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Alex Martinez replaces Johnny Case at PFL 1, Case releases statement

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Natan Schulte and Johnny Case in action at a PFL event on Oct. 13, 2018, in Long Beach, Calif.

Alex Martinez is getting his shot at a million-dollar prize.

The PFL announced Tuesday that Martinez (7-0, 1 NC) is stepping in as a replacement for Johnny Case to fight Loik Radzhabov (13-2-1) in a lightweight bout at the league’s season premiere on April 23 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Martinez has finished his past three opponents (excluding one no contest) competing for iKon Fighting Federation and Brave Combat Federation. A native of Paraguay, Martinez currently fights out of Alberta, Canada. This will be Martinez’s first pro bout in the United States.

Case’s removal from the April 23 event comes on the heels of a report from TMZ that Case was arrested last week in Las Vegas due to a domestic battery incident. The 13-year veteran most recently competed for RIZIN, but has also previously fought for the PFL and the UFC.

MMA Fighting has reached out to PFL for comment on the arrest and Case’s status with the promotion.

On Tuesday, Case released a statement via Instagram addressing his removal from the 2021 PFL tournament and denying any allegations against him.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce I have been withdrawn from the PFL tournament. I am absolutely crushed. All of my hard work and sacrifices have been taken away from allegations that are not true. I want to thank the few friends and family members who have reached out to check on me. You don’t know how much that means to me. I’m sorry to my fans and supporters. I don’t know what the future will hold for my career. I will tell my side of the story when the time is rightm but right now I just want to be with my family and do what I can to get by in the mean time.”