December 15th 2016
Name – Richard Santiago
Weight – 135 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 0 Losses
Team – BST
Where are you from ?
How long have you been training ?
I did Karate when I was 8 or 9 then wrestled throughout high school and now have been doing MMA for about 5 years.
How did you get in to MMA ?
Well after high school my goal was to wrestle in college but i didn’t get into any schools that i wanted to so I found a new home with my coach at the time Jorge Rivera with the Rivera athletic center and from then on all i did was train to fight.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
I mean I’m Puerto Rican so I grew up watching boxing but i was also super into UFC and WWE. fighting was just something i was always interested in. wrestling was my passion in HS but even then in the back of my mind I knew i ultimately wanted to fight and then the defining moment was probably when i met Jorge and he got me my first fight.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
My dad loves it he’s been to every fight my moms not super thrilled but she still enjoys going to the fights. I also have a ton of support from my extended family as well as friends.
What is your current record ?
2-0 as a pro.
What is your favorite strike or submission to use in a fight ?
I mean I’ve had 5 rear naked chokes in a row so I guess it must be.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My parents and my awesome coaches and training partners.
What team do you train with ?
BST in Mendon MA.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I’m a wrestler so my fights end up on the ground a lot but I love to throw down on my feet.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being able to actually call myself a fighter means so much to me because it is what I truly love to do and i can honestly say at the end of this whether i make it or not that hey I tried and wasn’t one of those losers that says “oh hey ya i COULD of done that”
What weight do you fight at ?
I consider myself a 25er but as of right now 135.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Well besides my losses probably my last fight with Devin Pilkington, dude cracked me with a right hand, I had a black eye for days.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I try not to over think it too much going into it. Come fight night I stay super calm and relaxed all day. When we’re in the back my team does a good job of keeping me relaxed I like to laugh and joke with them. Then when it’s go time and my hands are wrapped now I get real and get into that mode.
Who are you fighting next ?
what holes or weaknesses do you see in his game that you can exploit when you step in the cage ?
He’s a tough veteran and he’s coming off a good win for sure not over looking but he’s not on my level I expect to finish him in the first round hopefully KO.
What promotion are you fighting for ?
Date and time of your next fight ?
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want people to remember me as someone who was always fun to watch.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” -Mike Tyson.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Probably winning the cage titans belt.. But that’s just the first of many goals.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Probably Jorge he got me started and made me into a fighter.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
The sport in general I mean guys like Royce and Shamrock got this thing started but now a days the guy making the biggest impact has got to be Conor McGregor he has the potential to take this sport to a whole new level.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
I know what it’s like to lose. There is nothing worse.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I love to play the drums.
When you are not in the gym training what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
Between working a 40 hour week and training I don’t have much free time but on the weekends I hang out with my girlfriend we love to go out and dance and I also hangout with friends and family.
What advice can you give to the next generation of fighters ?
Honestly for someone serious about it I would say don’t be afraid just get in there and do it. Put the work in.
What do you think you would be doing today if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I have no idea probably super fat and out of shape.
What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
I don’t like to build it up too much in my head I just train hard and win.
Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
Not really I have a routine for fight day but no weird rituals really.
Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5 years ?
Hopefully if it keeps going up in popularity the sport will be as big as the NFL, and MLB etc
Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
What do you think can change moving forward to make MMA better as a sport ?
Get rid of Reebok and let UFC fighters have their own sponsors.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Right now probably Yoel Romero.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Thank you Charlie Clark for having me. thank you to my team BST MMA and thank you to all who have continued to support me throughout this incredible journey.