CES MMA has been the promotion where many east coast prospects have honed their skills. In today’s episode of Across The Pond, you will meet a Massachusetts blizzard whose avalanche-like pressure has him touted as CES MMA’S next breakout star. A professional since September 2016 and representing BST MMA & Fitness, Richie Santiago owns a 6-0 record with all six of his victories coming via submission. Richie has spent his entire professional career with CES MMA.
In his MMA debut at CES MMA 38, Richie submitted Brandon Warne in the first round via rear naked choke. He also tapped out Devin Pilkington via rear naked choke in round one at CES MMA 39. Then, Richie defeated Raymond Yanez at CES MMA 41. He submitted Chad Kelly in the second round via rear naked choke at CES MMA 42. At CES MMA 45, Richie tapped out Miguel Restrepo via rear naked choke in round two. He followed this up with a first-round rear naked choke of Shawn Mack at CES MMA 47. Watch out for this eastern avalanche!
Interview with Richie done by Mick Kane of MMA UK –
MMAUK: You last fought in November against Shawn Mack, recording a 1st round submission at CES 47. Did the fight go as you expected?
RS: Not quite what I thought was gonna happen but my coaches knew. Shawn had a very respectable record and I was preparing for a very tough fight but my coaches knew I would be dominant on the ground so I took him down exactly how they wanted me to.
MMAUK: You now have 6 wins as a pro all by submission, do you have a favourite win? Favourite submission move?
RS: My favourite would have to be my win over Miguel Restrepo I was almost finished in that fight but was able to pull through and win the fight on heart alone. I was happy to not only get the W but also show what I’m made of. And my favourite move would have to be the RNC which is kind of what I’m known for now.
MMAUK: How did you become involved in MMA? Did you compete in any other combat sports beforehand?
RS: I started out as a wrestler since I was a kid through high school. After high school, I didn’t wrestle in college so I competed independently for a bit, but it wasn’t until I met Jorge Rivera that I really got involved in fighting and had my first fight after only 6 months of training with Jorge.
MMAUK: Who would be your biggest inspiration in MMA or life in general?
RS: Growing up watching UFC I had a lot of heroes that came and went but my biggest personal inspiration for fighting was definitely my coach Jorge Rivera. He got me going in the sport and when I was 0-3 as an amateur he never gave up on me. In life, in general, it would, of course, be my parents they’ve always been so supportive of what I do and they never miss a fight.
MMAUK: You have done some commentating on CageTitan, is this something you would like to become more involved with?
RS: Yes Cage Titans was the promotion where I had the better part of my amateur career winning their amateur title. As a pro, I now fight exclusively for CES MMA but I’ve kept a good relationship with Cage Titans and when the opportunity arose to take the commentator job I jumped on it. I really enjoy it because not only am I a fighter but I’m also a hardcore fight fan so its a dream job and hopefully yes, I would love to pursue it further in the future even when I’m done fighting.
MMAUK: What do you hope to achieve within the sport?
RS: Right now I’m focused on staying undefeated and hopefully winning the CES belt sometime soon. Of course, the goal is to go to the UFC and be the best ever but I’m taking it one step at a time. It will all come in good time, right now I’m just enjoying the ride.
MMAUK: Do you have any fights lined up for immediate future?
RS: As of right now, no nothing set in stone but I’m hoping for a spring return but if things change who knows maybe even sooner. Stay tuned!
Richie’s second-round submission over Miguel Restrepo at CES 45