An Interview With Terry Martin — A UFCjunkie.com Exclusive Posted by UFC Junkie on August 30, 2007 at 8:22 pm ET In three weeks, rising middleweight contender Terry Martin (16-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) will take on fellow slugger Chris Leben (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in front of a live national audience at UFC Fight Night 11.Martin’s main-card bout takes place Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. on Spike TV.Since dropping his first two fights in the UFC, the Chicago fighter has rattled off four straight wins, including first-round knockouts of Jorge Rivera (UFC 67) and Ivan Salaverry (UFC 71). Once on the outs with the UFC, the outspoken fighter recently inked a new four-fight deal and now has his sights set on a middleweight title.UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) caught up with Martin today to discuss Leben, the thrill of fighting in front of a national audience, a new feud with Patrick Cote, steroid suspicions and his plans for life after fighting.UFCjunkie.com: Can you explain how the fight with Chris Leben came about? He was originally expected to face Mike Swick.Terry Martin: I just got the call from my manager, and he said you’re fighting Chris Leben. I thought that it was perfect. What a great match. His style matches up with mine perfectly. He’ll sit there and bang, and I want to hurt him bad.UFCjunkie.com: Leben’s obviously a guy who likes to stand and trade. Can we expect the same from you?Terry Martin: Trade? He trades? (Laughs) I don’t know what was on his mind. Maybe he thought he would get in there and it’d be like Optimus Prime versus Megatron or something. It’s not going to be anything like that. Everyone says this kid has a jaw of steel. That’s just because he’s never been hit right. He’s getting knocked out. I guarantee you that.UFCjunkie.com: For whatever reason, if the fight goes to the ground, do you feel you have the advantage?Terry Martin: It all depends. I know I have the advantage because I’ve been training years in jiu-jitsu and wrestled all my life. It all depends on what my coaches want, though. They haven’t decided how we’re going to go in there for this fight. But my preference is to stand.UFCjunkie.com: What are your thoughts on competing for a national TV audience rather than a pay-per-view crowd?Terry Martin: This is national TV. This is perfect. I thank the UFC. This is big, man. This is it — against an opponent like him. This is it. People can’t afford $39.95 or $49.95 or whatever it is all the time, but everyone has free cable. I get to pull out the goodies for this event for people who haven’t seen me before. Leben is headed to total destruction. He has no idea what he’s in for. I’m for real.UFCjunkie.com: At what point do you think you’re ready for a title?Terry Martin: I’m ready now, but it’s up to my managers and the UFC. I don’t make the calls. (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and Dana White decide. Maybe I’ll fight Patrick Cote next.UFCjunkie.com: That was going to be my next question. If not Anderson Silva or Rich Franklin, what opponent would you want next? Cote?Terry Martin: Yeah, I heard he called me out. Once he sees what I do to Leben, he’ll think twice about it. I’ll make him another victim.UFCjunkie.com: So he called you out at UFC 74 after his win over Kendall Grove?Terry Martin: He said something this past weekend about how he’s going to shut my mouth and that I talk too much. That’s funny. Here’s a guy who can’t defend a takedown. You got submitted by Travis Lutter? Lutter, man? Come on, now. How’s he going to call me out when he can’t defend himself against Travis Lutter? I’m going to hurt that dude for real. He barked up the wrong tree. He better watch what he says. Look at his facts. He’s never been knocked out? Woo, there’s goes another one. Another one bites the dust. That bitch is getting knocked out. He doesn’t have the slightest idea how bad I’m going to mess him up.UFCjunkie.com: So you actually prefer fighting a guy you don’t like?Terry Martin: I would love to go after (Cote) since he said he’s going to shut my mouth. Like this fight here. Everyone talks about Leben and all this and that. They think he’s something special. People are going to see a different fighter. I’m not going to ignore him like a mature fighter might. I’m going to throw fuel on the fire. I feed off that. And then for Cote, wait until he sees this fight. Let’s see how bad he wants to fight me after what I do to Leben.UFCjunkie.com: How do you think you match up with Anderson Silva?Terry Martin: Anderson Silva would be a perfect fight for me for the simple fact that the UFC has never seen all I can offer. I would have to display all my skills. There’d be no holding back. Silva keeps knocking these guys off because they don’t fight smart. How’s a 6-foot-2 guy going to try to fight him from the outside? Look at his style. He’s a southpaw. These guys feed into his strengths. Someone like Silva, I’ll fight him however he wants — standing or on the ground. I think I’d be a bad matchup for him. I’d give him problems. I’ll be smarter about preparing for him.UFCjunkie.com: In your first UFC fight, you suffered a legendary KO via knee to James Irvin early in the second round. Has it been difficult to shake that image from the fans’ minds?Terry Martin: It’s part of my history. I’d love to go against him again and redeem myself, but I’m at 185 (pounds) now. Some people have forgotten about it, but some people are always going to point it out. That’s how people are. Take any fighter. Take Mike Tyson. It’s hard to remember the first guys he beat, but everyone remembers who beat him. Everyone remembers his big knockouts. But it helps me. It motivates me.UFCjunkie.com: So if you had the chance to fight Irvin again, you would?Terry Martin: We’re headed in two different directions. I told people that guy sucked. He was lucky. What about that last fight? He was fighting and all the sudden his knee blows out? Like that? I don’t want to say it, but…UFCjunkie.com: So you think he may have been on something? Steroids perhaps?Terry Martin: Oh, come on now. You know that. No one’s knee goes out like that. And look at him. You know and I know that no body is shaped like that naturally — maybe close to that, but nobody has a body like that.UFCjunkie.com: So you’re basing it off his looks alone? Paper-thin skin and everything. Something’s going on. He was up to something.UFCjunkie.com: What’s your plan for your weight class. You started at light heavyweight. Are you happy at 185 pounds?Terry Martin: Yeah, I plan to stay here. I’m just so short. Those guys (at 205 pounds) are too big for me. They’re too tall. I’m more confident now. Guys are like 230 or 240 at light heavyweight. They’re huge. Look at (Forrest) Griffin, (Tito) Ortiz and Chuck (Liddell). You wonder if these guys are really making weight. I’m actually small for 185, but it’s OK. I naturally walk around at 200 or 205, so I still don’t do much cutting.UFCjunkie.com: A lot of people don’t realize the extent of your education. Can you give me an update?Terry Martin: Well, I got my master’s degree at Concordia University, and I’m now at Adler School of Professional Psychology working toward my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I took a small break from school while I get ready for my fight, though. But I’ll finish it up. I’m well on my way.UFCjunkie.com: Would you want to pursue something along those lines after your fighting career?Terry Martin: Oh yeah. Growing up, I had some behavioral problems and ADHD. As I got older, I started reading up on the stuff and thought it was interesting. I like to work with kids and help out the ones with learning and behavioral problems. I can come up with a lot of stuff to help these kids.UFCjunkie.com: What’s your contract status with the UFC?Terry Martin: I’ve got four fights. It’s a brand-new contract. The UFC is my home, and I’m proud of it. If you told me 10 years ago that I’d be fighting for the UFC, I’d be shocked. As a kid, I was told I’d amount to nothing. So I’m proud to be a part of what they established.UFCjunkie.com: Any final thoughts on the fight?Terry Martin: I just want to thank my team — Team No Ego. They’ve been pushing me every day and getting me ready. I’m so prepared for this fight. So thanks to Dennis Hughes, Mike Russow, Amando Sanders and all the guys from the team.