Combat Sports

Prospect Evelyn Martins Makes PFL Debut on Challenger Series

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Teenage prospect Evelyn Martins will step into the ‘SmartCage’ for the third installment of PFL’s Challenger Series on March 4.

Born in Brazil and fighting out of Miami, FL, Evelyn ‘Spartan’ Martins will make her third walk to the cage on Friday night, this time for the PFL Challenger Series on Fubo Sports Network. Currently 2-0 in her professional career, Martins is one of the top prospects to watch in women’s mixed martial arts.

Martins began training in combat sports at an early age, primarily focusing on muay thai until transitioning to MMA. At just 12 year old, Martins began competing in amateur bouts. Martins tore through the scene until the age of 15 when she informed her parents that she wanted to become a professional mixed martial artist.

“My parents said, ‘Evelyn, we’re going to be living your dream, we’re here to support you. We’re going to do whatever is best for you,’” Martins recalled while speaking to UFC.com. “I told them I wanted this from the beginning. I actually started fighting for this in my amateur fights. I was 12 years old so when I told them when I was 15 that I wanted the experience for MMA, and my dad and my mom right away trusted me.”

Martins and her family relocated to Florida. She began taking classes at American Top Team, home of two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison and former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

“Over there I got a chance to train with a lot of great girls. I’ve been doing a couple training sessions with Amanda Nunes,” Martins said. “It’s not weird for me. I just have the greatest opportunity to learn from them. I think it’s great for me.”

Focusing on striking for much of her training, Martins decided to take advantage of the available resources and poured herself into becoming just as dangerous on the ground as she was on the feet. Skills that will surely come in handy when she faces former Pan American and two-time USA national wrestling champion Jackie Cataline who is making her pro MMA debut against Martins.

Youth In Revolt

While Martins may have more professional experience, Cataline is 14 years the elder, a situation that Martins is both familiar and comfortable with.

“My last fight in Brazil I was 15 and the girl I was fighting was 24. My first pro MMA fight here, I was 18 and my opponent was 28,” Martins said. “A long time I’ve been fighting without girls my age.”

In her first two professional bouts, Martins walked away with her hand raised. The first coming via unanimous decision against Serena DeJesus at Titan FC 64. Her most recent bout was a split decision victory over Melissa Croden at Titan FC 67 a little over a year ago. 

Martins’ appearance on the PFL Challenger series will be her biggest challenge thus far, but ‘Spartan’ is ready to make the most of her opportunity. 


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Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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