BFM: Interview with Kelsey De Santis

Updated: April 10, 2013

By: Banana Fusion Magazine

If you don’t know who Kelsey De Santis is, well here is your chance.De Santis is not only dedicated to her sport, but she is also one who is dedicated to helping others reap the health benefits of mixed martial arts training. We spoke with Kelsey about joining the marines, her hopes and living her dream as an MMA fighter.

Hi Kelsey, tell us a little about yourself?

Hi everyone! I grew up in So Cal where I started Thai kickboxing. At 18 I joined the Marines, where I served as a Military Police K-9 Handler and then as a Martial Arts Instructor. In the Marine Corps I picked up on MMA and started competing in the octagon. I am currently living in South Florida training at American Top Team and attending Nova Southeastern University. I am the president of our student veteran’s organization on campus NSVA. We are dedicating to creating a strong community of veterans who support each other and create proactive relationships within the community. I couldn’t ask for more, I’m following my dreams looking forward to the journey ahead and where it takes me.

Why MMA?

To be honest I never saw myself fighting in the cage. Starting with stand up fighting I was under a lasting impression that anything having to do with rolling around on the ground was just not as cool as punching and kicking people in the face. After I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling I realized that the lasting impression I had regarding ground fighting, was just plain hog wash (I’ve always wanted to say hog wash in an interview, haha). After being thrown on my head numerous times practicing Judo, and being rolled into pretzel like figures by Jiu-Jitsu masters I realized that I was just as enthusiastic about all martial arts not just stand up arts of fighting. So the journey began, I developed a passion for MMA.

You began your MMA journey while you were in the Marine Corps. How did you find the time?

Finding the time to work on being a fighter while in the Marine Corps wasn’t always easy.

For those that served in the Marine Corps or military in general, what I said probably made sense. It’s not uncommon to work 12-16-24-48- and so on hours if you serve our country. Finding the time to get in a workout or training session can be mind boggling and sometimes impossible. MMA and fighting is a part of me, without training it’s hard for me to function in other aspects of my life. Even if finding the time was doing a max set of push-ups or pull-ups while on duty, then that’s what I did. Being a Marine came first for the last five years of my life and it’s a good thing that the Marines take pride in being physically, mentally, and spiritually strong. In addition, becoming a Martial Arts Instructor Trainer for the Corps was a blessing.

You’re currently a fighter with the CFA, why did you pick this organization?

Well I am living in South FL, and I figured it would be fun to represent the local promoter. CFA has done some really cool photo shoots and promotions for me since I signed with them. The 145 women’s tournament was an amazing step for CFA with supporting WMMA and that all goes into why I choose them.

WMMA is growing at a very rapid speed and people are starting to take it more and more seriously. How do you feel being a part of it? I think it is great that WMMA is growing! I am excited to be apart of this huge accomplishment for both women and MMA.

What are your thoughts about Fallon Fox fighting against other female fighters? Do you think it’s fair?

I spent five years in the Marine Corps, three of which I was a Martial Arts Instructor. Fighting men is not a new topic for me. I think that the whole subject of Fallon Fox is great, I support anyone who wants to do anything they want with their body. In that respect, an equal opportunity for Fox would be that he/she fights other transgendered MMA athletes. I find it utterly idiotic that anyone who thinks that someone who spend 31 years as a full grown man should be allowed to compete in a women’s COMBATIVE sport (key word combative, i.e. elbows, knees and fist to one another’s FACE). I don’t buy into this whole equal opportunity argument in support of Fallon, I think it’s bullshit and I won’t hold back or spare anyone’s feelings in that comment. As a women, a Marine, and a martial arts competitor I am well aware that there are specific differences in the woman body type and that of the man body type. Can anyone really say that taking 2-4-8-100 years of estrogen will reverse the effects of being a man with free flowing testosterone for 30 years of your life? The sad part is that there was not enough ethical responsibility on the Florida State Boxing Commission to do the research necessary to make the right decision and they have now approved Fox to fight. In my eyes this Fox issues isn’t a matter of fairness it’s a matter of the integrity of WMMA.

Read more what Kelsey has to say about Fallon Fox here: