You won't see many fighters who were once 10-9 in their MMA career end up in the UFC. Most of those fighters don't reel off 11-fight winning streaks after that, either.
Mike Santiago did just that. After looking poised to be an MMA journeyman, he won eleven straight fights on his way to a short notice UFC debut in September. Santiago would drop his first UFC fight to Zabit Magomedsharipov, only 11 days after fighting on Dana White's Contender Series. The well-traveled veteran spoke to Fightful.com's James Lynch about the fight.
"I'm not going to take another high level fight like that in six or seven days. I know his camp, I fought a number of guys from the east coast camp. I came from Ring of Combat, I was their feeder for a little while, then I started winning their championships and getting my name out there. I've got a lot of fights. Not just MMA, but boxing, kickboxing. I wasn't too nervous, I was regular nervous. I'm here now. Other than that, not taking high level fights on (a week) notice, especially overseas," said Santiago.
A far cry from a short-notice debut, Santiago is set to face Mads Burrell on January 14 at UFC Fight Night St. Louis. He's also credited tape studying as a new wrinkle to his game.
"I have a full camp, I'm healthy, everything is going smooth. I know what he's looking for. I've seen patterns in his games. I've been watching tape on guys. I wouldn't take time to sit down and see what (opponents) where all about," said Santiago.
Santiago told us that he's been training with UFC title challenger Ricardo Lamas for his upcoming bout as well.
In the full interview, Mike Santiago (21-10) discusses his upcoming fight against Mads Burnell (8-2) at UFC Fight Night 124 on Jan. 14. Mike also talks about how he got into MMA, his training camp for this fight and being a sports fan in Chicago.