New FAC lightweight champion Don Shainis has grinded his way through the U.S. regional scene, and he now wants an opportunity in the UFC.
Shainis took a lightweight title fight on short notice and ended up making the most of it against former UFC fighter Cody Pfister at FAC 13. He earned a brutal knockout over Pfister just minutes into the bout despite being a last-second replacement.
Shainis has now won four in a row after falling to former PFL fighter Nathan Williams at Cage Titans 48 last July. He’s not one to take long layoffs in between fights and prides himself on being active as he moves closer to a shot in the UFC.
A former Bellator fighter, Shainis is no stranger to big stages. He earned back-to-back wins in Bellator in 2017 but decided to return to his familiar MMA home in Cage Titans.
Shainis competed in front of UFC President Dana White at FAC 12 during the coined ‘Lookin’ For a Fight’ event. Despite earning a unanimous decision win over Cris Lencioni, it wasn’t enough to earn himself a UFC contract.
During an exclusive interview, Shainis was direct when asked about what he sees happening for him by the end of the year.
“By the end of the year, I want two UFC fights,” Shainis told MMA News. “I wrote that goal down earlier, and I truly believe I’m gonna get there. I’m a late bloomer, I’m coming into my prime. I’m 31, but there are a lot of these young guns who are getting these opportunities and I feel like I’m almost getting overlooked.
“So to stay active, to be a gangster, one of these old-school dudes…I need to stay active, stay busy, rack up these wins and finishes so that way when I come across the UFC, I’m banging out as many fights as I can.”
Before making the potential move to the UFC, Shainis will fight Brice Picaud for the Cage Titans featherweight title on June 4th. Another title win would make it hard for the UFC matchmakers to pass him up for a shot in the Octagon.
“I’m gonna snag up another belt,” Shainis said. “Expect to see me in the UFC. I don’t know if it’s going to be Contender Series, UFC, but my goal is to fight. I’m gonna kill myself to get in. And not just in, but stay in and be one of the guys that is just down.”
At 30 years old, Shainis feels he’s in the prime of his career, especially after making the move to Glory MMA & Fitness in Missouri under the tutelage of head coach James Krause. He’s out to prove that age is just a number and that it’s never too late to make a run towards the biggest spotlight in the sport.
What are your thoughts on Don Shainis’ potential?