On October 12th 2021, the UFC gained a formidable Heavyweight in Martin Buday, following a sensational first-round TKO stoppage of Lorenzo Hood on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Fighting out of Trnava, Slovakia, the knockout artist delivered a statement performance worthy of praise from Dana White himself, who said:
“[Hood] lit him up, hit him with some big shots… [Buday] took them, kept his composure, got in there, and literally dismantled that guy, piece by piece, from the legs, to the body, to the head shots he was hitting him with up against the fence… I like what I saw”.
Holding a 9-1 professional record that includes eight stoppages (7 KO/TKO, 1 submission), the 30-year-old is set to make his promotional debut April 16th, against Chris Barnett.
Courtesy of Ondrej Majerčík, I had the opportunity to ask Martin some questions ahead of his UFC debut.
Martin, congratulations on securing a deserved UFC contract. When you fought on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, did you feel an added sense of pressure given that an opportunity to join the UFC was dependent on not just a win, but an impressive performance?
“Thank you. Yeah of course I could feel that added sense of pressure. I mean, I was under pressure since I got the call from my US manager Daniel Rubenstein about DWCS. When I got the call, I had a scheduled title fight with OKTAGON Europe. I got information that I didn’t need to take this fight because if I lost, my DWCS invitation would be off the table. But, I still liked my chances and believed in myself, and took the title fight and won. Then, I had prepared my camp in Sanford MMA with my teammate and UFC fighter Ľudovít Klein, but I couldn’t get the visa, so I had to reschedule my plans and make camp in Slovakia and Poland. All the time, I was preparing for Hugo Cunha, who is a very good wrestler and grappler. When I finally got to Las Vegas, I got a call that the Cunha fight is off, and I’m fighting Lorenzo Hood. It was like 4-5 days before the fight. So, as you see there was a tonne of pressure since the day I got the first call. But, I’m pretty satisfied with my performance, and also with earning a UFC contract.”
You are the second Slovak to sign to the UFC. How does it feel to know you’ll be representing Slovakia on the biggest stage in MMA?
“I feel amazing and proud to represent my country. I mean, MMA is very, very popular right now in Slovakia. I would say behind football and ice hockey, it’s the third [most popular] sport. I can’t wait to wear that flag and make my country proud.”
Could you explain your nickname, “Badys”?
“As my last name is Buday, most people call me “Buddy”. In Slovakia, we write it Bady. So, it’s like Bady – Badys. I mean, nothing really special, but I have been using this nickname since my teenage [years] for computer games etc., which I am a huge fan of.”
You’ll be facing Chris Barnett for your promotional debut, the shortest heavyweight you’ve faced professionally. What’s your thoughts on your opponent?
“I really like him. I think he is funny; I follow him on social [media] and can’t stop laughing sometimes. He has very good stand up, and also brings a lot of hype around. I’m excited to fight him, and ready to take that hype”.
Holding a professional record of 9-1, your only professional loss is to fellow UFC fighter Juan Espino. Would you be interested in avenging the loss with a rematch in the UFC?
“Not at all; after that fight we became very good friends. We visit each other and train together sometimes. I already took a few camps at his place in Gran Canaria. I only wish him the best for his next fights, and hope we don’t have to fight each other. But, it would be [a] much different fight now. I took the fight with him as my second professional MMA fight many years ago.”
What would you like to achieve within the UFC by the end of 2022?
“I would be happy with 2 wins by the end of 2022, and ready to get to Top 15 as my goal for 2023”.
Lastly, any messages to UFC fans new to Martin Buday?
“Be ready for April 16 guys, I may fight as a co-main event, and I’m ready to show you my best performance and [a] spectacular finish.”