Monday, 14 March 2011

UFC QUOTABLES: Jorge Santiago talks the declining state of MMA in Japan; believes he can beat Anderson Silva

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

"Everyone can see MMA in Japan getting weaker and weaker every year. I never had problems with Sengoku; they always treated me right, they always paid me on time, but I was fighting maybe twice a year, and like I'd always be telling my friends, I've been ranked in the Top 10 and there is no challenge over there.

I'd be fighting the same guys over and over again; I fought Mizaki twice already, so I just chose to come back and fight in the United States. The fact is, they're getting weaker and smaller every year, all the Japanese promoters.

There's a lot of people doubting me because I'm not here, I'm not fighting the guys everybody sees on every month on TV, because the Japanese fighters don't get the same exposure here in the United States.

Like I said, I've fought a lot of good guys, I've [beaten] a lot of good names, I've [won] a lot of titles in my life, but I just want to come back and take it one step at a time. I'm getting back to the UFC; I'll have this fight [with Brian Stann], of course, one day, I want to fight for the title, but I just want to prove myself and do everything I did in Japan. I want to [do the same things here in the UFC.] Sky's the limit, my friend.

Of course [I feel like I can defeat Anderson Silva]; nobody is unbeatable man, we know that. With the right game plan, I think one advantage I have to my game is that I know how to mix it up. I'm not just a striker; I do jiu jitsu, wrestling. If somebody wants to come and just bang, it's not something that I'm going to do. I'm going to chose what I want to do. We saw the fight against Chael Sonnen; everybody has their weaknesses, their bad day. I think I have a big chance."

-Jorge Santiago talks to about the declining state of Japanese MMA and his belief that he can contend with the best of the middleweight division, including UFC Champion Anderson Silva.

Penick's Analysis: Santiago wouldn't have come back to the UFC if he didn't believe that about himself. He's been ranked in the top ten despite not fighting as high a level of competition as those in the UFC, and he's looking to prove that he deserves that. If he can get past Stann and put a few fights together in the UFC, he might get a chance to prove what he can do against "The Spider." Santiago is going to be an exciting addition to the roster, and I'm excited to see what he can do in that fight with Stann at UFC 130 in May.


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