New England prospect Don Shainis is tired of not getting the limelight and the love from the media. One of the up and comers in the region, Shainis is getting prepared to compete in his fifth fight in a calendar year when he headlines Cage Titans 48.
“Shameless” will face Darius Estell in the main event for the vacant Cage Titans featherweight title. The event takes place April 4 at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass. and will air on FloCombat.
The 29-year-old Shainis recently joined MyMMANews.com to discuss his most recent victory last month, recovering from a broken neck — which he suffered in a fight and competed the full 15 minutes — to finish four fights in a row, how that injury and loss humbled him, wanting to return in April, how he got offered a fight with Aaron Pico in Bellator and why he turned it down, fighter pay, his goal to get the UFC and more.
In addition, Shainis also discussed a glaring hole in the MMA media game: prospects around the country and outside of the major organizations getting the opportunity to introduce themselves to new fans. Shainis appeared on The Room Podcast with Steve Domenico and was frustrated with the lack of attention he has received.
Not being called out by name specifically, I was one of the media members he was speaking of as I did multiple interviews with fighters on the Cage Titans 47 card, which did not include Shainis — although we had spoken on fight week and we could not line up schedules accordingly.
I understood Shainis’ frustrations. However, especially those who have followed my career, I interview everybody; from UFC world champions to fighters making their pro debuts in Canada, to Bellator, PFL, ONE and regional promotions around North America. Without patting myself on the back, I’ve been interviewing fighters — well over 1,000 of them — for over five years and with the trust I’ve built over that time, it’s a little bit easier for me to get interviews with the time I have put in. Oftentimes, management and PR teams reach out to me to interview their fighters, and very rarely, outside of a scheduling situation, or if it legitimately makes no sense to do it, have I turned down any opportunity to interview a fighter.
Naturally, I took Shainis’ words to heart and we addressed the elephant in the room.
“I’ll be honest, I got emotional,” Shainis told MyMMANews.com following his most recent second round TKO win over Kevin Barberena at Cage Titans 47. “I got kind of pissed off. I’m not blaming you, directly. I’m like, dude, four fights, eight months, what else do I have to do to get a plug here? Im trying to fight on the biggest stage in the world and I’m struggling just to get an outlet. Is this your fault? No, man! We talked, but my frustration is my frustration. Steve kind of poked me and he’s been one of these guys that’s been interviewing me since my pro debut. I told him that the media has been sleeping on me. There’s a lot of websites out there and I’m seeing the same faces.
“What’s going on here? What am I missing? Now I have to talk to my coaches and manager. What are we not doing to get these interviews? Why aren’t I getting the clout I deserve? I broke my neck, that doesn’t get talked about. I’m 7-2, two of my losses, one of them came from a cut which is f****n bulls**t. One of them is the one I broke my neck in, outside my weight class that I took on short notice and I went the distance, lost the decision 29-28. I’m a 9-0 fighter with two blemishes and I’m not getting the love that I feel. I’d be lying to you if I said otherwise so I’m gonna keep it real with you.”
As he prepares to headline the second event of 2020 for Cage Titans on April 4, as well as capture his first professional title, Shainis is calling out every media source to start focusing their attention on the next generation of fighters, himself included.
“This is me calling out all different media sources. I’m calling out f****n everyone,” Shainis said. “I want the smoke! I’m not just picking fights with fighters. Fights with fighters is cool, but it’s old. We can argue on Facebook all you want. But I’m calling out media sources. I feel like I haven’t been getting the love since the rip. People forget I’m undefeated in the Bellator cage, I fought for them twice. I came back to Cage Titans because I want to progress my career. I don’t want to fight on undercards in Bellator, I want to fight on main cards for Bellator, fight in the UFC. I want to see the world, travel and I need outlets to do it. Not only that, I want to inspire people while doing it. I’ve got the biggest following in New England. I’m the hands down biggest. In four fights in eight months, I’ve sold over $50,000 worth of tickets, just for the promotion.
“Where’s the love there? I’m clearly able to put asses in seats and s**t’s blowing up, I got over 30,000 views on my Instagram this past week. I’ve got a following. I can speak, granted I swear a little bit, and sometimes that’s frowned upon. But I’m just gonna keep being me, and f**k it.”
Check out the full conversation with Don Shainis and learn about his career ahead of his Cage Titans 48 main event bout for the featherweight title in the video above.
Mike Heck is the a freelance MMA journalist covering the sport for a number of websites. Specializing in video interviews, Mike interviews everybody from prospects, to title contenders, to world champions, along with other influential personalities in the sport of MMA. Subscribe to his channel at https://youtube.com/mikeheckmma.