The Ultimate Fighter alumni and now Professional Fighters League lightweight, Ramsey Nijem (10-7 MMA) competes this Thursday, May 23rd, against Ronys Torres (37-6 MMA) at PFL 2 in Long Island, New York.
Nijem is looking to make his third promotional fight a successful one. After coming up short in his PFL debut against Brian Foster (28 -11 MMA), Nijem bounced back with a unanimous decision victory over Yuki Kawana (15-4-5 MMA) back in October of 2018.
Background in MMA & Early TUF Days
Nijem competed in one of the earlier and most popular seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. That season had Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos as coaches, and Nijem made it all the way to the finale where he faced off against Tony Ferguson. Nijem began his MMA career by essentially joining the reality show, and everything took off from there.
“I’ve been training my whole life,” Ramsey told The Scrap. “I started wrestling when I was a kid. Boxing, training in our backyard with some other guys who were professional fighters. We just trained and I was really into it. I’m a high energy person so this would be the only thing that could hold my focus”.
After beginning his initial career in wrestling, Nijem wanted to get out of the taxing sport of wrestling. Nijem took an opportunity to fight when he was in college, and fell in love. He describes fighting to be more relaxing than wrestling. Taking the time to relax and not train as hard in between fights was exactly what Ramsey needed to balance his schedule. It was during this transition that he got the call to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, changing his life forever.
“When I was fighting, I was able to fight, relax, fight and come back. I realized wow, this is really the path for me. Things kind of blew up, got signed by the UFC when I was super young. Then from that point on, your life almost feels like a movie at times. Things just take over and start going. You know, I’ve fought the best guys in the world and it’s funny because when I was fighting them we we’re just a couple of kids fighting. Now, we’re all adults fighting some of the best fighters in the world”.
Joining the Professional Fighters League
Nijem has found himself a new home within PFL’s lightweight division. After fighting the vast majority of his career within the UFC, Ramsey is looking forward to the opportunity to fighting new talent in a completely different organization. As to how he chose PFL, Nijem states that his friend and manager Ali Abdelaziz strongly recommended the organization, citing its growth and viewership as the next big MMA promotion.
“My manager Ali. He’s the man. He just knows what to do and he knows how to make a move. He told me this is the next big thing. Ray Sefo is part of it. Ray Sefo, to me has always been a legendary guy. I was just excited to be part of anything that Ray Sefo was a part of. When Ali told me yeah, this is it, I just said alright, let’s do it. No hesitation, I listened to him and I just jumped in. I’m grateful I did because it has blown up. It’s just growing. Like this year has just been insane. Like, how many more people are [talking about PFL]. It’s been a really cool experience and it’s cool to be a part of something new. [Similar to UFC] when I first started, it was a little bit established, but it was still fun because it was still growing. ”
Nijem vs Torres
With the regular season of PFL underway, the tournament consists of the high-calibre fighters. No one get’s a ‘free’ fight. Nijem is no exception as he is taking on MMA veteran Ronys Torres.
“I mean, I feel like I’ve fought him before. Like I’ve fought a lot of short, stocky, strong, black-belt jiu-jitsu Brazilian guys. That’s been, for some reason or another, my forte.”
With over 40 professional mixed martial arts fights, Torres is a seasoned veteran of the sport. However, Nijem pays no attention to his record. Competing for 10 years himself, Ramsey is taking this fight as any other.
To watch the exclusive interview with Ramsey Nijem, checkout TheScrap.co sponsored video podcast The Complete Knockout: