In the mixed martial arts world, you can’t discuss top flyweights without bringing up the name Sean Santella. This past weekend “Shorty Rock” won his third consecutive fight by way of submission to retain the CFFC flyweight title. The win was Santella’s sixth in seven fights.
A veteran of the cage of nearly 10 years, Sean Santella has caught the attention of fight fans around the world due to his spirit, skill and the unrelenting fight he puts on display each time he enters the cage. Throughout his decorated career he has won several pieces of hardware, and with this big win Saturday night, has made a strong bid that the next time he steps into a cage it should be with the UFC.
Splitting his training between Miller Brothers MMA in Sparta, Nick Catone’s MMA in Brick and Ricardo Almeida BJJ in Robbinsville, Santella continues to perfect his game working with some of the best in the game. Inside the cage he is a pitbull, putting together an impressive resume of 19-6 (14 submissions), but outside he is a class act family man, working relentlessly to reach the biggest platform of the sport.
“People in high school told me I’d amount to nothing,” said Santella about what continues to fuel his drive. “Now I have a chip on my shoulder.”
But it hasn’t been the adversity Santella has overcome as a professional fighter that continues to set him apart from others at his trade; during his first day of training he broke his arm, but refused to let it get him down. Then unexpectedly at the age of 24, the young mixed martial artist had been told he suffered a stroke, but it was later found out it was misdiagnosed. What others use as excuses, Santella has used as motivation, and he has proven that he won’t stop until he achieves all he strives for in the fight game.
By his side throughout his journey has been his mom, and clearly his biggest fan. It’s clear that Santella doesn’t put his body through the wringer daily, leaving his blood, sweat and soul on the mat day after day, simply for fame, endorsements or the prestige of being the best in the world. He wants to give his family an incredible life, and that has made him one of the most dangerous flyweights in the world because of his heart and devotion.
“My mom is my biggest supporter and without her by my side I probably would have hung it up a few years ago,” Santella added.
In the fight game nowadays, it seems in order to reach the big show you have to be loud, obnoxious, and arrogant; skill and talent has almost taken a backseat to showboating. But Santella is unique because he has stayed true, and will continue to be genuine, to the fact that he lets his fighting speak for itself.
At the age of 33, Santella still has much left in the gas tank, and it would be an injustice if fight fans around the world don’t have the chance to watch him emerge into the UFC in 2018. Fighters fight, and fighting is something Sean Santella has done inside and out of the cage all his life. He has work and earned a shot on the big stage, and rightfully deserves it.