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The Santino Defranco ‘TUF 9′ Blog #1: “Don’t Give Up! FIGHT MAN!”

Like Gerald Harris and Efrain Escudero before him, Team USA lightweight Santino Defranco has the great honor of blogging his reactions to each episode of The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. every Thursday right here on Here’s what he had to say about last night’s episode, in which Santino first met Dana White (aka Lord Humungus), and dug waaaay deep to get his first victory on the show. Enjoy.


I was completely at peace with the fact that I was about to go through with the most tumultuous event in my life — fighting to get into a house, where I would be cut off from the rest of the world (no TV, music, magazines, books, correspondence with my wife and family) for six weeks, all the while being filmed 24 hours a day to be broadcast on national television. Then Dana White came in, and all that calmness I spent weeks preparing went out the window.

When Dana White walks into a room he’s noticed. Not only is he a physically imposing figure being around 6’2" and probably 250lbs, but he is a man of power. The latter is by far more intimidating than the former. Knowing that this bald human basically holds my future in the palm of his hand, turns me from an "Ultimate Fighter" to a child waiting to see if he is going to be praised or punished for whatever questionable deed has been done.

As Dana lined us up the nervousness that embodied that room was something fantastic. You could see people smiling, laughing, biting their cheeks, fidgeting, and even in Pierce’s case…fainting. Don’t be fooled by those swash-buckling tricksters, all was done out of nervousness, including my own silence, which, as the show continues you will see is a rarity.

Getting to Pierce and his little fainting spell. First, I must preface any words spoken about him with the fact that, when referring to Pierce, his last name must, and I repeat MUST be spoken with a British accent. Even if you are only reading to yourself and nothing is actually verbalized, this rule still applies. These and other secrets will be revealed in due course. Now, back to Parce (that is how it is spelled in my head while using the British form of the word, please bear with me). I was cutting weight with him and Cameron Dollar, and let me tell you, the cantankerous attitude is by no means an act for television. Parce had to tip the scales at an even 171lbs which he finally made. It wasn’t the hardest cut I’ve seen people perform, but it didn’t seem easy by any stretch of the word.

Now rears the creepy ugly head of confusion. Parce decides he is going to cut more than needed so he can drink a little fluids while waiting for the scale. One might think a "little" would be 1/4lb? 1/2lb? 1lb? Not even close. Parce cuts 2 extra pounds of weight! That’s 32 ounces of liquid! I was hoping the broadcast would do justice to how pale and plastic he looked as he fainted. It was close, but I’m not sure the viewers got to see the stiffness of rigor mortis and the glazed synthetic look generally reserved for embalming the dead that we got to see in person. It was really nuts seeing him go down like that…But! He made weight.

Some of those that didn’t make weight included Christian, which the viewers saw, and 2-3 others that the Spike TV audience didn’t have the privilege of being able to recognize for a good ridiculing if seen in an open market. We were all in shock that so many people were unable to make weight. We had also heard rumors that the guy with the serial-killer-esque name John David Shackleford (be wary of anyone who uses three names to describe themselves) didn’t make weight. To my surprise while watching the show he just had a mild case of HOLY DISGUSTING MAT HERPES BATMAN!! That was quite unsightly.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to pay too much attention to the fights as they were going on as I was getting ready to receive multiple hooves to the face by a mini-pony.

I was told that Waylon i.e. "mini pony" was a good wrestler. If you are deaf, dumb and blind you would be able to figure that out. I did not, however, believe that he could hold me down and proceed to use his stubby legs with attached hoofs to beat my skull in until I lay on the canvas like a dead carcass awaiting my turn to be eaten by the vultures. I was completely wrong with my assumption of the little fella. I am not so sure whether it was an elbow or punch that rocked me, but I didn’t know what planet I was waking up on when Gustavo (bless his Brazilian heart) dragged me back to my corner. I do owe my coming back in that 2nd round to win the fight 100% to Gustavo though. It wasn’t aired, but his pep talk between rounds was the sole reason I was able to function after such a beating. He told me something along the lines of, "This is your chance man! God gave you a second chance at this and you are doing this for your wife, man! You go out there and fight. Don’t give up! FIGHT MAN!"

I went out in that second round and, although the camera angle didn’t do it justice, threw a flying knee. After taking down the 3x NCAA Division ll wrestling champion a short struggle found my arms around his neck squeezing with every muscle in my body.

There is something about someone with an accent yelling at you that just makes you react. I had been beaten as badly as one could be and I was still there. The only thing left to do was fight.

Ninja Vanish (copyright Drew Fickett enterprises)

Please check out my gym and some of the athletes I train/train with at

See you next week!

Cagepotato Comments

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Stalin jr.- April 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm
That fight was like pushing panties, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth but gets the job done!
Shemebros- April 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm
Hello ,
The Russian fighters,Shemetov Brothers

Best Recards
Shemebros- April 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm
Hello ,
The Russian fighters,Shemetov Brothers

Best Recards
Tom Gavrilos- April 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm
Im proud of you Santino. Your former student and friend.

New Brunswick- April 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm
That was BS. How was that fight not stopped in the first round?
ThatsRowdy- April 10, 2009 at 7:55 am
Nice job Santino, that was fun to read! I'm looking forward to more of your blogs!
Terrakilla- April 10, 2009 at 7:38 am
Fuck all you haters! That muscley steroid was punching the dudes arms. He was still defending himself. If he had nothing in the next round then you could complain but he destroyed meathead when he came out in 2.
Herpe Blister- April 10, 2009 at 6:33 am
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda. Bunch of pussies. He got up, shook it off and then choked that bitch out. Blame the other guy for not finishing. This guy was OUT, and he couldn't seal the deal. It was like going to the Bunny Ranch, paying your 500 bucks and NOT tossing a load all over a hooker. IT WAS THERE...IT WAS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR. Fuck him.
Anonymous- April 10, 2009 at 6:08 am
Anonymous- April 10, 2009 at 6:06 am
My cousin Santino was taking a pounding that 1st round. Me and my family didn't know that he was going to come back and win. It shows the DeFranco heart that he has. lol. But, his opponet didn't take him serious, he thought Santino was going to quit. I am actually surprised that the ref didn't stop the fight. I'm surprised that he still is fighting because of that brain aneryism that he had from UFC, then he went back and is fighting in UFC. Well, keep up the good work Santino!
polish- April 10, 2009 at 5:45 am
Well written to me, a pleasure to read. Look forward to the others. Thanks and don't mind the haters. They are just mad mom forget more Totinos pizzas from the dollar store...
Turbo- April 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm
Jesus, fighters really shouldn't try to write. Reading this was like having slivers of bamboo hammered under my fingernails. Aspiring writers and fighters take note; just because you know how to use a toilet doesn't make you a plumber.
Anonymous- April 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm
BeaverLord- April 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm
laid there*
BeaverLord- April 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm
Santino reminded me a lot of a pornstar. He stood there, took a pounding for 5 minutes, then aroused the other guy by rubbing his crotch all over his back and finally forced the "tapout."
Anonymous- April 9, 2009 at 6:44 pm
nice entertaining blog and great comeback in the definitely should have been stopped though while you took about 2 minutes worth of shots in the fetal guard
Rich S.- April 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm
i was screaming at my T.V. ...
i mean, i thought he was going to come out and beast the guy, seeing as how he'd made it to the show before, and went through all that stuff just to get back..
and he seemed pumped..

but then he came out, went down, ended up against the cage and on bottom, and seriously took over 100 unanswered blows..

i mean, the ref's smart for not stopping the fight, 'cause the shots didn't seem like fight enders, but he WOULDN'T FIGHT BACK AT ALL.. not even the occasional up-punch when the rain of fists stopped for just a second..
just hurdled.. in the fetal position.. taking shot after shot after shot after shot after shot..

yeah, that 1st round pissed me off..
props on the 2nd though..
Eurovision- April 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm
"Not a TUF guy", and the other detractors,

sincerely go fuck yourself... the guy shows more heart than a cardiac transplant ward and you're calling him a pussy? Fuck you and the armchair observer station you rode in on.
Brad- April 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm
Good write up man. Obviously you got lucky in there. I hope that you make everything you can of this chance.
Meohfumado- April 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Good blog.

But I wanted to read the herps guy's blog...
ruckus- April 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm
You guys are a bunch of haters...

I think this is the first time i've heard a buncha MMA babies cry about a late stoppage that ended up in a win for the guy who was losing.

Some people just need to complain.

Sick knee, sick finish.

Well done.
Darkside- April 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm
I hope Santina gets bounced quick. If they had actually had even a halfway decent ref in there, it would have been stopped. I guess two minutes of "fetal position while getting cracked in the dome" is the new definition of "intelligent defense".
DeuceOnYoFoHead- April 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm
Yeh true true, There is no way Dana White is any bigger than 5'11-6'0 and 200lbs. But hey, it's always good to make the person hiring you seem legit. Either way, written very well. Props for coming back in the fashion you did as well. Forget all these internet wannabees talkin shit on here.
Anonymous- April 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm
ya u were just laying there but then again he wasn't throwing anything big he was just trying to hit you with shots so it's his fault for not trying harder to finish you
dangerfield- April 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm
LOL at Dana White being 6'2 250. take a look at a picture with him and lorenzo fertitta. lorenzo fertitta is 5'6. frank fertitta is 6 foot something. take a look at a picture with all of those guys and you'll see that Dana White is not that big.