My first mma fight, well entrance in to a cage.

This is the story of my first cage fight, sort of.

Just the very thought of a speedo is ridiculous. Wearing one should be downright illegal. If anyone is familiar with the way things were in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the year 2000, then one would be familiar with "Vale Tudo" shorts (which technically translates to anything goes in portugese). They look similar to bike shorts; spandex, stretchy and at the time probably had a pit bull on them. Not me. I didn't have a pair of these "cool" fighter shorts, and seeing as though my first entrance in to a cage to fight was only about a week after I first entered a MMA gym, I didn't really know anything about such shorts. I did know that people wore tight shorts so others wouldn't grab at them. That's it. So, what else is tight? You guessed it...Speedos! There was a swim store in the mall near my house that sold the small, stretchy, embarrassing things. So, instead of asking one of my new training partners where I could get the cool Vale Tudo shorts, or even borrow a pair of theirs, I purchased a pair of speedos with borrowed money from my father. Come on, cut me some slack, I was 18 years old and they were over fifty dollars!

There I stood, skinny, pale white, nervous and, a pair of blue, black and yellow striped Speedos. The local MMA promotion, Rage in the Cage, was held in a bar in South Phoenix, AZ. Smoke engulfed the room, as well as about a thousand drunks yelling and making fun of the sight before them in the cage. The emcee's voice, who was also the promoter, screamed over the crackling PA:

"Come on Arizona make some noise!" "Are you ready to see two of the best lightweights in the country battle it out?"

'Seriously'? I thought to myself. 'I have never even fought before. The guy I am fighting must be a killer', went through my head while standing there, white as ever, bouncing up and down, waiting for my opponent to enter. Roland, the emcee, called his name. Then he called it again and then again. After a few minutes of what seemed like confusion it turned out my opponent was a no show. Sometime between the weigh ins, which consisted of us telling RITC workers how much we weigh (no scale was present), and fight time...he left. So, I dissapointingly departed the cage without even fighting. I put those ridiculously small, tight things over me and marched into a cage with a ton of people watching for that? I was a little annoyed at the situation to say the least. On my way back to the changing area some bald man handed me a trophy and told me I won by default. Of course, I gave the thing back. Disgusted with the thought of taking it I scoffed, "I didn't win anything. Take this back." I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder as a youth. Not a bad one, but it was there. That was my first MMA "fight".

Santino DeFranco

lol great story man, thanks for sharing.

 great story, at least you rocked out with your cock out.


Dont listen to LTL. We wont need pics this time round.

congrats! lol


Hey Santino. I remember all that. Those were some fun times and quite crazy by todays standards. No regulation, no weigh ins. 20+ fights in one night. Sometimes I would referee some matches, then fight, then ref some more.

And dont worry about the speedo's. I sure wasnt gonna let you borrow my vale tudo shorts. Besides, you were in good company. How do you think Farrell Frisbee got his nickname "Full Moon"?

That's a good story. Thanks!

Those days were fun. Absolutely zero regulation, but surprisingly nobody really got hurt.

And let me add. How I wish Parish and Mark Senior could still ref events. Mark Senior wasn't quite as good as the world renown Darrell Parish, but this worthless guy reffing fights here in AZ is just horrible.

what happened to mark senior? he reffed my fights.....parrish had already stopped reffing by the time I fought.

 Good stuff. LOL I wore those things too. Here is my fight with Karo, Listen close there were no heel hooks in this fight. Well at least that's what they said in the rules meeting. I was Very disapointed in this fight even more embarasing the kid was 16 years old.  God Bless people! B Warren 

here it is-

ttt for santino! great to see southwest comin up. i'd like to come in there sometime and train w/ u guys again and get some help down the road for future fights.

Santino, i could still ref I believe. Just have been so damn indecisive if I want to fight again. When I finally make my mind up, i will re-apply for a ref license.

I have actually had a number of people ask me to start reffing again.. I dont know. I may pass out from stage fright now. AND I will have to wear some slacks and long sleeve white shirt... What the hell happened to the days when I could just wear some shorts and a tank top to ref?

Wait!? So you are telling me that you COULD ref again? Get your ass in there and apply for your license. I never want to hear "And the third man in the cage is Mr. Neal Serrinbock (sp?)", again.

Please Darrel, in the name of everything holy and sacred in all the lands don't let that putz ever ref again.

The old days were fun though. No one knew what the hell cage fighting was and we didn't make a penny doing it, but it was fun.

There's some other ridiculous stories as well as some giveaways on my site if anyone is interested.

i second the movement to start a petition for parrish to ref. pretty please. az is in dire straits in terms of reffing.

edit: btw, great story santino.

ok all! I am re-applying for the license. you talked me into it. BUT!!!!! This doesnt mean Im retired from just means im too tired to do it right now...hahahah