411 MMA Interview: The Ultimate Fighter 7’s Amir Sadollah
Posted by John Curry on 04.23.2008
After coming into the Ultimate Fighter Season 7 with an MMA record of 0-0 many fans began writing into the websites that here comes a fighter who just took up MMA one day and chose the Ultimate Fighter to begin and would as a result be wiped off the show on the first episode. They were wrong as he proceeded to submit his opponent in the first round and would later become Forrest Griffin’s second pick. 411mania’s John Curry sits down with Amir Sadollah to get to know this fighter. After this, Amir has gained himself at least one new fan.
Amir Sadollah entered this season's Ultimate Fighter with a record of 0-0 professionally. Don't let this number confuse you as Amir is not a rookie to the business. Prior to choosing to compete on the Ultimate Fighter, Amir spent years training in grappling and ju-jitsu before spending time overseas in Holland studying Muay Tai in Holland. Amir is well known in the MMA management circles as in addition to being on the Ultimate Fighter he was recruited to join the IFL. In speaking with some of his personal associates, I found that Amir has some of the hardest leg kicks around. So hard in fact he has trouble finding someone to hold his pads at his training facility, the Combat Sports Center in Richmond, Virginia. More importantly than whom he is inside the cage, Amir is a great, funny and humble person. Amir took time while walking his rotweiller-chow mixed dog to sit down with 411's John Curry to discuss his fighting life including the Ultimate Fighter and his personal life. After talking to Amir all I can say is the UFC has found a keeper, someone who will entertain fans for years to come both inside the cage and out.
411ManiaMr. Sadollah, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join 411mania. Please tell our readers about your pre-mixed martial arts life?
Amir Sadollah " I was an amateur fighter and grappler prior to actually focusing on MMA. Before I became a mma fighter I was a surgical technician."
411ManiaWhy the change?
AS "I have always been training in some form of MMA while I was working. I found that I could travel the country and make decent money while fighting."
411Mania Do you miss it?
AS "Well I just quit two weeks ago so I'm not really sure yet. But I have to say I am doing what I love."
411Mania What were you feeling before and after you won the Eastern Regional MMA Amatuer title by submitting Chris Cape with a reverse Triangle choke, were you nervous? Do you think
AS "I have to tell you I was too excited to be nervous. I went into that fight expecting him to try to keep the fight on his feet but was actually surprised when he wanted to take it to the ground. I remember getting hurt in that fight. I was bleeding and all and I remember thinking man this isn't a time to idle. I ended up getting the win and knew I loved MMA."
411Mania Most of our readers know you from your life on The Ultimate Fighter season 7. Tell us, is the Amir we see every week the same Amir we would see on the street? How would you describe yourself inside the octagon?
AS "You know it's hard to say as when you are in front of the camera you have to be who they want you to be. On the show I had my periods of being crazy and my periods of being calm. I have to say though based on what I have seen in regards to how they (The UFC) are presenting me, I am happy . For the most part though, what you see on the Ultimate Fighter is who I really am."
411Mania Well based on what I see at least if you don't want to fight anymore you would be great behind a microphone.
AS"Yeah definitely, the camera loves me*laughs*."
While all business inside the cage, Amir is a funny guy with great potential modeling for Glamour Shots
411Mania Tell us what is it like to work with Forrest Griffin and Rampage? Did either one of them surprise you when you met them? What goes through your head when you hear Forrest's "motivational speeches?"
AS "Working with Forrest and Rampage was a great experience. I learned so much from them. I was surprised by both of them though. Forrest was bigger than I thought he was and Rampage was smaller than I thought he was. But both of them were really cool guys and I'll tell you Forrest and I had a lot in common. Especially, when it comes to training. Now Forrest's speeches were something that you just kind of got used to. I know some of them really came across as weird and they were but Forrest is like the Unsung Hero you know. The things he said really were what we needed to hear. "
411Mania Can you tell us what your daily routine for training is? What do you spend most of your time working on?
AS "I don't really have a set scheduled routine for training. I vary my training between cardio, strength and conditioning and grappling. Lately I have been working on my wresting. It isn't the funnest thing to do but I have to do it. I also spend a lot of time working on my standup."
411ManiaTell us do you have any pre-fight or post fight rituals?
AS "You know this is the one thing I walked away with from the Ultimate Fighter. Forrest told me to always have a strict regiment for prefight rituals. I spend the time before the fight just trying to center myself mentally and just calm myself before the fight."
411Mania After you win on the Ultimate Fighter finale, how will you celebrate?
AS "I can neither confirm nor deny that I am part of that event."
411Mania Okay, I understand and respect that. Let me reword it. After you win a fight how do you celebrate?
AS "To be honest, my diet regiment is pretty strict so I can't go out drinking and partying. So I normally just go hang out with friends and family."
411ManiaMost of our us MMA fans always talk about how easy it would be to get in the ring and fight but none of us really know how much pain there is involved. So I have to ask which submission is the most painful you have ever had put on you in either training or fighting? Which is your favorite to use?
ASThe most painful was a neck crank. It doesn't feel too good when you think your head is about to be popped off. My favorite to use is the kneebar or triangle. Really just anything that looks impressive at the moment."
411ManiaI have read your weekly blog on living in the Ultimate Fighter house. I have to say you are a hell of a writer. Any chance you would want to participate in some MMA writing action here on 411? Maybe as a guest analyst?
411ManiaNext time we have a analytical piece you will definitely be hearing from us.
AS "Sounds good."
411ManiaBefore I let you get back to sparring and training, what is the one thing you want our readers to know about Amir Sadollah?
AS "I like blue and sunsets are pretty…*Laughs* Seriously though I know it's freaking corny but I believe in the idea that you can do anything you set your mind to."
411ManiaWorst job you ever had?
411ManiaToughest sparring partner?
AS "Francois "
411ManiaWhat is something no one would guess about you?
AS "I'm an excellent artist and I'm a liar *laughs*" (meaning he's not a great artist)
411ManiaDo you have a guilty pleasure?
AS"chocolate…I feel guilty just saying that"
411ManiaWho do you look up to and why?
AS"Anyone that's goes after what they want"
AS"The Postal Service"
411ManiaFavorite day off activity?
AS"Probably just hanging out with my family."
411ManiaMr. Sadollah I want to thank you for taking time to introduce yourself to our readers and we wish you the best of luck at the Ultimate Fighter Finale, if you are a part of it, and beyond. Before we go is there anyone you want to give a shout out to?
AS"Everyone who's helped me, coaches, trainers, sparring partners, just anyone who has ever helped me get to where I am."