clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Interview with UFC Fighter Amir Sadollah

New, 6 comments

In the past year Amir Sadollah has gone from being known only by a select group of folks that follow the fight scene in and around Virginia, to being a nationally known MMA star. This 28-year-old former surgical technician and Virginia native initially made a reputation for himself in his hometown of Richmond, training in jiu-jitsu at the Combat Sports Center. He would later spend some time in Holland training in Muay Thai, honing his standup skills.  Sadollah was cast on season seven of The Ultimate Fighter despite having no professional fights and a 4-0 amateur record. Besides flashing some skills early in his MMA career, Amir has won over a lot of fans because of the traits that he displayed during his winning run on that show. He’s a guy that comes across as very humble and likable. During his season on “The Ultimate Fighter” he continually showcased his self-deprecating humor and won over much of the audience. Don’t be fooled by his easy going demeanor. Sadollah is no laughing matter in the cage and could potentially prove to be a threat in the UFC’s already deep 170 pound division.

Rich Wyatt: I understand that you pretty much grew up in the Richmond, Virginia area. What was Amir Sadollah like in high school? Were you pretty active in sports?


Amir Sadollah: When I was younger I played soccer and football, and I wrestled one season, but as soon as I got to high school priorities changed for me. I was more about running. And by running I mean chasing girls. And just trying to be all-around cool.


Rich Wyatt: So, tell us a little about your training and MMA experience prior to being cast on TUF season 7.


Amir Sadollah: I had been training about four and a half years, trying to stay pretty well rounded. I tried to balance out doing Muay Thai fights and MMA. I also competed in grappling tourneys.


Rich Wyatt: What was the process of filming “The Ultimate Fighter” like? What was it like being in that house with the other fighters and what were your thoughts on the coaches, Forrest and Quinton?


Amir Sadollah: Being in the house was definitely something you have to experience to really understand. Basically you are in close proximity to 15 other guys, with no contact to the outside world. You’re there all day, every day for six weeks. It could be stressful. Getting to know Forrest and Quinton was nice, for sure. They are both very cool, hilarious and down to earth guys.


Rich Wyatt: Do you still stay in close contact with any of the other guys from that season or either of the coaches?


Amir Sadollah: Yeah, I moved to Vegas after the show to continue to work with my coaches from the show, Mark Beecher and Cameron Diffley.  Matt Brown, Matt Riddle and occasionally Tim Credeur all train out here too. The rest of the guys I would say I keep in pretty regular contact with, either online or by phone.


Rich Wyatt: How has your training changed since you’ve won The Ultimate Fighter?


Amir Sadollah: I would say the biggest difference is just the level of guys I get to train with in Vegas. Guys like Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Forrest Griffin, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron and Gray Maynard just to name a few. It is really a huge advantage to have access to A-class guys like that.


Rich Wyatt: I remember seeing your fights from Season 7 against Gerald Harris and C.B. Dollaway and thinking “Man, these guys are true middleweights and Amir is going to have a rough time with these guys.“ The fact that you won those fights against such tough competition is a testament to your skill and dedication. How do you see things going now that you get to drop down to what is probably a more natural fit for you in the welterweight class?


Amir Sadollah: Well, I won't be as small in this weight class, but the talent pool seems to be deeper at 170. Also it's not all about being the biggest.  The guys in this weight class tend be faster and are better technically, so I definitely look at it as a greater challenge.


Rich Wyatt: I know that you’ve had some serious injuries during the past year that have kept you from competing as much as you’d like to. Now that you appear to have those behind you, how does it feel to get back into action with a fight scheduled for August in Philadelphia?


Amir Sadollah: Well, I'll probably really feel confident about that when I'm finally in the cage, but it is a good feeling for sure to be back training and have a fight scheduled.


Rich Wyatt: What do you know about your opponent, Johnny Hendricks (6-0)? He's a tough guy for sure.


Amir Sadollah: He's a very good wrestler and has a decent ground game. I definitely didn't get any cookies so far, and I'm glad that's not changing now.


Rich Wyatt: Whereas many fighters at that level take themselves very seriously, you’re generally considered one of the more well-liked guys out there because you really seem to come across as approachable and witty. How have you been able to stay so grounded?


Amir Sadollah: I just always thought there was no point in functioning with an inflated ego. I would like to think people respect skill over attitude. But to be honest I can't wait to get better and start being a douchebag.


Rich Wyatt: Nice. Is there anything that you’d like to say in closing to your fans?


Amir Sadollah: All jokes aside, I've been really touched by all of the people that have continued to support me throughout all the downtime I've had. It's all been really important to me to still feel relevant and I would like to say thank you to them. would like to thank Amir Sadollah for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best in his upcoming fights.