Ahead of LFA 89: Moore vs. Giannetti, the name Joe “Skeletor” Giannetti (9-2-1) may have a ring to it for many MMA fans. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 27 finalist has fought on the biggest stage in the sport before and, ahead of a main event bout in LFA, Giannetti looks for a golden opportunity to get back into the Octagon.
Giannetti currently sits at 9-2-1 professionally at the young age of 25, earning his stripes for most of his career on the Massachusetts regional scene, in the Cage Titans (Plymouth, MA) promotion. Cage Titans has had numerous fighters head to the UFC in recent years, such as all-action prospects Randy Costa (5-1) and Pete Barrett (11-4).
Giannetti will headline Legacy Fighting Alliance’s (LFA) 89th show, and its second during Phase II of the promotion’s Sanford Health-backed foray into promoting events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the event, Giannetti sat down with MMA-Prospects.com to discuss his upcoming fight, the fallout from his fizzled Paddy Pimblett (15-3) match, the impact TUF coach and future UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier had on his career, and more.
The full video interview is available here:
At LFA 89, Joe Giannetti will face a stiff test in surging Texas prospect Brant Moore (7-1).
“I think he’s [Moore] is going to bring a really tough fight,” Giannetti told MMA-Prospects. “His jiu jitsu is really really good; I know he did a boxing fight or two. He is pretty confident in his standup.”
Yet Giannetti said he was ready for what Moor brings to the table.
“I’m pretty confident everywhere, and I like to snatch necks and cash checks.”
Giannetti has six submission victories, not including his two first-round submission victories on TUF 27: The Undefeated. Giannetti finished contestant John Gunther (7-1) in record fashion, just 17 seconds into the fight.
Giannetti spoke on his Ultimate Fighter experience, including training under the legendary Daniel Cormier, his coach on the season.
“[Cormier] and [UFC lightweight champion,] Khabib [Nurmagomedov,] the level of work that they put in is something I’ve never seen before,” Giannetti said. “I pride myself in working hard, but I didn’t even come close to meeting that level that they put out.
“I’m an MMA fan as well, so as a fan, one of the greatest ever is one of my coaches,” Giannetti continued. “Flying out to AKA [American Kickboxing Academy] going with Khabib, TUF was awesome – it was making connections.”
Giannetti has spent time at the iconic AKA gym, but his camp for LFA 89 was spent at his hometown haunt, South Shore Sport Fighting. Giannetti spoke highly of his gym, saying he wouldn’t be where he is without them. The 25-year-old has already fought in the exclusive ranks of the UFC, but now, it’s all about getting back.
“UFC or bust,” Giannetti told MMA-Prospects when asked if a promotion like Bellator came calling.
“If UFC doesn’t call right away, I’d love that title shot in LFA,” Giannetti added. “No one in my area has an LFA title.”
While he lauded the grappling skills of past opponents, Giannetti admitted he has never fought a black belt in MMA, which he will face in Brant Moore. Giannetti said that he would be excited to participate in a high skill jiu-jitsu battle between the two, but feels he will dominate anywhere this fight goes.
Giannetti also cleared up the situation that occurred with star English prospect Paddy Pimblett, as the two were set to face off at Cage Warriors 111. Giannetti’s body wouldn’t allow him to cut any more weight in a larger-than-normal weight cut for the Massachusetts native, and he weighed in four pounds above the contracted limit.
Giannetti says there was a disconnect between Pimblett’s talk on social media and the negotiations behind the scenes after the weight miss.
“He kept running his mouth but didn’t want to fight,” said Giannetti. “Give him my entire purse, I don’t want the money – I just want to punch him in the face.”
Catch Giannetti’s full explanation of the situation and the full interview in the video above, exclusively on MMA-Prospects.com.