Before UFC vet and former CES MMA champion Chuck O’Neil tries to win his third straight fight versus Wilfredo Santiago at CES MMA 39 on November 4 at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass., LIVE on AXS TV Fights, he sat down with Pro MMA Now.
What are your thoughts on Wilfredo Santiago?
Wilfredo is a guy who comes out and throws bombs. He’s got a heavy right hand. He’s going to try to hit me on the head with it. But I’m going to try to hit him in the head and slam him on his head. There’s no secret about what he’s good at.
Wilfredo has since relocated to New Mexico, but did you ever see him fight previously in New England?
Yeah, I’ve seen him fight a couple of times. He actually fought one of my training partners. I saw Wil’s last fight and he had some good power shots. His opponent looked like he didn’t really want anything to do with that. That’s not the kind of fighter I am, and that’s not the kind of fight it’s going to be.
Are you going to exchange with him, or are you going to try to put him on his head right away?
I’m not going to force anything. I’m well-versed in every aspect of MMA; I train in everything. I’ve got good boxing, good kicks, good wrestling and good jiu-jitsu. Anywhere the fight goes, I’m going to be ready for it.
You’ll finish it anywhere, or do you see it playing out more specifically?
I feel like I’m going to catch him with a punch and drop him. Whether it ends standing up or on the ground, he’s going to see right away that I’m the bigger, tougher fighter. I’m not overlooking him at all. But I’m going to be too much for him.
What would a victory mean to you?
Getting myself back in a position to be in the UFC is the most important thing for me right now. Seeing the success of Eric Spicely has really lit a new fire under my ass. The fact that I’m working even harder now than I was before should be scary to a lot of middleweights out there.