Gil Martinez is the striking coach at one of the most respected gyms in MMA, Xtreme Couture. This past Saturday night at UFC 133, Gil cornered Mike Pyle and Vitor Belfort in their respective fights.

Pyle was defeated in the first round by Rory MacDonald, and Gil had nothing by compliments for the young Canadian. “For Mike to lose to Rory, there is no shame whatsoever,” said Martinez. “Rory is hungry and destined for greatness. He will be in the top 5 if he isn’t already and he has stopped something like the last 9 of 10 guys he has beaten. If Mike had lost to a guy who isn’t a top fighter, then I wouldn’t be saying these things. But Rory will be a superstar.”

Later in the night, Martinez’ other fighter had more success in his bout against Yoshihiro Akiyama. Belfort finished Akiyama with strikes in under two minutes, pleasing his striking coach. “Personally this was the first time I have worked with Vitor for an entire camp. We worked together 2 or 3 days each week and I think it helps him a lot to be confident in his hands, so I was really happy with the result and that I was able to work with such a pro.”

However, the highlight of Martinez’ trip was not cornering to fighters, but rather meeting boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. When asked the age old MMA vs. boxing question “The Executioner” gave a quote that is sure to make Shark Week next year, “You cannot take a shark out of the water and throw him in the jungle versus a lion. He will be destroyed. And if you put a lion in the water vs a shark the lion will be destroyed. Just like boxing and MMA – they are two totally different animals. We need to remember that.”