Jamie Siraj is a Canadian mixed martial artist who competes as a bantamweight out of British Columbia. He is the former Unified MMA and Battlefield Fight League Bantamweight Champion and is one of the brightest prospects to emerge from Canada.
Jamie Siraj: Should going on, how are you how you doing I’m good, I’m good how’s, the house quarantine been treating you pretty good man. How was house quarantine as a whole over there like, I took it a bit for granted. I haven’t talked to myself but yeah. It was, it was good in some ways and also yeah – I mean I’m in Canada, so we’re still kind of in lockdown, ish gyms aren’t open or anything like that, but it sucks over here. How was training as a whole throughout the entire pandemic. Man is any so much so much running you can do and so much punching a bag. You can do huh, it’s been a bit annoying because you know the gym is basically my second home yeah. So describe the emotions going into that that you have stayed Eve. You I mean I’m sure you were so excited to get that car to compete in the UFC, obviously was short notice. Was there ever a time where you were like? You know what it’s too short of a notice, I’m going up a weight class. I don’t think I can do it ah, like bowling I’d fight, a heavyweight to be honest like if it was short notice. I’D bought it anyway, but um like it was it’s a dream. It’S a dream to just even make that walk. You know it’s a dream to say that I fought for the UFC to dream to call myself for UFC fighter and yeah, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m definitely Austin eternity and I don’t care. If I have to find welterweight, you know a middleweight. They don’t see it doesn’t matter, you thought up, but I think as high as a hundred and eighty-two pounds or something like that or 82 kilos. I don’t know what that is in pounds, but if you fought us pretty high 82 kilos, 83 kilos yeah yeah, but that was uh. When I didn’t know much about any nutrition – or I didn’t know much about dieting – and I just I just fought – I never never cut any weight. I was just fighting at my fat cell. You’Ve you’ve settled down now, you’re at 1, 145. What uh? What’S next? For you, obviously, I’m sure you’re dying to get back in there. What I want is definitely defined like either in the end of July or early August, but the way things are going, I’m not too sure how that’s gon na happen without Jim’s being open properly. Yet so, just a second yeah, a lot of guys right now are taking fights even throughout the pandemic. You know they’re going up weight classes they’re there competing on short notice, as that has that been, you know an option for you. If you got a call to go, compete, let’s say I’m a fight island, which sounds like absolutely amazing yeah against a diet. This time around, I want to have a proper camp. I want to fight at my weight division. You know what I feel the most comfortable. That and look. I want to do everything right now, like there’s only so many opportunities you get in the in the UFC, so yeah I want to. I want to do things properly. I want to get the the right fights and you know take my time. I’M still young and I don’t want to just sort of blow blow my you to create get into. You see pick a few stupid choir to take a few short notice fights and then and then get cut from the UFC. Oh my life’s hard work to get there, and then I choose to fight above a class that I choose to fight on. Like ten days notice or two weeks close and then I lose and they end up cutting me makes no sense. No, unless they, unless they say, look, depart up away to be genetic. Compensate me and say, look or give you this far, but will give you even more fine top of this. You know so it’s it’s. I want to do things properly. That’S what I want to do. You’Ve been training with Alexander Volkov ski. What’S that, like I mean I feel like that’s, got ta be hard training session after hard training session when they get the guys. The guys are based the guy’s, a beast, and it’s it’s good, like I get to say the inside of like what the best guy, not in my division is. You know he’s that he’s the king is the is the late of the late he’s, the one percent of the one-percenters. You know it’s not, and it’s it’s a good to see, he’s work ethic you know and how much I have to step up to take to get to that level. You know, what’s your what’s your prediction, obviously he beat max all the way. The first time quite comfortably, I thought they’re running it back. Obviously I’m sure you’re, you know training with him. You know I’m sure, I’m sure you’re rooting for him, but what’s your prediction? Everyone! Everyone knows that was a shutout max max is only getting this rematch because he was a long reigning long reigning champion, but this time around, it’s either gon na be more decisive, like, as in walkers gon na get a stoppage, or I feel like his legs. Gon na get chewed up and then after his leg gets chewed up. He’S he’s gon na get hurt. Quite a bit like, I feel, like it’s gon na, be a reminiscence of the Poirier fighter. How he got banged up pretty badly and I feel like Marco – is gon na bring that I know it’s a probably short camp for him, but you know I feel like he just has his number so a few years ago, Australian MMA, wasn’t, I wouldn’t say, as Big in the UFC, in particular, guys like Robert Whittaker, Alexander Volkov, ski they’ve, really kind of put Australia on the map. What do you think it’ll take before Australia really starts pushing out world champions like Brazil or like the US, and it’s coming? The talent here is rising on the local scene, a lot of a lot of the amateur fighters. A should be pro fighters now. This that the MMA scene here is in the Australia is, is growing and like there’s so many good promotions. Now that we have that are that are pushing these amateur fighters to turn pro and, and you know, get the right fights get it get the right experience and I feel like we, we are building where we’re a breeding ground soon above a world champions. Just like the whole Anzac like the whole Australia, New Zealand, like look at City kickboxing, look at all these other guys they coming through, and this is just the beginning. This is honestly just the beginning. Yeah I mean you’ve competed for several organizations there in Australia. You’Ve won three titles: what was bigger for you, winning those titles or getting the call to the UFC everybody I’ll trade, all these belts, all these local regional belts to be a part of the UFC, it’s good, being a big fish in a small pond. Winning all these local regional scenes in Australia, but what you know the end of the days I want to be in the in the ocean with all these other killings. You know the best part is ever since I started. I’Ve always wanted to fight the best guys and the best guys and all the best guys – and you see so it’s exciting. For me, this is a dream. You know I get, I can say I’m amongst the best guys, and you know I’m fighting the best guys, and I can’t take that away from me. Yeah. You hear guys like Jorge Maz, video John Jones, all these guys coming out and complaining about pay, whereas if they go to a Bellator or 1fc or one of these other organizations they may get paid more. Does that matter to you? Obviously, at this stage in your career, I’m sure you want to get in the UFC. Do you think these other opportunities for fighters is? Is a good thing or a negative thing? Like you know, biggest biggest can’t be choosy. You know I’ve still been paid more on. My first you see debut than I have for any other fight that I have locally. So I can’t complain about that. But look if you are a superstar and – and you know what numbers you bring in to the UFC and you know what you bring to the table for them. I feel like you should be pushing pushing for more money, because you know I feel, like a lot of athletes get underpaid, especially far, especially we go through to to fight. But in my stage in the career my career is like I’m not picky man, I’m not picky at all and I’m yeah. I feel like if you got to stop now, why not? Why not want to push for? Why not push for more money Stanley? It’S a bit as much as it is a business. You know it’s also as much as sports. Also a business I feel like you’ve got the power being Canadian. Obviously, George st. Pierre was one of the guys that really got me into MMA. Austria. Us, like we talked about Australia, didn’t have a big anime, seen up until Robert Whittaker and Vulcan Oski. What ultimately got you into it? It was there. A specific fighter was fascinated by jujitsu, which obviously the first UFC the UFC tournament, where Royce Gracie ended up choking out everybody guys twice in size, guys different styles of fighting. That was like really intrigued me and that’s sort of what kicked it off and the biggest thing I feel like what got me into the sport of the MMA was it gave me a my own eye identity because I feel like going through school. All my friends had their identity. They were like. Oh that’s, that basketball player. Oh that’s that rugby league player, that’s this person everywhere. I was just following what everyone else is doing, but fighting when I found fighting, I felt like that was my own personal thing. That was who gave me like to show everyone who I am basically expressed myself. The best way training so fighting for me was always about that. You, your debut, was in front of uh was in New Zealand. What was it like? Competing close to home and almost probably felt like you were the hometown, hometown favorite there. What was it like and what was the noise like in that in that atmosphere? Oh, it’s crazy. It was as much as it was crazy. It was everything felt like it belonged like it was. There was nothing. There was nothing out of the ordinary. You know like as much as it was crazy and I pictured doing the same, walk out so many times in my life actually going through it. It felt normal did it feel nothing felt out of place. Are you looking forward to staying in that area like if you got a call to go compete abroad? Are you looking to travel for your next fight, or would you rather stay close to home and whatever, like I said, biggest companies yeah, I’m happy with whatever, but I I would love. I would love to be on a on an undercard for one of the local boys like Adesanya booker, or you know, Balkan offski. That would be they’ll be insane. What would you recommend for, like I know, like I, have a little little brother people have kids? What would you recommend to them who obviously people watch TV and they watch they watch people get punched in the face, and I don’t want my kid doing that. What would you, what would you recommend for parents of those kids honestly its it shows it teaches them? So much discipline its teaches so much discipline to everybody. So it’s it’s crazy, but look yeah, martial arts teachers teaches discipline. You know teaches honor respect. It teaches all these life forms. You know like things that you should. You should be yeah like stuff. You can take away besides being able to defend yourselves, there’s so much, there’s so much you can gain out of this fitness self-confidence, self-esteem. You know, and obviously all those other things like being able to show loyalty, respect honor as these things that stick with you, even after you done with fighting I’ll, ask you a couple more questions and then oh and then I’ll. Let you go, but we’ll do a non MMA one. What sorts of things have you been doing throat quarantine? Is there any shows you’ve been watching any video games. You’Ve been playing, you tick talking. What have you been doing in your free time? I was. Was it on me game so I’ll be playing everything then, but majority it’s just been on call of duty. If you drop throughout this whole thing has been call of duty and TV shows, then I’m a big fan of anime I’ve been watching recently. This thing on Netflix called Bucky Bucky, the grappler awesome and an anime series. You know if you want to watch something, that’s violent and also cartoonish, it’s the one to go to what can we expect last question? What can we expect in your next fight? Obviously, you’ve have you have a lot of finishes throughout your career. You fought your last fight. Obviously didn’t go your way. What can we expect next time out, Elena Elena and a guy? That’S hungry, a guy, that’s gon na. I just can’t wait I’d, rather let my my action is doing the talking you know, because when when it comes to it, I’m gon na I’m gon na show everybody. You know how much I’ve been wrong from then, and the people can. People can judge me from that last fight and I can say anything they want from that last fight, but um yeah. I can’t wait to show I shut everybody up and show everyone. You know this next level, this next level. Alright man, thanks for the time I appreciate, I’m glad we were able to squeeze it in we’re on the opposite side of the world. So it’s very difficult. It’S 10:00 p.m. here it’s 10:00 p.m. Sunday completely different days 12 hours apart yeah, it’s crazy! Alright man, all the best stay safe, keep washing your hands, don’t get sick yeah. Thank you. Alright, then, all the best take it easy. Bro