Lucas Martins: Injuries were a blessing in disguise heading into UFC Fight Night 45

Alexandre Loureiro, UFC

Lucas Martins had his last two UFC fights canceled due to injuries, but that turned out to be great for the Chute Boxe talent.

Coming off stoppage victories over Jeremy Larsen (TKO) at lightweight and Ramiro Hernandez (submission) at bantamweight in his last appearances inside the Octagon, "Mineiro" moves up to the featherweight division to battle Alex White at UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City, N.J., and he’s glad he had those injuries.

"I had two injuries that kept me out of the cage, but God knows everything and I evolved physically and technically during this time off," Martins told "I evolved a lot. I will be 110 percent in this fight."

Pulled from fights with Johnny Eduardo and Aljamain Sterling with right foot injuries, "Mineiro" also saw his UFN 45 opponent change because of it. Alex White will replace Jim Alers, and the Brazilian sees the undefeated foe as a good match-up.

"I expect the best in this fight, and I win will by knockout," he said. "It’s going to be a great fight. I’m not underestimating him, but his ground game doesn’t scare me at all. I train with (jiu-jitsu) black belts, so I’m ready. I think he wants to stand and trade punches with me, but I trained for everything. When I land my hand on his chin, he will go down."

Martins will compete on the third different weigh class in his fourth UFC bout, and he’s not planning more changes after Wednesday’s bout.

"I always fought at 145 pounds in Brazil," he said. "I entered the UFC in a short-notice fight against Edson (Barboza) at 155, and then I asked the UFC to move down to 145 but the division was full. I talked to my coaches and dropped to 135, but I felt the weigh cut, so I’m moving back to 145 now. That’s where I feel comfortable and strong.

"I’m young, I started training MMA four years ago and entered the UFC two years ago. I want to be at the top 10 as soon as possible. I want to do two more fights this year. Top 10, top 5... I’m ready. Bring it."

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