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The Brief But Destructive Wake of Praetorian Fighting Championships

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Praetorian Fighting Championships

by Matt Lo Cascio

This is a journey into the short but shady history of Alex Martinez and his Praetorian Fighting Championships promotion.

While Praetorian’s time in the Chicago MMA scene was brief, it damaged a wide wake of people. Promoters, vendors, managers. Fighters and their friends and families. All frustrated. Some asking why. Many owed money. And a few plotting legal action.

WHY WE ARE PUBLISHING THIS NOW

I received a message from Mani Santiago on Saturday, November 2. Santiago is the managing partner of Mio Fight Gear, a local MMA gear and apparel company, but he’s also a jiu-jitsu practitioner who trains at Valko BJJ. He planned to make his MMA debut — at the age of 35 — at Praetorian’s October show. That show was canceled, and his fight was moved to Praetorian’s next event, which was slated for November 22, according to a Facebook post by Martinez.

Santiago told me he called the venue for the fight to inquire if it was booked for an MMA event on November 22. The staff told him nothing was booked. I followed up with a call of my own and received the same response. That revelation made it evident: Praetorian would not be putting on a show in November.

Frustrated that his fight would again be postponed, Santiago decided to vent on Facebook. It was a heart-wrenching account that almost read like the death of a dream. Martinez must have read it. Shortly after that post, Martinez added his own post to Facebook, announcing that Praetorian was done promoting amateur events.

“Due to situations beyond our control and certain parties (none of you) not fulfilling their agreements, Praetorian Fighting Championships simply cannot continue hosting amateur events and continued to be extorted, taken advantage of or be put in a position where we align ourselves with individuals whose only purpose is to hurt this sport.”

In what became one of his signature moves, Martinez deleted that post from his page shortly after posting it.

Martinez also said in the post that he plans on taking the rest of this year off and returning in 2014 to put on four pro shows in the Chicago area. The goal of this piece is to help tell the stories of people that Martinez has already hurt, but also serve as ‘Caveat Emptor‘ to fighters and businessmen that might be considering a venture with Martinez in the future.

I chose not to write about Martinez and Praetorian before because Praetorian was still putting on shows, albeit sporadically, and it was a place for local fighters to do what they love to do. I wasn’t about to get in the way of that. But when news broke that he was done promoting amateur events, I started to gather more information. There was a domino effect. I would talk to one person and they’d refer me to another person. They all had similar stories. And those need to be told.

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About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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7 Comments

  1. Alex Talavera

    Nov 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Can somebody contact me about this. Alex owes me money also and I have plenty of proof of his shady acts.

  2. Tom Barnes

    Nov 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Add my name to the list …Months before the first show , Martinez walked up to me at a XFO show and said we had worked together at the old Mayhem Promotions shows and that he’s starting a MMA Promotions Company and would love to have my services at his events. So I did the first weigh-in and fight night ….It will probably come as a shock but I was never paid …never did another one of his shows …

  3. Anonymous

    Nov 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    He owes me money too! Shady shady person- NO ONE DO BUSINESS WITH ALEX MARTINEZ!

  4. P Diddy

    Feb 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    If you think he screwed over MMA fighters, you should see how badly he f***** over teammates with the Chicago Bulldogs and the leagues his teams played for.

  5. Steve

    Mar 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    If we’re talking about hurting the sport of mma, why doesn’t somebody do a piece on the corruption that is accompanied with the regulations? I first hand have seen certain shows be able to get away with actions that other shows in the same state cannot. Seems to me that these “safety” regulations are just another way to monopolize and play favorites.

  6. IF U ONLY KNEW

    May 26, 2014 at 8:58 am

    ALEX MARTINEZ IS A FRAUD, CON ARTIST, MANIPULATOR, SOCIOPATH LIAR!!! HE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE TO BENIFIT HIMSELF IN ANY AND EVERY POSSIBLE WAY… HE IS A MONSTER AND NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTED FOR ALL HIS DIRT. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE HE DID IT TOO ME AND TRUST ME I HAVE PROOF OF ALL HIS DIRTY LIES. HE OWES ME MONEY TOO. THE MAN MARRIED TWICE WITHOUT GETTING A DIVORCE TO HIS FIRST MARRIAGE THIS IS JUST SAD HOW THIS MAN CAN GO AROUND HURTING PEOPLE LIVES AND GETS AWAY WITH IT. THAT HOCKEY TEAM HE LIKES TO CLAIM SO MANY GUYS HAVE BEEN THRU HIS SCAM HE TAKES THERE MONEY AND DOESNT DELIVER. THE MAN CANT SKATE YEA HE IS A 5FT GOALIE FOR THE TEAM BUT PUT HIM ON THE ICE FOR A GAME YOU WILL HAVE THE BEST LAUGH OF YOUR LIFE.

  7. Carlos

    Jun 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    He sucks as a promoter, fighter, goalie, etc. Hope there is an update soon about the lawsuit – he needs to get slammed hard!

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