It was just over a year ago that Ramsey Nijem made his debut in the UFC. He was featured on the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter and with a 4-1 record made his way to the finals.
In the finale he met Tony Ferguson, and was knocked out in the first round. Even though he didn’t come out on top that night, the Washington native has amassed a 3-0 record since.
He made the return to lightweight following the show and has done damage in a division which was his natural weight-class. Most recently Nijem met Joe Proctor at UFC on FOX 5 this past December.
He won the fight by unanimous decision and even though he was pleased with the win, he was frustrated that he didn’t get the finish. In the first round he dropped Proctor with a vicious kick to the body which dropped him and would have forced some referees to stop the fight, but not this one. MMASucka.com caught up with Nijem and he spoke about this topic.
“You know, I was actually really surprised I didn’t get that finish. I did drop him, I saw him drop and his eyes rolled up into his head for a second. I jumped on him, had his back and I was hitting him, hitting him, hitting him and the ref wasn’t stopping it. So, I just kept hitting him and I did. Eventually he was able to reestablish a decent position, where it was hard for me to hit him and he came back completely from that which I was pretty impressed with. Joe is a tough dude.”
Nijem had an opportunity to watch the fight afterwards and realized there were certain aspects of his fighting game which he needs to work on.
“I watched it at my mom’s because she recorded it. I didn’t record it at my own house and it’s pretty hard to find UFC fights on the internet, because they have taken them all off. After I have watched it, I did see a few things I need to work on. I was a little tense that first round and then I hurt him and got overzealous, instead of staying calm. There are definitely some holes in my stand-up that I’m working on and some flow issue. There are a lot of little holes that I need to work on; I have only been in martial arts for four years now. I’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”
With the sport growing and gaining some momentum with the general public, there needs to be some sort of clarity when it comes to the referees and stoppages. Obviously it is a judgement call, but it can be frustrating for fighters.
“My fight before that with C.J. Keith, that could be argued it was an early stoppage. I got mount, I threw a couple elbows and the ref stopped it. That was an early one and this one I feel like it would have been stopped if it was the same ref that reffed that fight. It’s kind of frustrating, but it’s one of those things that’s a variable. The refs and the judges are variables, because you never know what to expect. Maybe they need to get together and make some kind of criteria or something and actually tell us what the criteria is. Sometimes we are guessing what the judging criteria is that night, because one fight it’s one thing and another fight it’s another. It’s really frustrating as a fighter and not know what the judges or the refs are looking for a lot of times. So, they need to put out a criteria saying this is what you need to do in order to win a fight for judges and for refs, this is how many hits for the fight to be stopped.”
The fans in Seattle were wild when this fight was going down, probably based on the fact that Nijem grew up just outside of the city. He had friends and family at the fight and none of them stood out more to him than his sisters loud scream. Post-fight parties are great, but post-fight parties in your hometown are even better. Just ask Ramsey.
“After the fight, we always go out and being in my hometown it was not a good combination, winning a fight and having all of my friends around. Everyone was buying me shots and I’m not one to turn down a party, so I might have drank a little too much that night. I ended up praying to the porcelain gods and mommy had to come take care of me again. She took me home instead of staying at the hotel. I was throwing up and she was all worried I had alcohol poisoning. She actually took off my pants and put on sweat pants for me. She tucked me into bed and I ended up sleeping in the same bed as my mom that night.”
An obvious question is, “Who would you like to fight next?” and the general answer from fighters these days is, “Anyone the UFC gives me.” Well, Nijem didn’t specifically call anyone out, but he is on a three fight winning streak, so he feels he deserves an established name in the lightweight division.
“I was looking the other day at all the lightweights. I had a couple of guys in mind that I would love to fight, but they both recently lost. I’d like to fight someone who is coming off a win, off a couple wins hopefully. Maybe someone like Jake Volkmann if he wins his next fight or like Paul Sass if he wins his next fight against Danny [Castillo]. Someone who’s an established name in the lightweight division who is coming off of a win.”
The lightweight fighter had a fantastic run in 2012 and hopes to keep the winning streak alive in 2013. With “mommy’s” help that just might happen.