Unlike some of his contemporaries, Max Martini aspires to be as tough as the characters he plays on camera.
Martini, known best for his role as Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt in the CBS military drama The Unit and for his role as Joe Ryan in the movie Redbelt, has been fight training since and will compete in his first exhibition boxing match on Oct. 1.
Though he primarily concentrated on boxing in the past, the 38-year-old actor evolved his training to include muay Thai and jiu-jitsu, now his two favorite disciplines. The thespian tough guy, an MMA fan since the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has also worked with some of the biggest names in the sport including Mac Danzig, John Hackleman, John Machado and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Learning these fighting techniques has benefited Martini in the acting world. “I have discovered that one of the most important things in fighting – MMA or boxing – is being able to relax,” Martini says. “If you aren’t relaxed, you’re done. Your breath is gone, your technique is gone, your focus is gone, and it hurts more. Same with acting. If you aren’t relaxed, you can’t work. Or at least you can’t work to your ability.”
The actor enjoys training so much that he created FighterTips.com, a site that allows people to upload videos of themselves demonstrating certain fighting techniques and sell the clips as digital and mobile downloads for a reasonable price. The seller would split the profits right down the middle with the start-up company. Videos can be purchased at the webstore, fight wear is currently being designed, and ladies can upload photos for a chance to become a “Featured Babe.”
Martini actually stumbled upon this concept right before a training session. “I was at the gym getting my gear on and was trying to remember all the shit that I had to work on,” the actor recalls. “I was going over what my trainer had told me the day before. At the time I was holding my cell phone and thought, ‘If I only had on my phone what he demonstrated yesterday, I could watch it and not agonize over the details’. I came up with FighterTips.com, [and] took it to my business partner Tracy Wood, who is also a huge MMA fan. The rest is history.”
To help promote the venture, the tough guy thespian will step in the ring with Leon Jesse White for a four-round boxing exhibition called Max Martini Brawl. The fight will be streamed exclusively on FighterTips.com on October 1 for $9.95.
For Martini, this is his chance to finally throw down just like the characters he portrays on the screen. “I am always playing a tough guy on TV. I decided one day that it was time if I was going to do it,” he says. “I liken [training] to working on a classic car. If you aren’t going to drive it, [then] why the hell are you working on it? It’ll be cool.”
Though he is ready to rumble, don’t expect Martini to give up his day job. “My intention isn’t to become and make a living as a professional fighter,” he states. “I am just doing it to say that I did it and not leave this world without at least one KO…that didn’t take place in a cowboy bar.”