Interview: Courtney Martin thrilled to make pro debut with ONE

Talented prospect Courtney Martin, of Australia, didn’t expect her professional debut to come this way: up a weight class, on two weeks notice and more than a year after she signed a contract with ONE Championship. But when opportunity arises, a fighter is going to fight.

Martin will face Colbey Northcutt in the opener of the ONE on TNT 4 card on Wednesday, April 28, in Singapore.

“It’s not anything I’d ever dream of but it’s just a matter of opportunity,” Martin said in a recent interview with Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “I’d be insane to pass it up.”

Martin spoke about the past year of training, how the time away helped her grow as an athlete and a person and the upcoming matchup with Northcutt in the 15-minute interview.

Martin, who went 8-1 as an amateur, earned her contract with ONE by winning the 2019 GAMMA World Championship last November. A ONE strawweight, Martin knows the challenges of facing the rangy striker in Northcutt. When Martin got the call two weeks ago, she was already under the 135-pound ONE flyweight limit. Still, she believes she’ll have a significant strength advantage and hopes to use that to great success.

“It’s going to be very challenging and awkward,” said Martin, wearing bright smile that never left her face during the interview. “It’s just a matter of staying composed and doing what I do best.”

Shortly after winning the contract with ONE, the world, including Martin’s home in Perth was shut down. Gyms in Australia didn’t open up until late last year. It forced Martin to think differently about the sport.

“When you can’t compete, what keeps you going?” Martin said. “It was having to take a look at the bigger picture and treating it as a career more than anything else.”

When gyms finally reopened, Martin began cornering teammates at fights in Australia. She learned a lot through that, including how to manage the nerves — which she says are worse for the coach than the fighter.

This week, the nerves have been minimal before her professional debut.

“It’s been such a long time coming and then such short notice, emotions are just everywhere,” Martin said. “It hasn’t given me a chance to sit back and think, ‘Is this really happening?'”

The card is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET. on Wednesday.

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