Professor Shorty scores another quick submission victory over promotional champion
Sometimes life is predictable. In the morning the sun rises. In winter the birds fly south. On fight night, Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella strangles champions into submission.
For the third time in under six months Professor Shorty faced off against a champion ranked not just first in his promotion, but in his region of the country. For the third time the fight ended with his opponent caught in a choke he couldn’t escape.
While Shorty has long been known for his submission game — the best in the world at 125 lbs. By his estimation — and it would be easy to see his latest bouts of domination as more of the same but it would miss the bigger picture. Once again Shorty’s path to the submission was set up by his control of the striking exchanges.
Shorty and Victory FC Flyweight Champion Kevin Gray stayed standing for the opening two minutes of the fight, and it was again Shorty who was getting the better of it. In an attempt to change his situation, Gray shot for the takedown but it proved to be a costly miscalculation.
Shorty snatched hold of Gray’s neck and locked on an arm-in guillotine choke. After rolling Gray over and moving to mount with the choke in place, all that was left to do was make a slight adjustment and wait for the inevitable, which came when Gray tapped at 2:44 of the opening frame.
After the fight, the crowd made it clear what should be next for Shorty.
“[They were chanting] UFC,” Shorty said in his post fight interview. “I feel like that’s the next step in the road for me. I don’t know what else there is for me to do. I’m finishing fights. I’ve got 19 wins.
Shorty also touched on his constantly-improving striking, and the vital role it played in the win, with a hard right hand landing to instigate Gray’s shot.
“I’ve been working a lot on my striking. I’m getting comfortable there, which is scary.
“I train with the best guys in the world — at Miller Brothers MMA, at Nick Catone’s, at Ricardo Almeida’s. I’m better than all these guys in the UFC. I’m ready.”
Shorty is ready for the UFC’s flyweight division. All that’s left is to give him his shot so we can see if the flyweights are ready for Shorty. Smart money says they’re not.