Mana Martinez enters UFC on ESPN 30 with a heavy heart.

Eleven days after the death of his head coach and mentor Saul Soliz, Martinez (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his first walk to the promotion’s cage when he takes on Guido Cannetti (8-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) on the preliminary card Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The debut comes one week later and with a different opponent than was originally expected. Originally booked to compete at UFC on ESPN 29 this past Saturday, Martinez was met with multiple layers of unexpected adversity days out from the event.

After COVID-19 protocols deemed him ineligible for the Aug. 21 bout, Martinez lost his head coach to the virus, which claimed Soliz’s life at age 55.

Martinez, 25, considered withdrawing from the bout, he recently told MMA Junkie. However, instead, he has decided to go forth with the fight as it’s what his coach would’ve wanted. Martinez will dedicate the performance to the memory of Soliz. He enters the fight on a two-fight winning streak including a contract-earning performance on “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”

Cannetti, 41, will look to turn his luck around after a two-fight skid.

The updated UFC on ESPN 30 lineup includes:

Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze
Bryan Battle vs. Gilbert Urbina
Brady Hiestand vs. Ricky Turcios
Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez
Michael Gillmore vs. Andre Petroski
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Makhmud Muradov
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Sam Alvey vs. Wellington Turman
Dustin Jacoby vs. Darren Stewart
JJ Aldrich vs. Vanessa Demopoulos
Jamall Emmers vs. Pat Sabatini
Guido Cannetti vs. Mana Martinez


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