Jamie Siraj, who is now a 27-year-old, has been in MMA since he was 16 years old. He fought as an amateur for a little over two years and went 6-1 before turning pro in 2014.
Right before turning pro, Siraj won the Warpath MMA bantamweight amateur title. He then started off his professional career at 2-0 and was set to face his biggest challenge. A fight against Brad Katona was next in line, but that fight was called off and Siraj fought the next week. The opponent was the debuting Nick Ghaeni, who was an Olympic wrestler and a huge test for Siraj.
After three rounds, Ghaeni was announced the winner and many thought it should’ve been a win for Siraj. They rematched a year later and at that time Siraj finished Ghaeni in the third round with a guillotine.
Another stiff test ahead for Siraj was when he fought Cole Smith. As he fell short, Smith went on to fight in the UFC. Since that setback, that was his last loss and Siraj went on to win his next five fights. In 2018, he won the Unified MMA bantamweight championship.
His Biggest & Most Challenging Setback
His biggest setback in fact came at the highest point of his career. Siraj was 8-2 and at anytime could’ve had his name called up to the UFC or Bellator. After his last fight against Blake Sigvaldason, lingering health issues kept landing him in the hospital…
In what he thought was all linked to a concussion, his condition kept getting worse and worse. The doctors kept turning Siraj away telling him it was all in his head. But Siraj knew it wasn’t. He would later develop high blood pressure, seizures, an adrenal gland tumor, got sepsis in the hospital, and a viral infection in the brain called encephalitis.
Siraj was called back into the hospital because his right adrenal gland was failing. His body was failing him more and more, and he was literally dying. All of this was caused by a bacteria overgrowth on the lining of his intestinal wall. Thankfully it was found and removed.
Since then, Jamie Siraj was back in camp training waiting for his chance to get back in the cage. Being away from the sport for two years, his next fight was finally scheduled. It was gonna be last February on the 17th for BFL 71 airing exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
In what was going to be a big opportunity for Siraj, he unfortunately had to withdraw. Even when highly motivated to continue his dream as the best fighter in the world, his body continued to not let him do what his mind wanted. It landed him in the hospital yet again, this time on IV antibiotic for a septic infection.
Weeks ago, Siraj was in the hospital again battling for his life. He became fully septic throughout his whole body and came very close to being on the other side. It was a severe infection he suffered from for months that developed blood clots, cellulitis, fluid in his lungs, and an infection of the liver.
“Autoimmune disease is hard, sometimes it’s hard not to identify as a sick person, at times the real me feels hidden underneath my struggles. But after surviving something that surely should’ve killed me, I remain faithful.”
Currently, Siraj is still struggling with this disease. BBut through everything, he’s fought through it and remained as positive as one could be. He’s not just a MMA fighter, he’s someone going through something really challenging. Something that would have folded many people by now.
As you can see, Jamie Siraj isn’t just a MMA fighter. He’s a fighter.
“Anyone going through challenges, I would say keep going no matter what happens… Keep going. Your thoughts are the number one source of healing. Be kind to yourself, and gentle with others. We all have a different fight in life. Being physically sick had tested my mental strength so much, and it’s very important to keep your heart open to healing.”