov on short notice at PFL 1. Now that he’s had a full training camp for Pettis, Martinez is confident his skills will shine.

“He always brings the fight. That’s something that we all know about Anthony Pettis,” Martinez said. “Whenever he comes, he comes to fight. So do I. Whenever I come, I come to fight. Even in my last fight, it was a little bit of a hiccup for me because – well, it was a short notice for me. People don’t know that, but I took that on pretty much one week notice as an alternate then the day before I was gonna leave, they told me, ‘Hey, man, you’re fighting in the tournament.’ And I was like, well, we’re gonna do it.

“So I had no training camp, no training at all, and I came to fight. It turned out the way it turned out, but I did my best and now I’m gonna be fighting a big name, and I’m very excited. It’s an exciting thing for me. It’s a big opportunity. I’m ready to take it on. I prepared well, I’m mentally strong, I’m physically strong, too. I’m young, and I know I can do it, so let’s go.”

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