A veteran of 25 professional fights, Tom Gallicchio will be making his MFC debut this Friday against Kurt Southern for the vacant MFC lightweight title. The Team Quest transplant from New Jersey recently earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from the Checkmat academy, and is excited to finally make his debut at 155 pounds.
Gallicchio was a guest on this week’s edition of The MMA Word, and discussed his road back from a torn meniscus and MCL that kept him on the sidelines for almost two years.
“I had to get surgery, I had to be put in an immobilizer. I actually hurt it in practice, from a light, weird kick. It wasn’t anybody going too hard. It destroyed my knee, after that I was out at Team Quest and I had to go back to New Jersey and basically live back at my mom’s and recover. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t do anything, I had to learn how to do everything all over again.”
It was a long road back, but after almost a year, he flew back out to California and resumed training with the rest of his team.
“It took me about eight months to get back out here to Team Quest, but still I wasn’t the same fighter for a while. I would say it took me at least a year and a half to get a full recovery.”
“Even on the Fightmaster show I wasn’t 100% of who I used to be, or where I once was. I’m not by any means using that as an excuse, but it definitely a long and arduous process. You have to learn how to wrestle again, you have to learn how to grapple again, you have to learn how to strike again, you have to learn how to get strength. I mean, for almost two years my one leg was smaller than the other.”
It’s all in the past now though, as Gallicchio is doubling down on his training and feels that after a full training camp, he’s taken all the necessary steps to get back to the top.
“I really am ready to go. I’ve done everything I possible can do. I put in all my time in training, I also work a full-time job, and a lot of the money I get from my job, I invest in doing privates with my coaches.”
“I did it right you know, this is the first time I had an eight-week camp in forever, if I’ve ever even had one. So I’m doing it right, I’m dieting, Im exercising, putting everything forward. I’ve put a lot of money into this camp too.”
His prime focus now is on his opponent, Kurt Southern, who he admits possesses a diverse set of skills and finishes on his record.
“He’s got a big right hand, he’s good on the ground, he’s a good wrestler. He’s won by submissions and knockouts, so he’s got a nice variety, he’s a well rounded fighter.”
He also said on The MMA Word that he has trained for a five-round fight, and his homework is done.
“I’m pretty hard to put away, so if I don’t finish him it’s going to go 25 minutes.”
Here’s Tom Gallicchio’s interview on The MMA Word: