Undefeated at 5-0 and just 21-years of age, Joe Tizzano, a student of Miller Brothers MMA in Sparta, New Jersey, is without a doubt one of the region’s top mixed martial arts prospects. We caught up with the 145-pound fighter just days ahead of his PA Cage Fight title defense on June 16.
This Saturday you defend your PA Cage Fight amateur featherweight title for a second time. Alex Snyder will be the man standing across from you inside the cage. What do you know about your opponent?
“I actually was at Alex Snyder’s last fight, which was a victory over Omar Kellom. The kid definitely has heart, after getting his nose smashed and broken, he fought through and won the fight. He looks to be more of a grappler and I think he’s a purple belt so I’ll be ready for the takedown.”
You train at Miller Brothers MMA Academy. Can you talk about your preparation there and can you attribute to your undefeated 5-0 career to Jim and Dan and their gym?
“100%. Jim and Dan have one of the best MMA gyms in the state, and on top of a great training facility, the coaches are top notch. We have a lot of people who train at our gym, and I feel I’m always being pushed in the gym which is a great thing. Being able to prepare for a fight is easy for me, because I have the right people guiding me. Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella is my head coach, along with Jim and Dan obviously. You know these guys have done it over and over again, so training and learning with them gives me a lot of confidence in every fight. I give a lot of credit to my first MMA coach, Mike Pagano who is now out in Maryland teaching; but when I started prepping for my first fight he got me going on proper dieting, strength and conditioning, and a good training routine. And again, everyone at Miller Brothers MMA, they all help me prepare in some way, shape, or form.”
This will be your fifth fight with PA Cage fight, sixth fight overall. Can you talk about the PA Cage Fight promotion and what it is about them that keeps you wanting to compete under their banner?
“Yeah I really just like fighting for PA Cage fight, they always put on good shows and the venues are always great. The promoter, Paul Matreselva takes cares of his fighters like all fight promoters should, so really it’s just an honor to be able to fight for them. I also feel a true champion needs to defend his belt, so when I first won my belt last September, I was determined to defend it once, or twice.”
Your last four fights are all victories by knockout. Would you say that your stand up game is where you are most dangerous or are the fights just playing out that way?
“When I first started training MMA, Jiu-Jitsu came natural because I wrestled for four years in high school. I still feel I am primarily a grappler it’s just I feel extremely comfortable standing on the feet. Anywhere this fight goes I’m gonna feel comfortable, against the cage, on the feet, in the clinch; I’m ready. I have fallen in love with striking, so I’m hoping to keep my finish streak going.”
Not that you want to jump the gun and rush into it, but 5-0 as a pro, title under your belt, what are you plans for turning pro?
“Yeah this is the start I’ve been busting my ass for. I’m glad it’s paying off and showing in the cage, you know I’m 5-0 looking to be 6-0 on Saturday, and I think after this fight it’s time to go pro. I definitely want to take a little time after this fight to just tighten up my game and just get better and more well-rounded before I have my first pro fight. I’m 21, young in this sport and I feel if I keep training the way I do, with the people around me, I can do great things.”
Lastly, if there any teammates, coaches, sponsors, anybody you want to thank, social media links you want to plug, anything like that, go ahead the floor is yours.
“I have so many people to thank, there’s so many who support me and I couldn’t do it without them. First off my coaches, Shorty, Fitz, Jim and Dan, Brian McLaughlin, and Amr Ibrahim. All of my training partners on the fight team, you guys know who you are! The miller Brothers family/teammates all of you guys help me get better everyday and couldn’t be more grateful! Of course my family, and friends, I have a bunch of sponsors, if you guys check out my Facebook you can see them! And thank you MyMMANews for the interview! See you guys on Saturday!”