UFC's Joe Gigliotti just wants to leave a legacy
BY JUSTIN LADA
The ink has just barely dried on Joe Gigliotti’s contact with the UFC but he’s taking his 7-0 record to Salt Lake City on August 6 already thinking about his future legacy.
“Last week was a blur,” Gigliotti said in a phone interview on July 21 from Arizona.
While the Medina native and graduate just signed his contract and his goal is like anyone else’s, to win a title, but he wants to leave a legacy in the sport.
“I want to be a champion,” Gigliotto said. “I want a gold belt but I also want to leave a legacy and be thought of as a great fighter and one of the best ever.”
Gigliotti faces Trevor Smith on August 6 at UFC Fight Night 92, something that’s long been a goal for him.
“One of my goals was to get into the UFC at a young age,” the 22 year old said. “It’s great that all the training and all the hard work is paying off.”
Northeast Ohio has seen it’s share of good fighters in different rings over the last few years. Shawn Porter of Stow-Munroe Falls has claimed a title in the last three years and more recently, Eastlake native Stipe Miocic has won a UFC title.
The list of talented fighters Gigliotti has had a chance to workout with and talk to is impressive as it is long thanks to the talent that’s come through Ohio. Gigliotti said he’s had the chance to meet Stipe and train out at Strong Style in Strongsville and Stipe is one of his many favorites on the UFC roster at the moment. He’s also trained with and is a fan of Jessica “Evil” Eye from Rootstown, Ohio. He’s also trained with Xenia native Matt Brown as well as St.Edward’s product Gray Maynard.
Despite all the list of other accomplished fighters Gigliotti has worked out with, that doesn’t take away from nerves on fight day, and he wouldn’t want the nerves to be totally gone for that.
“I don’t know if it’s really nerves,” he said. “I’m excited. Nerves are normal. I’m ready but I’m a little bit nervous.”
He says once he gets into the octagon, it’s another fight. But one thing that should help ease any final nerves before his first fight after signing the contract is that he’ll have a lot of family and close friends on hand and in his corner for his bout.
“I’ve asked my brother (Ray) to be in my corner at fights but he’s always kinda let me do my thing,” Joe said. “But he’s going to be in my corner for my debut.”
As for the rest of his support system at the fight, he won’t be lacking for fans at the fight. A lot of the people heading to Salt Lake City are people Joe has considered family for quite some time.
“I grew up on a cul de sac,” he said. “Our whole street was our family. I had five or six families and close friends.”
While focusing on his upcoming fight, he doesn’t know all the details of UFC’s sale, as many don’t yet, but said as long as it’s helping the fighters and grows the sport, he’s in favor.
And perhaps that’s something else Joe Gigliotti can check off his list of goals one day as well, helping to grow the sport by leaving his legacy.
POSTED 07/25/2016 15:07