Team: Bone Breakers, Mexico City
Key fight: Melissa Martinez vs Caroline Gallardo
Trajectory: Martinez began training combat sports when she was 2. She got started in kickboxing because her parents were longtime practitioners of the sport. When she was 13, she was exposed to MMA by her brother David Martinez, current Combate Global bantamweight champion. That’s how she started training and competing in both worlds.
In kickboxing, Martinez has achieved plenty. She’s been representing Mexico internationally for many years and has racked up many accolades along the way.
Martinez won a gold medal at the 2021 World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) Wold Championship in Italy and was recognized as the best female fighter of the tournament. She also won gold at the 2016 Pan American Kickboxing Championship and a silver medal at the World Games in 2017. On top of her international success, Martinez is a six-time kickboxing national champion in Mexico.
Simultaneously, Martinez also built a solid run in MMA. She debuted professionally at 19 in 2016 and was signed to Combate Global shortly after putting away her opponent with a 57-second TKO.
Martinez competed six times under the Combate Global banner, where she scored four knockout finishes. She also captured the Combate Global women’s strawweight title in her most recent outing, defeating then unbeaten Desiree Yanez in a split decision on the co-main event of Combate 51: Tito Ortiz vs. Alberto Del Rio in December 2019.
Martinez is nearing three years without competing in MMA. She was focused on her kickboxing career, as well as her studies. She graduated in April with a bachelors degree in food chemistry from National Autonomous University in Mexico City.