A Reformed Brawler Shoots for MMA Glory

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Alex Izaguirre
More than two decades ago, Rene Martinez satisfied his lust for violence by engaging in some serious gangbanging.

Throughout his teenage and young adult years, the former leader of the Latin Syndicate racked up more than 21 arrests for, among other things, rumbling on the streets of Miami Beach, smashing the car windows of motorists who cut him off, running from the cops, and getting into shootouts with rival thugs.

On more than one occasion, he narrowly escaped death. And he is lucky he didn't land in prison for a lengthy stay.

In this week's cover story, I recount Martinez's journey from vicious criminal to born-again Christian MMA fighter. Check it out online later today or pick up a copy of New Times this Wednesday to find out more about the man nicknamed 'Level" because of his ability to easily knock out opponents. Until then, view video clips of Martinez's bare-knuckle brawls, after the jump.

In this video, Martinez demonstrates that a good left hook can beat a karate chop any day.



In this clip, Martinez handles a New Jersey native named June in Perrine. 


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