Ram in Action: VCU’s MMA star wins sixth consecutive bout

Photo by Ali Jones

VCU junior and mixed martial arts amateur Angelica Martinez won her sixth consecutive bout last month when she defeated Fotini Kandris for the Bar Battles Women’s Flyweight Championship at the “Rumble on the River” in Little River, South Carolina Oct. 7.

Martinez (6-2) defeated Kandris by second round armbar submission. With little time to prepare for the fight, Martinez said she didn’t have a plan of attack for Kandris coming into the bout.

Photo courtesy of Angelica Martinez

“I took the fight on four days notice, so since it was last minute I didn’t have much of a plan,” Martinez said. “I knew she was a wrestler and would be going for the takedown, especially since I am much taller, so I really wanted to keep it standing.”

The first round went according to script for Martinez, who attempted a string of high kicks in an effort to utilize her height and reach advantages. The two fighters traded blows in a hectic but relatively uneventful first round.

Photo courtesy of Angelica Martinez

Kandris entered the second round with a renewed commitment to taking Martinez and the fight to the ground. She was successful, but the move would prove to be her undoing.

With under a minute left in the round, Martinez attempted a triangle submission, but Kandris blocked her. With less than 20 seconds to go, Martinez switched to an armbar, forcing Kandris to tap with a handful of seconds remaining in the second round.    

Photo courtesy of Angelica Martinez

“When it went to the ground, I started playing jiu jitsu and went for a triangle,” Martinez said. “When she defended well, I switched to an armbar and got the finish.”

Photo courtesy of Angelica Martinez

Martinez, who turned 20 on Sept. 18, is already making a name for herself in the MMA world. Weighing in at 125 lbs and standing 5’8,” the Richmond area native and RVA MMA member looks toward a bright future in professional fighting ahead of her with an already impressive collection of wins under her belt.   

“I just train every day,” Martinez said. “I have a good mix of coaches for striking and ground game, and I like to go to open mats at other gyms in the area to get experience working with different body types.”

Martinez is ranked third pound-for-pound out of 61 active Virginia women competing in MMA and 26th out of 308 US Southeast women, according to Tapology.com. Martinez has held the Sprawl and Brawl, Revolution Fight Series and Spartyka Fight League 115 lbs title belts over the course of her career. She said a professional contract is the next step in her progression.    

“I don’t have any fights lined up yet, but I am doing a jiu jitsu tournament in December,” Martinez said. “I will know in a couple weeks if I am picked for an MMA tournament in Florida in February. The winner gets a professional contract with Invicta, so right now the goal is just to train as if I were already picked.”

Photo courtesy of Angelica Martinez

Zach Joachim, Sports Editor

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