Rick Little

Sik-Jitsu coach Rick Little on Michael Chiesa vs Anthony Pettis “The inevitable is Michael is a better fighter”

Rick Little
From left: Elizabeth Phillips, Sam Sicilia, Rick Little, Michael Chiesa, Julianna Pena – Photo by Gary Peterson’s Photography


Sik-Jitsu Head Coach Rick Little joined me on the show to talk about his fighters competing including Michael Chiesa who fights Anthony Pettis at UFC 226. Sik-Jitsu is located in Spokane, Washington and is home to also Julianna Pena, Sam Sicilia, Daniel Spitz, and Elizabeth Phillips.

Sean Lennon – Wanted to ask u about the Rocky Pennington situation w her coaches did you think they were right/wrong to let her fight when she wanted out?
Rick Little – “You can see in your fighter’s eyes and body language what they have to offer. And if the eyes and body language tell you they are done and they verbally tell you they are done then you gotta call the fight.  She was done. It was terrible to send her back out with a defeated mind.  They were wrong, but then again she’s not that good and will never be in that spot again.”

Sean – Talk about Michael Chiesa, how do you feel he does against Pettis? People have this as a very close matchup, I’ve heard it could go either side and does delaying the fight have any bearing on the outcome?

Rick – “Delaying the fight doesn’t matter. The inevitable is Michael is a better fighter to me, a way better fighter and that’s going to come out pretty clearly that night I think.  Never, in round one Mike is the slowest starter on earth, but midway through round two you’ll see what I mean.”

Sean-  Do you feel Mike got a bad deal when he fought Kevin Lee, do you the fight was stopped too early?

Rick – “One hundred percent I do and there’s two sides to it, I’m a corner man so don’t get me wrong I was also freaking out.  I wasn’t exactly excited about the position he was in.  I knew we were in 90% danger on the meter there but he’s been one of those guys since I’ve training his as a kid that’s flirted with the brink of defeat to winning, he’s always been that way, that’s how he won The Ultimate Fighter.  Literally all of his matches have come from behind, his fight w Jim Miller he’s come from behind, his fight w Dariush he’s come from behind, in all of them.  He was dead in the water as most people say, but it is a palm to palm choke and people don’t realize he’s a tough person and can withstand a palm to palm choke.  Half of it’s pain and it’s not the kind of choke that puts people to sleep usually like a normal rear naked.  So it was stopped pretty prematurely, I do believe he was going to survive the rest of the round. Kevin Lee had Al Iaquinta in just as much trouble and the best argument we could have is that very night the two girls.  If people forgot that there’s a girl who crapped herself in the cage from getting choked so brutally and deeply that if we all hit the pause button, we would’ve all said she’s not getting out of it.

“Now we do the same thing with Mike and said oh he wouldn’t have gotten out of it that’s not a fair thing to say as Mike’s twice the high level grappler as the girl that got out.  And that’s how we’re taught a lot of people think it’s a an excuse, to me a choke that deep needs to be fought w your neck and shoulders and not with your hands.  Hand fighting a deep choke to me is a waste of time and a waste of angles, frankly by putting your hands up by your chin creates a loop I don’t like.  I’m more of a fan of having your hands down and your shoulders up especially on palm to palm, so your shoulders and your shrug motion is your defense on that kind of choke. So people who said he was hand-fighting don’t know what they’re doing.  You’re not hand-fighting he doesn’t have a gi on and you’re not pulling on the sleeves of the gi, you don’t fight a deep palm to palm like that, it doesn’t make sense for one behind your head. So yeah he got robbed in my opinion and I will say this with 100 percent certainty he was going to win that fight in the first two rounds.  Kevin Lee was burned out like he always is and Kevin is always a monster in round one.  We knew the way Kevin fights, and the way Mike fights we knew we were going to lose round one.  We had that in the plan we knew he was coming out hot and we’re going to let him burn himself out a little and it was going to be a round 2 or 3 takeover, and he had five rounds that night there was no way Kevin Lee was going to make it to the end of that fight.  It’s the way Mike picks up steam.”

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