Posted 02/20/2013 by admin in Featured Fighter

Kelsey De Santis Making Pro Debut at CFA Women’s Tourney

cfa 10 poster 235x

It has been a long time coming, but Kelsey De Santis will finally make her Pro Debut versus Allanna Jones (1-1) in the Championship Fighting Alliance (CFA) WMMA Tournament on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 in Miami, FL. De Santis is the Operation Octagon Featherweight Champion with an undefeated 2-0 amateur record and a record of 3-1 in professional Muay Thai.

But De Santis’ martial arts career goes back a long way. She has been training and instructing for over 7 years, serving as one of the only female hand-to-hand combat instructors for the Marines. A natural desire to compete and overcome adversity, De Santis joined the Marines after learning that only 6% of the Marine Corps is made up of females.

While in the Marine Corps, De Santis gained experience ground fighting while she served as a K-9 MP (Military Police) at the Marine Corps Base Quantico as part of the Presidential Helicopter Squadron. During this time she was invited by George “Loaded” Lockhart, a fellow Marine and MMA fighter, to the Martial Arts Center of Excellence (MACE), the hub of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). It was through MACE she became a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor.

“Everything I learned in the Marines has helped pave my way for my fight career,” said De Santis. “I’ve always competed in extreme sports but I have a natural desire to fight at this level.”  De Santis recently signed a 5-fight deal with Championship Fighting Alliance (CFA), the premier MMA promotion in South Florida. The company has paved the way for several MMA talents who have gone on to brand themselves as household names, including Mike Rio, Yoilsandy Izquierdo, and Abel Trujillo.

“I’m really excited to be able to work with such a great organization near where I live,” said De Santis. “I was entertaining an offer from both CFA and Invicta and I really liked the idea of being able to fight at home for the start of my career.”

De Santis has had two opponents back out due to injuries. Both Brighton Hutton (1-1 Pro) and Taylor Stratford (9-1 Amateur) were injured in the past two weeks and had to withdraw from the March 2nd Tournament.

“It’s really hard to prepare for a particular opponent when they keep changing,” indicated De Santis. “But I’ve been training really hard for this fight. I moved to Florida to train at American Top Team, Coconut Creek and I’ve also been training at ATT Kendall with Alexis Vila, Yoel Romero and Jorge Masvidal. I feel really prepared for whoever CFA gives me.”

De Santis gained national attention and is often best known for asking musician and actor Justin Timberlake to the Marine Corps Ball on YouTube several years ago. Timberlake accepted De Santis’ invitation and attended as her date and in turn, he invited her to the 2012 Guy’s Choice Awards.

De Santis’ fight with CFA will take place March 2nd, 2013 at the BankUnited Center in Miami, FL. Tickets can be purchased at

Follow Kelsey on Facebook , on Twitter , & visit her website


*image on slider courtesy of Rolando De La Fuente