In his short time as a pro MMA fighter, flyweight prospect Richie Santiago has managed to capitalize on every opportunity he’s been given so far.
In five fights as a pro, not only has Santiago won all of them, but has five finishes to his credit, making for the kind of start that most fighters only dream of.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Santiago told MMAWeekly.com. “I turned pro in September of 2016, so it’s been a year and a couple months. I’ve gone 5-0 and I’m looking to go 6-0 after this next one. I couldn’t be happier. Things have gone super well and I’m super fortunate.”
Santiago feels the key to finishing all of his opponents has been the fact that he is not going into each fight looking to do one specific thing, but is reacting to situations that arise and making the best of them.
“I’m not a fan of game plans,” said Santiago. “I go in there and take what (my opponent) gives me. My wrestling coach used to tell me that whether it’s wrestling or fighting, it’s action/reaction. I just go in there and take what they give me.”
Santiago (5-0) will look to keep his undefeated streak going when he takes on Shawn Mack (6-2) in a main card 125-pound bout at CES 47 on Friday in Lincoln, R.I.
“Shawn is a really tough opponent,” Santiago said. “He’s 6-2 with some good finishes on his record. I’ve just got to go in there and do what I’ve been doing. Every time I fight I go out there and if one thing doesn’t work, I find another way to get that finish. Sean is no different.
“We can stand and bang. I’ve seen him fight and he doesn’t hit that hard. He’s a little explosive. But he ends up on the ground and he gets taken down pretty easily. If I get on top of him – on top of anybody – I can mount anybody and get their back. If I get your back it’s all over.”
While Santiago has one specific goal in mind for the start of 2018 he’s open to whatever is made available to him, and would like to compete for a CES championship if the situation arises.
“UFC 220 in Boston is my goal,” said Santiago. “It’s in January, so that might be unrealistic, so in 2018 I just want to keep winning, obviously, and hopefully get a shot at the title, and after I get that belt maybe defend it. I’m trying to go to the UFC, if not next year then the following year.”