The Philly-based MMA fighter headlines Saturday’s CFFC card at the 2300 Arena
By Joe Mason
Sometimes, a great teacher can put you down the perfect path.
In Sean Brady’s case, it was the exact opposite.
Brady was working on becoming an auto mechanic during his days at Swenson Arts and Technology High School, and after taking some classes, he realized working on cars wasn’t his passion. That’s when he found out exactly what he wanted to do.
“I was training just because I loved it,” Brady said. “I was doing Muay Thai and then I started taking Jujitsu. I really didn’t think about doing it for a job, I was just doing it, and then someone told me I could do this.”
Brady is doing it. And on Saturday, the Philly-based fighter will main event his first card when he takes on Tanner Saraceno. The fight is part of a Cage Fury Fighting Championships 65 at the 2300 Arena, 2300 S. Swanson St., and Brady is going for the vacant welterweight championship.
There are three title fights on the card, including Anton Berzin, who fights out of Fishtown, taking on Jamelle Jones for the inaugural CFFC light-heavyweight championship, and Joseph Lowry, who spends his days as a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 19, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., squaring off against Mike Pope for the lightweight title.
“It’s great because that arena has so much history,” Brady, who goes by the nickname “Phighter,” said. “It used to have ECW wrestling, but now it has MMA and boxing and it’s a great building to fight out of.”
Brady has been in his fair share of big fights.
Before becoming a professional, he went 5–0 in the amateur ranks, including a victory in December 2011, which was about six months after he graduated from Swenson. Since becoming a professional, he’s a perfect 4–0. But since this one is for the championship, it’s going to be a daunting task.
“Tanner is a big guy, he’s a great fighter,” Brady said. “I know he’s a wrestler, he was in WWE, but he’s now doing MMA. I’m training my butt off because I need to be ready to go for 20 minutes.”
Now that he’s an experienced fighter, Brady is cool and calm when he walks into the cage. But when he first became a fighter, he was anything but poised.
“The first time I fought, I almost peed myself,” Brady admitted. “I was terrified, the first couple I was super scared. I’m doing a lot better in that, the more you go in, the more comfortable you get, but I was super scared the first time.”
He’s much better.
His mom, not so much.
Brady has an incredible support system, which includes his family, especially his parents and brothers, and his girlfriend. All of them will be at the 2300 Arena on Saturday to watch the fight, but all will have different attitudes while watching.
“My girlfriend wants to get in and help me, but my mom gets really nervous,” Brady said. “My mom cries. Always. She’s been doing it every fight. I’m a mama’s boy, I love my mom and she loves me. She wants to see me win, but not get hurt.
“She goes to support me, I’m really lucky. I asked for 175 tickets for this fight and I sold every one of them. If they gave me more, I would sell more. My friends, family and fans are great. They all come out and really help me.”
They do more than cheer.
Making your way in professional mixed martial arts is tough, and without support, he couldn’t do it.
“I have great sponsors, but this is my job,” Brady said. “I’m trying to move up. I want to win championships. I’m very fortunate that I can focus on this and make that my career.”
Winning on Saturday will certainly help him move up in the ranks.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships is a reputable league, but every fighter dreams of fighting for the UFC, which is the major league of fighting.
A lot of fighters do everything they can to get to the top of the mountain as fast as they can, but that’s not Brady’s approach.
Someday, he wants to get the call, but for now, he’s more than happy fighting in CFFC.
The more work he puts in now, the more he’ll be ready when it happens.
“Winning a championship is definitely the next step, but right now I’m focused on this fight,” Brady said. “The next step would be the UFC, but I want to win the championship and defend it. This is going to be a tough fight.
“I want to go to the UFC, everyone does, but I want to take my time, make sure I’m ready. I want to be more mature and ready when I go.”
In the future, when his fighting days are over, Brady could see himself coaching, something he already does during his down time. But right now, he’s not worried about the future.
He’s just worried about Saturday.
“It’s going to be a really tough fight, Tanner is good,” Brady said. “I’m working. I want that championship. This is why we do it. Philadelphia is an MMA city with a lot of great fighters. I want to win.”
For more information about Saturday’s event at the 2300 Arena, visit cffc.tv/tickets/cffc-65.