2012 World MMA Flyweight Scouting Report: #8 - Sean Santella


Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Sean Santela
Nickname: Shorty Rock
Age: 27
Height: 5'5"
Location: Whippany, New Jersey

When New Jersey-native Sean Santella (9-3-1) looks back on his life decades from now, there won't be any notion that it was a walk in the park. For the most part, nobody really believes it is. But there is a sense that some people walk a path of lesser resistance than others. Santella isn't one of them.

Raised in an apartment complex in Mount Olive, New Jersey, his life was similar to most of our own as small children, filled with long summer days playing with friends. Unfortunately, as the years passed, those small children were bombarded by the cruelty of society. As Santella told MMAJunkie.com's Kyle Nagel - "I pretty much got in trouble when I wasn't wrestling."

Today, Santella is enjoying a second chance, finding calm in the eye of the storm on the mats at AMA Fight Club in New Jersey. The 27-year-old has amassed nine wins in thirteen appearances since making his professional debut three-and-a-half years ago. Despite losing his debut to UFC veteran Nick Pace, Santella wrestled his way to prominence in his next six fights, recording a 5-0-1 record before falling to fellow flyweight prospect Josh Rave.

Santella bounced back strong with wins over Mikey Lovato, Sidemar Honorio, and Tito Jones, but he once again ran into a brick wall, this time against #2-ranked 2012 World MMA Bantamweight Scouting Report prospect Aljamain Sterling at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 11 in October. He rebounded this past weekend, submitting Bryan Lashomb at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 13 at his natural weight of 125 lbs.

Similarly to his life, Santella's path to getting on this year's report was labored. He was considered for the bantamweight division, but he's naturally more suited for the flyweight division. Strangely, he hasn't had problems with larger bantamweight fighters, and his losses have actually come against fighters who have been linked to the flyweight division in the past.

Size isn't the issue, it's his style. He's heavily dependent on his wrestling skills, and for the most part - his opponents have a hard time stopping his relentless attack. He controls his enemies well from the top, pounding on them with peppering strikes while looking for submissions. In the past, he hasn't been great at finding those opportunities, but in recent bouts - he's become very dangerous, aggressively attacking limbs and threatening opponents throughout battles.The problem, however, is that he's left himself open to attacks when attempting those submissions, and it's put him on the end of some brutal ground and pound in the past.

On the feet, Santella needs a lot of work. It's his most glaring weakness, and he could use all the help he can get from the guys at AMA Fight Club to improve those skills and give his overall skill-set some diversity. Without it, Santella may never break out as a future upper-echelon talent. Despite the hole in his game, he still possesses the wrestling and submission skills to stack up well against most opponents, and he's physically one of the most in-shape athletes on the countdown. That athleticism can go a long way to helping Santella maintain his status as a top prospect while improving his skills to ascend to the next level.

Since the birth of the UFC's flyweight division creates a question of who we should consider as prospects, we've tweaked the criteria specifically for this weight class. Most notably, we drew a line, excluding the following well-known, established flyweights: Jussier ‘Formiga' da Silva, Ulysses Gomez, Ian McCall, Yasuhiro Urushitani, BJ Kojima, Rambaa Somdet, Mamoru Yamaguchi, Dustin Ortiz, Darrell Montague, Danny Martinez, and any flyweights outside of our original criteria.

Most footage of Santella is available on GFL.tv, but there are a couple of fights after the fold...

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight
#1 -
#2 -
#3 -
#4 -
#5 -
#6 -
#7 -
#8 - Sean Santella
#9 - Claudir Dutkevis
#10 - Kevin Belingon
#1 - Rony Mariano
#2 - Aljamain Sterling
#3 - Chris Holdsworth
#4 - Josh Hill
#5 - Fabiano Fernandes
#6 - Claudio Ledesma
#7 - Sirwan Kakai
#8 - Kyoji Horiguchi
#9 - Leandro Hygo
#10 - Pedro Munhoz
#1 - Hacran Dias
#2 - Joey Gambino
#3 - Brandon Bender
#4 - Lance Palmer
#5 - Jim Alers
#6 - Anthony Gutierrez
#7 - Max Holloway
#8 - John Teixeira
#9 - Cody Bollinger
#10 - Bubba Jenkins
#1 - Fabricio Guerreiro
#2 - Alessandro Ferreira
#3 - Adriano Martins
#4 - Justin Salas
#5 - Neilson Gomes
#6 - Eduard Folayang
#7 - Zorobabel Moreira
#8 - Anton Kuivanen
#9 - Jordan Rinaldi
#10 - J.P. Vainikainen
Welterweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight Heavyweight
#1 - Andrey Koreshkov
#2 - Dhiego Lima
#3 - Brandon Thatch
#4 - Nordine Taleb
#5 - Hernani Perpetuo
#6 - Brock Jardine
#7 - Alan Jouban
#8 - Mohsen Bahari
#9 - Andre Santos
#10 - Stephen Thompson
#1 - Antonio Braga Neto
#2 - Marcelo Guimaraes
#3 - Claudio Silva
#4 - Bojan Velickovic
#5 - Ildemar Alcantara
#6 - Michal Materla
#7 - Elvis Mutapcic
#8 - Tor Troeng
#9 - Jack Hermansson
#10 - Tim Ruberg
#1 - Wagner Prado
#2 - Phelipe Lins
#3 - Tom DeBlass
#4 - Misha Cirkunov
#5 - Kyle Cerminara
#6 - Robert Drysdale
#7 - Artur Alibulatov
#8 - Thiago Perpetuo
#9 - Steve Bosse
#10 - Juha Saarinen
#1 - Magomed Malikov
#2 - Magomed Abdurahimov
#3 - Alexei Kudin
#4 - Levan Razmadze
#5 - Chris Birchler
#6 - Ruslan Magomedov
#7 - Adam Parkes
#8 - Richardson Moreira
#9 - Jan Jorgensen
10 - David Oliva


Tito Jones vs Sean Santella

Jose Villanueva vs. Sean Santella

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