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The Brief But Destructive Wake of Praetorian Fighting Championships

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After Martinez canceled the October Praetorian event, he blasted Top Notch management on Facebook, saying they caused the cancellation by trying to extort money from Martinez.

Alex Martinex Facebook cancellation post

Mac Ramos is the head trainer for Top Notch, and he tells a completely different story. He says Martinez owes him and his team money.  He said they got off to a bad start because Alex went behind his back to talk to his fighters.

“I knew from the beginning he was shady, because he contacted my fighters directly. You never do that. You always go to their coach first,” Ramos told Chicago’s MMA.

Still, Ramos had Top Notch fighters on the first two Praetorian shows. After those two cards he told Martinez he wanted to put on an all-Muay Thai event. Ramos would pay for the surety bond and the state permits. That amounted to $2,000.

It was going to be a co-promoted show, but Ramos said Martinez made claims that the state wasn’t approving certain aspects of the show so Martinez was going to cancel it.

“I said you can’t just cancel the show. Go ahead and do an MMA show and Top Notch would fill the card. Get the money back for the bond and the state would refund the permit fee,” Ramos said.

Ramos said that Martinez did the show, which was Praetorian III, and that 12 of the 17 fights featured Top Notch fighters. So instead of another cancellation, Ramos filled the card with Top Notch fighters and the event had both MMA and Muay Thai fights. Ramos said there was a big crowd attributable to the fact that his fighters sold tickets. It was a win for everyone. Martinez got to put on an event, Ramos and his fighters had a successful night and fans got to watch a good show.

But when Martinez wrote a check to pay back Ramos because they never did the all-Muay Thai show, the check bounced. After that he ran the check again and reported it stolen. He told two Top Notch coaches that ‘a black guy stole it out of his bag in Texas.’

A back and forth ensued between Martinez and the Top Notch coaches. Martinez told me when this happened he filed a police report against them for harassment. The Top Notch coaches responded by filing a police report claiming that Martinez bounced the check and then reported it stolen. According to Ramos, Martinez told police he never wrote the check, but eventually admitted that he did.

Even after all of this, Ramos said he was willing to work with Martinez if he was willing to just give back the $2,000. He said he contacted him on Facebook because he knew Martinez was trying to put together a fourth show. He told him to just do the right thing, give the money back and they can move forward. He said they could make money going forward, and Top Notch fighters would still fill Praetorian cards. Ramos said Martinez responded via Facebook and told him he would return the money.

“Then he fell off the face of the earth,” Ramos said. About a month later Martinez contacted Ramos and told him he wanted the Praetorian championship belts back that were won by Top Notch fighters. Ramos told him they wouldn’t be returning the belts unless Martinez could produce a signed document that says that fighters have to return belts if they aren’t going to defend their titles.

In the end, Ramos never got the $2,000 back. “He’s a scammer. He’s a good scammer,” Ramos said. Like Mani Santiago, one of Ramos’ fighters also sold tickets and never received any of the money for them. Ramos said that David Garcia, who won the Praetorian Flyweight Championship, sold 20-25 tickets and got stiffed. “I’m sure there’s a lot of people that bought tickets that never got a refund.”

Ramos said he is at a loss as to what to do to get the money back, so he has joined a group of people that will file a class action suit against Martinez. They are left with no other options. Ramos is obviously has strong feelings about the ordeal. He spent a long time building a gym that has helped create outstanding fighters, only to have a person who was promoting fights for about six months call him and his team extortionists on social media. “He deleted me on Facebook then slandered my name, you can’t get any more coward than that.”

 THE FINAL WORD

I offered Martinez a chance to respond to allegations made by all the people in this piece. He responded to me on Facebook, but told me he didn’t have time for gossip. When I told him that it certainly wasn’t gossip and people were considering legal action against him, he inquired as to who and how many were involved. I told him some general details since at that point I knew he was just looking for information and didn’t want to talk for the story. Here’s what he said about a potential lawsuit:

“The only idiots that I can think of is some idiot who made some artwork for me and I found out I was over charged when his Paki firm contacted me (cheap Paki labor and usual over charge) and another vendor who wants to re-nig on an agreement because he is in a financial trouble so he can pay for his wedding. Other than that, I cant think of anyone else I have issues with and nope… and nope, not aware of any legal action… only rumors, gossip and bitter peeps trying to stir the pot because I do not pay their demands… “Pay us or we will shut your promotion down” naw, dont work that way. I’m not going to give in to extortionist and in the end I can walk away from all this and just be a fan and be ok with it.”

Although I can’t speak for the entirety of the Chicago MMA community, I think that’s what most want — for Martinez to ‘walk away’ and never promote another show in this area again.

If you’d like to share your story about Praetorian Fighting Championships, please email matt@chicagosmma.com or simply leave a comment below. Please follow Chicago’s MMA on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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