Ramsey Nijem Says UFC Fight Night 39 Was Like a Title Fight For Him
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 04.12.2014
He approached it that way...
Ramsey Nijem spoke with MMAjunkie about his win at UFC Fight Night 39 and more. Check out the highlights:
On the importance of the fight: "I really approached this fight like it was my title fight. It was really important for me being Palestinian-American and coming to the U.A.E. and fighting. At first, I was nervous about stepping up and being a representation for it. It's a lot of pressure, and it can really weigh on you as an athlete. But I really understand the role, and I really want to represent the Palestinian people, the Arab people, U.A.E., this whole continent of the Middle East in a good light. In the news, you always see negative and this and that and fighting war. I want to show that we're more, that we accomplish things, and that we're a really strong people."
On keeping his emotions steady during the fight: "It's definitely really hard. If I let my emotions get the best of me, that's usually when I struggle on fights. I get really amped up really easily, so I'm always trying to calm myself down. It was something else. My dad called me the other night, and he was crying on the phone. It really means a lot to my family. A lot of people don't understand the heavy weight of being a refugee and growing up in the States and all this. It definitely was an amazing scene."
On his family's support: "My dad and my family couldn't be more proud. They called me and said, ‘Whether you win or lose, we're just proud of you,' so I took that momentum and that love and that support and just really brought it into the fight. I tried not to let the emotions get the best of me. They haven't really sunk in yet, so maybe a little bit later tonight."