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ESPN Profile Leads to Bellator Signing Rad Martinez

A week ago, Rad Martinez was a little-known MMA fighter who had managed to put together a 9-2 record despite a challenging life of full-time care for his father, who suffered a serious brain injury in a car accident. Now Martinez has a contract with Bellator Fighting Championships, thanks in large part to an ESPN profile of his life with his dad.

ESPN's Outside the Lines profile was a moving portrayal of Martinez's daily life, and when Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney saw it, he decided that Martinez is the kind of guy Bellator wants in its cage.

"He's a very talented fighter who happens to have a very inspirational story," Rebney told ESPN's Josh Gross.

Although Martinez had already been on Bellator's radar before the Outside the Lines profile, it was that publicity that got Bellator to make the deal. Rebney said he's hoping that the combination of the Bellator contract and sponsorships, which Bellator is helping Martinez get, will allow Martinez to be a full-time fighter and have enough money to find paid help for his dad so that all the burden of caring for him doesn't fall on Martinez.

"Then he really has to focus on getting in the gym and being the best mixed martial artist he can be. There's no question in my mind he'll do that," Rebney said.

Martinez is expected to make his Bellator debut in the fall.

The Outside the Lines profile is below:

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