By Jamie McAllister
Jorge Santiago in an interview with MMAmania.com
Former Sengoku Middleweight Champion and Strikeforce Middleweight tournament winner Jorge Santiago lost his first two bouts in the UFC to Brian Stann and Demian Maia. However since then Santiago has racked up two finishes in the promotion Titan Fighting Championship the latest one at Titan Fighting Championship 23.
Santiago after his impressive inverted heel hook victory comments on the news that he will now be dropping to 170.
“Yeah, man. I used to fight 185 for a long time. Everybody knows that already. back in Japan, I used to make 182 so I always made easy weight. I never felt like the biggest guy at 185. I considered going to 170 because I’m dropping less than 10 pounds so why not? If I can get a finish over one of the strongest guys at 170 pounds, I think my window is getting closed. I’m 31 years old and now is the time to take this new opportunity, this new challenge for myself and see what happens.”
He says he has long considered the move to Welterweight and his teammates assisted him in making his decision on the move.
“Man, since 2010 when I had my last fight against Misaki. We fought five rounds and I like to stay healthy, don’t lose too much weight. I used to fight for five rounds and defend the belt back in Japan so I didn’t like to lose too much weight and it’s getting easier and easier to get to 185 so this year, I just noticed that I can do it. I sit down with my teammates and the doctors and they said it wouldn’t be a big problem. I think it’s the best decision made.”
Santiago when asked how much weight he cut in his last at Titan Fighting Championship 23.
“This last show, I was cutting eight pounds. I stopped eating 24 hours before the weigh-ins. Stopped eating, stopped drinking and just jogged for 30 minutes with the sauna suit and that was it. It’s nothing. Going to 170, I’ll just get down to 190 pounds, walk around at 190 and it will not be a big problem.”
Santiago also feels confident he can make an impact in the UFC at 170.
“I think so. In the UFC, I learned a lot of things. I changed my training. I train way harder than before. My camp has gotten even better. In the gym, I started having different fighters all the time. I think going to this weight, I’m gonna be way stronger and I think it will have me very fast until I’m top contender again, but now 170 pounds as a welterweight.”
At UFC 136 Santiago lost a unanimous decision to Demian Maia and thinks now if they fought again at Welterweight the outcome would be very different.
“Yeah man. Definitely. That was the worst gameplan I ever had. Stand and try to bang with him and it’s fucked up because he was just trying to put me down and hold me. He wasn’t trying to do jiu-jitsu. He scored a takedown and laid on top of me and not doing anything. He just tried to get up and if we fight again, I think a different thing would happen today.”
When asked how far away from a recall to the big show Santiago was positive in his response. He has already racked up two finishes since leaving the UFC and feels like one more win might get him back to where he wants to be.
“Man, knowing the big shows, they always need somebody ready to go. I got out, got two good wins and that’s what all the big promoters want out of fighters. I had two good fights, finished fights and bring the excitement. I just did it. I’m going to keep doing the same thing. I know it’s gonna pop open my door one day and I just try to stay sharp and I know it will happen. There’s no way it’s not gonna happen. I’m gonna make this move to 170, maybe take one fight, do a good fight with a top guy if I can and that’s it. Maybe before that, you never know.”
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