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The Brief But Destructive Wake of Praetorian Fighting Championships

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Santiago says the business aspect isn’t the worst part of his dealings with Martinez. He’ll soon forget about the money lost. He’s most disappointed in the fact that he trusted Martinez to do his job as a promoter and keep his word to put on fights.

“He shit on me, the other fighters, my teammates that bled, sweat and hurt with me and most of all he disrespected me when all I wanted was a shot,” Santiago said.

Santiago trained hard to get into shape and get ready for his October debut, but that got canceled. Martinez had rescheduled the event for November 22, but at the beginning of the month, Santiago still hadn’t heard from Martinez. That’s when he called the hotel and they informed him that the venue had not been booked by Praetorian. It was then that he realized he wasn’t going to be fighting in November either. It hit him hard.

“I’ve lost almost 30lbs. I’ve busted my ass, trained through injury and now I look like a fool at my school. I’m sure they will understand but this sucks the life out of you. I’m crushed, it really sucks.”

Santiago agreed to fight for Praetorian because Martinez talked up his accomplishments in the cage. It was important to Santiago that he work with and fight for someone that was going to take the utmost care of the fighters. Martinez assured him that would be the case, and even embellished upon his own amateur MMA career.

“He always talked like he had multiple fights and crushed people. He assured me over and over that he was a fighter and had tons of fights and he knew where I was coming from,” Santiago said.

Santiago suffers from more than just the personal pain of having a dream crushed. He had family and friends purchase tickets for his October fight, which was canceled and rescheduled. And canceled again. Those people have not received refunds yet.

“I basically begged him to pay my family and friends back if he’s planning on bolting and he said he would, that the money supposedly sits in a PayPal account. I told him to please let me know if he wasn’t planning on paying them because I would have to figure out a way to pay these people back to save face. He said he would and that was that.”

Santiago made a post on Facebook in which he wrote about not giving up, thanked all his teammates for helping him get ready for his debut and told people how to go about getting their refunds. Martinez’s response to that post was to ridicule him in the comments section.

“Oh boy, let me get out the violin and the academy awards lol,” Martinez wrote. Shortly after posting it, Martinez deleted it.
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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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