It's been a long road for Joe "Skellator" Giannetti up to this point. With a solid run on The Ultimate Fighter and a recent string of wins at Cagetitans, Joe Giannetti Cagetitans Welterweight Champion looks to defend his title against "The Unpredictable One" Sean Lally on January 27 at the Plymouth Memorial Hall. We sat down with Giannetti to get some insight on his training camps on opposite coasts, his career plans moving forward, and the community around him that helps him get to fight night. Check it out!
Q: There's been a lot of murmuring that you had declared you were done with Welterweight after your victory over Pat Casey. Is there any truth to that, and if so, how did this fight come together at 170?
A: #Cagetitans came to me and they offered me #SeanLally or #NateWilliams at Lightweight. Obviously, I want to be back at Lightweight and no offense to either of them, but just kind of facts, it was just a matter of who is going to do more for my career? Who does more for my career with a win? Nate hasn't fought on the biggest stage and he's, not coming off of a win. He's only won 1 out of his last 3 or 4. Granted, Lally is in a similar position but is coming off a win. On the other side of the token, he's only won 1 out of his last 4 but #ContenderSeries vet, Middleweight Champ. There's just a lot more to gain by beating him. So with more to gain, and not having to cut weight through the holidays it just kind of made sense.
Q: Last I was aware, you had built out a camper and were driving cross country to AKA for your camps. Obviously, you're in New England now, so talk me through that California - Massachusetts dynamic. How do you manage the 2?
A: I've always wanted to do it but to put my life on hold, and fly out to California with pets and stuff, is such a hassle. Then during covid, I had converted a bus into an RV. I ended up selling that, buying a van and converting that into an RV. When I'm home, I'm training at #BTT-Taunton and now #NECartel on weekends. When I get a fight, I'll get sponsorship money together and drive up to California. I'll do 4-8 weeks there depending on how much money I have. I train at #AKA and #DanielCormierWrestlingAcademy
Q: You're at a unique point in your career. You have experience far beyond your years, yet I don't think we have seen you really hit high yet. Where do your career ambitions lie at the moment?
A: It's funny because, I don't get asked that a lot, but it's definitely a weird thing. Mentally, I'm at a point where I've been in this game for so long it's like: "Locally there's not much left to do". Realistically, I just want to take on the best in the world. You know what I mean? I want to fight the best guys in the world and chase a world title. After this, maybe 1 or 2 more and then I think that's really it. There is nothing left but to be on the world stage and fight the best guys.
Q: Well with that being said, is there something significant you would like to accomplish in those last 2-3 regional fights?
A: To me, it's important to just keep improving. With the exception of #MichaelDufort I feel like I've beaten everyone there is to beat on the local scene. So I personally, just need to improve to make sure I can beat those guys on the world stage. The crazy thing about this sport, the crazy thing that we all love about it, there are already plenty of guys in the UFC that I know, right now, I can beat. It's just a matter of getting to that point, and beating those guys in the top 15, or top 10.
Q: Any interest in a PFL or a One Championship or is it solely the UFC for you?
A: I'm interested as a fan, but as a fighter it's just the UFC. I got into this sport as just a UFC fan, and then became an overall MMA fan. I started learning about other organizations and promotions, but my goal was the UFC. I was almost there, and to just change paths because it got a little difficult, and, I don't want to say and easier but another opportunity arises soon. I just feel I wouldn't sit well with that.
Joe Giannetti Cagetitans
Q: Can you speak a little bit on the regional scene? What influenced your decision to fight for Cagetitans these last few years over a promotion in San Jose with AKA in your corner?
A: Honestly, it's pretty simple, and it's two reasons. One first off is the production and the way the fighters are treated at #Cagetitans. I see all the other promotions in New England, I've been lucky enough to corner A.K.A. teammates in California, and Cagetitans is one of the best local promotions, in the world. At least in the United States from what I've seen. Between the social media, and being there in person, Cagetitans is run as close to the UFC as a local promotion can outside of #LFA , who pretty much is UFC at this point. They are the number one feeder organization. They have the UFC production team with them because they are on #FightPass. Outside of an organization like that, it's Cagetitans. From how smooth it's run to the production, how well the fans are kind of intertwined with the production. The whole show is amazing.
As far as the business, it's the money. I make more money here, than any organization outside of a major organization. Cagetitans pays well, all my friends and family live around here so they're all going to buy tickets. Cagetitans offers fighters a percentage of the ticket for commission. I'm going to sell shirts when I fight and all my friends and family want to buy shirts. So all of that wound up together, it's just the best business move for me. I wouldn't be able to go to A.K.A. and do these things fighting for other promotions. Yeah they might may $100 or $200 more in the purse, but I'm not going to sell tickets or t-shirts because no one is going to those fights on the other side of the country. Here at home it adds up. That's why when other guys in the east coast start talking: "Oh you wont fight me unless it's at Cagetitans." ....I say "Yeah, you're right. That's where I make my money." Everyone say it's my backyard, my judges, blah, blah, blah. I'm not here to fight for the judges. I'm here to knock you out or choke you out. I don't care if it's my judges or whatever you want to say. I'm here to make some money. Cagetitans is where I make the most money, so that's where I'm at. If another organization comes along and says "Hey, we'll pay you triple!" then maybe I'll go talk to them. Until that happens this is my home.
Q: Last question, just kind of a fun one. How do you feel about the "YouTuber Boxing" craze? If given the opportunity, would you box a Twitch Streamer or something to that effect?
A: 100% I want to do some #KarateCombat or #InfluencerBoxing either or...you know, there are definitely some influencers that can box. I don't know if you've seen Salt Papi, but that dude's got hands. That dude's got hands! I love that they can build their fan base up enough so they can have little to no experience in boxing and millions of PPVs are being sold...or illegally streamed, but hey, people are watching. I would love to do Influencer Boxing or Karate Combat. Either way, big pay day and big publicity.
Q: That's all I have for you. The floor is yours. Any shout outs?
A: Anyone watching buy tickets from your favorite fighter directly. I always get crap from Cagetitans because I make it a point to say that, it helps us the most when you buy the tickets from us directly. Doesn't matter if it's me or someone else on the card. Buy from your favorite fighters: tickets, t-shirts, sponsor them if you own a business. It just helps us so much and I know because it helps me out so much. I have been blessed to train at AKA and have such great sponsors. #Caged-InPodcast, #2FightBros, #PearTreePropertyServices so many people have helped me out. I know if it helps me then it helps someone lower on the card on the come up so help them out. Shout out to everyone that helps me out during my camps #BTT-Taunton , #NECartel , #AKA , you guys are awesome. I appreciate it.