It’s Saturday and that means one thing, a NEW Feature Fighter Interview here at MMAJAM.CA. Today is a special day because it means yet another thing…the RETURN OF THE CHAMP! Yes fans CFFC Flyweight Champion Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella IS BACK! He will be defending his title for the first time since undergoing surgery and if all the rumors are true he could be in the UFC very soon! This is the 2nd time I (@cagechattererik) have had the privilege to sit down with Sean and each time I come away thinking this is the realest guy in the sport and someone that everyone should be cheering for. There is no doubt in my mind with the right exposure he will go down as one of the best ever. So if you missed our first interview then get ready because he is back! Make sure to get over to Twitter and follow him @shorty_rock125.
MMAJAM: Hey champ! Welcome back and thanks for taking the time. For our readers that didn’t see the first interview, take us back to the beginning and let us know what got you into the world of MMA and if you didn’t choose this path what do you think you would be doing?
Santella: I had some old wrestling buddies that I worked with at a moving company that were training jits and kept bugging me to come. I finally went, broke my arms the first day and fell in love with ever sense lol kinda sick yea I know lol. Back then I was getting in trouble a lot with the law, doing stupid kid stuff and other things lol. So my guess would be I’d be in jail or dead somewhere.
MMAJAM: Glad you’re doing this man! Now you are from New Jersey and Jersey gets the rep of being loud and quick to jump into a fight. Do you see that as a fair assessment and if so do you see that as an advantage as a fighter?
Santella: Yea I’d say that’s pretty accurate lol at least I know it is with AMA lol we very rarely turn down a fight unless some can’t physically fight. I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage but I’m sure it gives the promoter a good feeling know he has NJ fighters to fall back on if he’s in jam finding a last minute replacement.
MMAJAM: HAHAH true true. Along with that you have some of the craziest fans I have ever had the privilege of meeting and I can’t wait to see them again on the 19th and be right in the middle of it, as they seem to have your back 100%. We spoke a lot about them in your last interview but now that you have had a set back with that injury and have seen your fans rally around you and show you just how amazing they think you are, if you could say something to all of them at once what would it be and why?
Santella: Thanks for having my back 110% shortyville!!! 2014 is our time!!!
MMAJAM: Yeah I know they are gonna be crazy prefight, during fight, post fight and all the way until your next fight. Shortyville is a crazy place haha. You fight out of AMA Fight Club in New Jersey, what made you choose it and what in your eyes makes it unique and keeps you so loyal in an era where people are going to lots of different camps or fights?
Santella: I chose AMA bc I believe they are one of the best camps on the east coast. I grew up wrestling with all these guys in high school so we’re a close group. I think we have the best coaches around. From muay thai to mma… Plus its 10 mins from my apt lol
MMAJAM: Yup that last point is always the selling point hahaha but all that aside AMA is no joke! Now you were set to take on Zach Makovsky in your last fight but you had to withdraw and have surgery on your knee (LCL injury). Talk to us about that decision and was it tough to see the guy you were set to fight go on to get pulled up by the UFC?
Santella: Zach deserves to be there. It was only a matter of time. I personally think he is the best flyweight in the ufc. He’s gonna be next champ. You heard it here first . It definitely was tough but it was out of my hands. Shit happens for reason I think surgery made me a better fighter and person. I had the most important thing taking away from me in a heartbeat. Made me realize it could all go away in the blink of an eye. So now I treat every practice every fight like it’s my last bc you never know it could be…
MMAJAM: Good call on him being champ, then we can all see the fight between you and him that we all missed out on. Ok you CFFC guys (yup looking at you CT Goodridge) and your text icons are killing me haha. Talk to us about the rehab (can view some of the rehab here thanks to AMA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onPxtKKcPYQ ) you went through and what it’s like to be back at 100%, also what can we expect from you in terms of your whole arsenal of BJJ?
Santella: Road to recovery was a challenge but I enjoyed it, hated it all at once lol. It was rough and painful and slow lol. My jits has gotten better bc of my surgery I had to work on certain areas that weren’t my strongest. But watch out for my striking that’s were I feel I improved the most..
MMAJAM: Speaking of the UFC many have speculated that you could be the next fighter from the CFFC (George Sullivan and Zach Mokovsky most recent) to be pulled up to the top of the sport with an impressive win over Nick Honstein on April 19th. Do you see this fight as your opening to the UFC or just another title defense?
Santella: I look at it as another day in the office. It’s like it’s another Friday time to do work and get paid.. And maybe get a promotion if my performance is good lol.
MMAJAM: Man I hope so, you deserve it. Speaking of Nick, how do you feel you match up against him? On paper this is a BJJ fans dream as Honstein and yourself take pride in having great BJJ skills. How do you see it going as I know you have replayed it in your head a million times.
Santella: I think its gonna be an exciting fight for the fans. I have faith in all aspects of my game. I see it with me getting my hand raised in the end after a crazy finish.
MMAJAM: Now you have been with a great organization, the CFFC for a while. What do you think makes that promotion so special and one of the top emerging promotions on the east coast?
Santella: CFFC is an awesome organization to fight for. They run the show like the ufc runs there’s, just on a smaller stage. With Mike Constantino leading the way he’s doing everything in his power to make it the best regional show in the world.
MMAJAM: Yeah that is a great group of people and Mike has it going in the right direction. You have also been the CFFC’s Flyweight Champion for a while, tell us what it’s like not only getting to the top of a mountain but knowing that you are the target that everyone is aiming at in that division.
Santella: It’s just another challenge. I stay hungry regardless whether I’m on the top or if climbing to it.
MMAJAM: Now I know the last time we spoke and I asked you the Fight Club Question you came right out and said the UFC’s Louis Gaudinot, so I ask you again. If you could stand across the cage from anyone who would it be and why?
MMAJAM: YES!! And for you that didn’t see the first time it went a little something like this “Simple! Louis Gaudinot (UFC Flyweight). I think he is a good fighter but the only reason he is in the UFC is because he dropped to 125 to get on TUF (Miller vs Bisping). Then he gets in and wins an ok fight then gets choked out by Dustin Pague. Then he fights Johnny Bedford on the Finale and gets KO’d in a fight where he got spanked. He also lost to Nick Cattone who has been ducking me for years. I understand how he is in the UFC it just irritates me it is him and not me. Maybe if I had pink hair hahaha. But yeah it would be Gaudinot for sure. See told ya Sean is the truth! (credit to artofmma.com or original interview)
MMAJAM: Last question and I know you are still getting ready for this fight, if someone was thinking about getting into the world of MMA, what would the first piece of advice you would give them?
Santella: I’d say do your research first. Find a gym that fits all your needs. If you planning on fight make sure they have an active fight team with people around your weight.
MMAJAM: Before we let you go are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention?
Santella: I wanna thank all of shortyville, kahiko clothing, nutrition zone, billy dee Williams at beyond fitness, mike at doc for rehabbing me and putting up wit my grouchyness, Dr robin for taking care of me during surgery, glen at e3 weight management and my good friends Harley, Liborio and Judy for being there when I needed someone the most and my teammates of course. Happy birthday Mom!!!!!