"Mineiro," who scored three finishes in his last three UFC appearances, was hoping to meet Jeremy Stephens, ranked No. 11 in the featherweight division, but the bout never materialized because, according to the Brazilian, "Lil’ Heathen" was too scared to take the fight.
"Jeremy said I’m too weak in the UFC. The truth is, he was scared to fight me. He can run, but he can’t hide. We will meet each other in the UFC," Martins stated in a release provided to MMAFighting.com. "I don’t get why he wouldn’t want fight me. He underestimated me. But it’s OK. We will meet each other one day."
Martins looks for his fourth straight win in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and he plans to call Stephens out after his win at UFC 179.
"Inside the Octagon, after I beat Elkins, I will call him out," he said. "I’ll say ‘my friend, you didn’t know who I was, so, nice to meet you, my name is Lucas and I want you fighting me in here.’"
"Mineiro" has to get past Elkins first, though, and he’s not underestimating "The Damage."
"Elkins is tough, an experienced fighter," the Brazilian said. "He’s a wrestler and he will try to take me down all the time. He won’t run away from his roots. But I will walk straight forward.
"I train wrestling every day. I’m used to defending takedowns and going for the knockout. It’s no secret for anyone, that’s my game plan. It’s going to be a tough battle, but that’s good for me. (A win) can put me at the top 15, or even at the top 10 of the division."