Ramiz Brahimaj is a former member of United States military and current mixed martial artist competing in the Welterweight division of the UFC. The Fortis MMA standout has a 100% finishing rate with 7 of his 8 victories coming in the first round.
Ramiz Brahimaj: Boom, all right, we are back with episode. 101. We had a great 100th episode yesterday with mason jones and now uh, i’m very excited uh have another uh ufc uh fighter back on um in remis brahimage, i’m probably butchered his name um, but he’s uh he’s taken. Some time off, um due to some injuries, but i’ve been a fan of his for a very very long time. He’S got a big fight coming up and um without further ado um. I’M gon na invite him on here. Just give me one second here still trying to get used to the uh, the software, all right, man, uh man, thanks for uh, thanks for taking the time to uh to jump on. I i really appreciate it awesome yeah for sure it’s my pleasure brother, i uh! It’S my second time on this software, so it is taking me a little while to get used to uh so sorry about having to boot you back out and inviting you back in ah you’re, good man for sure. As long as it’s working now, it’s the only thing yeah. Hopefully it works. Hopefully we can get through this thing without any uh technical issues yeah for sure. So i want to start man um. How are you doing? I mean this whole pandemic things uh kind of put a hold on uh. I guess the entire sport i mean there was a period there, where no one could do anything. It was kind of convenient for you in the in the sense that you were, you know going through through some things that maybe we’ll touch on a little bit later um, but now you’re back, we haven’t seen you in over a year and a half. So how does it feel to to have something lined up? I’M sure it feels great yeah. It’S super exciting. You know i’ve been i’ve been waiting chomping out the bit waiting for this uh moment for a while. Now you know and um i mean it just feels so good that i finally have something on paper: um and uh, just just waiting for it to come to fruition. You know so i’m excited what was the uh. What was the training like throughout the entire thing? I mean you hear a lot of guys doing more cardio but uh. What was it like for you, uh? Knowing that you know you can’t you, like. You, said nothing on paper. You don’t even know if the sport’s gon na get back up uh. So what was it like to do those trainings uh at home? It was rough man uh. The good thing was is that i did help uriah hall out a lot during this camp, so i was going to fortis uh quite a bit. It was like ninja training. You know we were like in the shadows, you know just me and him training like when nobody was. There was just me him, coach, safe and i was helping him get ready for the jockey fight when they initially wanted to do it. On that uh ferguson, gaichi card um, so yeah it was, it was crazy man. It was a. It was a wild experience. Now that i, this is like the first time that i’m actually getting to reflect and think back to it. So it was crazy crazy. So i want to talk about your upcoming fight. I mean max griffin. Um is, i think, on paper, the most experienced fighter in mma that you’ve ever fought yeah. That being said, he has the most losses of anybody. You’Ve ever fought too so i mean there’s, there’s the uh. There’S both sides there’s advantages in the sense that there’s tape on him everywhere, there’s also the disadvantages, and that he’s seen everything. So how do you? How do you dissect him as an opponent and uh, especially with that time off so max, is a very tough guy. You know, there’s there’s nothing that needs to be said about it, he’s a tough guy as a seasoned veteran the dude’s been through it all he’s. Seen it all and uh he’s a guy that i have a lot of respect for you know one of my teammates fought him alex from morono. So you know he told me the same thing he’s like he’s just a very very tough guy keeps his nose to the grindstone, so i’m anticipating a a very hard uh, high-paced fight with him, and you know i just i can’t wait to get in there and Mix it up with him, the the one thing that’s kind of really been a change for a lot of these fighters is the the audience or lack thereof, a lot of guys feed off the energy of the crowd and a lot of people find it’s a distraction. Almost and they find that they perform better without the empty arena you haven’t experienced it yet. So what do you think that’s going to do for for your performance? You know walking out and not having anybody there. Yeah i mean you know it’s definitely something different, but uh. You know i’ve gotten the uh chance to corner guys during this uh pandemic and uh also uh, it’s uh reminiscent of uh the contender series. So i wonder some guys in the contender series and then, of course, during this pandemic, as i said before, so i mean it’s definitely it’s a change. I personally think it’s a little bit of a change for the better, but to me it doesn’t really matter. You know crowd or no crowd, we, we all have a job to do and we’ve got to go out there and get it done. I’M sure i mean we talked, you just mentioned the contender series and i’m sure you’ve talked about it. A lot um, but i can’t help but bring it up. I mean you were scheduled to find the contender series and then you had probably one of the most devastating news you could probably get as a fighter. You know it’s not just a knee injury. It’S something way way more serious, a tumor, so first things first. How is that? How is that everything good? Are you cleared everything’s good 100? I i think i’ve been cleared since uh march of 2020. You know the surgery was was a1 fantastic, uh, happy that i got to be done with it and bounced back from it. So it was really uh. It was a really it was. It was a hard setback. You know in the sense of uh, you know being being uh being taken away, uh from my opportunity on the contender series, but everything worked out for the best, and you know i wasn’t too bitter about it at all. You know i just focused on the recovery and during that time, just getting better as a fighter and maturing as a as a man, so the past year and a half has been absolutely brutal for you. I mean you got that injury and then finally, it’s like got ta fight, got ta fight great then your corner man, that’s positive for covet and you’re out so kind of describe that roller coaster of emotions. I mean you’re like finally man, i’m a week away. I i got ta fight and then boom so kind of describe what it’s like to to be pulled from it and it’s kind of out of your control. Once again i mean it was uh, it wasn’t uh. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least, but uh it’s life, things in life. They happen all the time and sometimes with explanation, sometimes without explanation and um. It was just one of those things that i just had to take it in. You know and uh – hopefully this time i don’t got too much to worry about. Hopefully, we we get uh me and max get to the fight healthy and safe and we both get to throw down and make a living. I want to talk about your background for a lot of people who aren’t maybe uh familiar with with uh. With your background in mixed martial arts, you started with boxing and kickboxing at a very young age and then kind of took up wrestling at jiu jitsu in high school. What was the biggest uh you know thing to adapt to when you started getting into the grappling. I’M sure everything’s different, i mean you’re standing up you’re boxing and then all of a sudden people are grabbing you. It’S got to be complete, complete different change of elements and when you started incorporating it, what was the hardest thing to learn? Oh patience and just uh. Not rushing things you know, because i i used to like rushing a lot of a lot of submissions, a lot of takedowns and stuff like that, and it cost me and uh. It’S just patience. You know just just making sure that i’m settling into positions and everything like that, instead of just trying to jump right on anything that i see you spent some time in the military as well, and i want to talk about this in a different way. I guess a lot of people ask what military does in terms of your fighting career, but i want to reverse that what did bjj boxing kickboxing? How did that help you when it came to transitioning into the military um? Well, they both went hand in hand with each other. You know just the discipline uh that i learned from from both aspects. You know uh the discipline that i learned from mma and everything in mma and around it with the weight cutting with with making sure i’m on top of my diet, i’m on top of my consistent training and everything like that and it’s the same thing. The uniformity of the army that uh, like i said they went hand in hand with each other and they uh. They made me a better fighter and in turn, fighting made me a better soldier. Do you think that’s something that maybe that should be incorporated into military training like jiu, jitsu or boxing, or something like that? 100? I’M a big advocate for uh. You know law enforcement and uh military and just first responders in general to know how to how to train and how to defend themselves and not only defend themselves, but also learn how to defuse situations. You know it’s. It’S uh, it’s normal! You know when you fight you train, you just become. Naturally you become a lot more calmer. You know you become more cerebral, so i definitely i’m a big advocate for that yeah. I uh, i agree. 100. I mean it’s definitely humbling as well. I mean you. I was someone who uh, you know watched ufc and i was like i can do all this stuff, you go into the gym and you get thrown and you get thrown around and i think it’s important. I think it’s important not just for military, but also like police officers and whatnot. I agree with you. 100. I think it’s very important and it’s nice to hear that from someone who did serve for the country for sure yeah. Of course i want to talk about forties mma, i mean it’s kind of the past few years. It’S really taken off with guys, like you jeff, neil uh, uriah hall. The list goes on and on so what’s the secret there? What what’s going on there? Is it? The brilliance of the coaching is it the the the the community type feel within the uh within the gym. What is it it’s? It’S a little bit of everything you know um. It reminds me a lot of the military. You know, there’s always uh, there’s always order and uh there’s always uniformity, you know and uh. Nobody is above the team and uh nobody’s beneath the team. So it’s just it’s it’s a beautiful balance that we have going on there and uh. Of course, it’s you pair that with hard work, you pair that with coach, saves brilliance and everybody showing up on time. Everybody working hard offer their same goals, and you know i mean it’s just it’s something special to be a part of 100, something that i’m thankful. I’M grateful to be a part of who was who’s, your biggest um training partner, who has helped you the most for this camp. Oh man, jeff neal, 100 jeff jeff has been there. Uh jeff has been there a lot for me. So you know i’m just happy to to return the favor for him too uh, but jeff has definitely helped me out. He’S gon na be in my corner as well he’s uh, very solid guy man. I have nothing but good to say about that. Guy he’s taught me a lot he’s, helped me out a lot and uh. You know just grinding with that guy and just seeing how he grinds and just handles his business. It’S a big motivating factor for me, his injury as well, i mean i’m sure you played a huge part in kind of helping him overcome that i mean he went through something devastating and you hate to hear it. As someone and close friend, i guess what was your message to him when you heard about it uh, i just wanted him to stay strong. I know he’s uh he’s a fighter he’s a warrior through and through, and he would make it through those hard times. There’S no doubt in my mind you know: um, we’ve all seen each other go through adversity, we’ve all seen each other bounce back from adversity and uh. I think jeff neil’s going to do a lot of special things and uh. He has. He has a very bright future ahead of him. He’S mentioned his future. What do you think is next for him i mean he’s right there, man top 10 top 15. I think everyone wants to avoid the guy. I mean he’s kind of reminds me of like uh ryan hall at featherweight. Nobody wants a piece of them. Yeah. Do you? Do you blame them? I don’t blame them. I try to jump deal every day. Man uh. Good luck! Good luck! That’S all! I got ta! Tell those other guys is good luck. I mean jeff neil’s a problem everywhere man, you know, i know a lot of people they. They know him for his world-class strike him, but just as much as the guy’s a striker, the guy is exceptional as a grappler. As a wrestler he’s very, very strong and uh, his positional awareness on the on the on the mat is is something to watch out for so my best advice is for the top five you guys uh, you guys either fight him or give up your spot. I then everybody’s avoiding them everybody. I don’t blame them. Man he’s scary. I mean his performance over mike perry, showed it oh yeah. I mean that doesn’t even that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. I mean that guy has so many weapons. It’S not even yeah. He’S i mean i, i don’t blame them for avoiding him either another guy who everybody seemed to uh, be scared of for a long time is khabib nurmagomedov now he’s a champion and you have no choice but to fight him. Oh yeah, the only guy who i think is crazy enough to get in there and potentially beat him, is justin gaichy that fights next weekend. What’S your prediction for that fight, i don’t know man i mean uh. I have a lot of love for both guys. I think uh geichi’s a formidable contender and um. You know when you’re at the top, like that, every newcomer, every contender – everybody that that’s that’s that’s essentially coming for your top spot – is gon na be dangerous and just as poirier was dangerous, just as even conor was dangerous. I see geichi posing a major major threat and um, especially on 155. It’S never going to get easy, so uh for me to sit here and say: okay, she doesn’t have a chance. That’S a lie. Geichi has a very big chance um. He could definitely pull the upset, but in the same in the same hand, i could also see khabib uh taking him out as well. I mean it’s just the volatility of the sport and the way that things have been going. You just it’s you don’t know. What’S going to happen, but i mean uh, i would give khabib just a slight edge, just a slight favor, and i mean not by not by much just because i know the volatility of the sport and i know how things go. And i know how much of a madman gate she is and that’s why i got a lot of love for that guy and i got a lot of khabib too yeah. I i love the fight. I keep going back and forth the more i think about it. The the more confused i get about making it i’m always bad at making picks man, i’m always off. I don’t make picks. I don’t make picks at all man. I just watch fights and i enjoy them. You know i don’t bet. I don’t bet on fights. I’Ve. Never been a gambler man, so i just look at fights i i i look at statistics and stuff like that and i’ll make a little prediction i’ll be like. Ah, maybe he might but then again i sit back and i watch the fight and i enjoy the fight and i watch the men at work. I want to take things full circle. I mean you talked about your military background and everything. What has this sport done? For you, in terms of as an individual uh as an athlete and uh. More importantly, what is the team that you’re surrounding yourself with done for you? On a personal note, it’s done everything for me. It’S uh completely changed my life. Coach dave has changed my life uh being at the gym. Every day has changed my life in every aspect of it. You know financially uh physically mentally everything. You know just just being there every single day, i’m in i’m in the gym day in and day out and um being there and just just taking it all in being as absorbent as possible and uh growing growing uh. This sport has taught me a lot about myself and uh. You know i’m very proud of it and i’m very happy that i have it. It’S been a major outlet for, like it’s been a getaway for me. Sometimes you know when, when things get rough in the outside world, i could always just turn back and go to the gym, and it’s like my escape. You know it’s my escape from a lot of a lot of crazy stuff going all right. Well, it looks like we, we got cut off there at the end, but i mean i think the message is clear from him. I mean the sport has done a lot for him. The team has done a lot for him and you can expect great things from him, as well as the entire team uh there at forties, he’s uh. I mean i’ve been a fan of his for a long time. Uh his uh, his layoff, has been uh. Well, it’s been extremely long and uh. I can’t wait for his return. I mean he’s, got a big fight coming up and i think we just got him back. Actually yeah he’s back, i’m back there. It is there it is there. I was trying to improvise. I was like, maybe i’ll get him back. Maybe it’s over. I don’t know all right i’ll, ask you a couple more questions and then uh and then i’ll. Let you get going here um. So i kind of built this platform a couple years ago by just making uh match-ups after every fight. I’D say this guy should fight this guy and i know you’ve got a big fight coming up. So i don’t want you to think too far into the future. But if you had one dream just say you know what, before your career is said and done, whether it’s in the cage outside the cage like to test your skills against one athlete, whether it be someone you idolize or someone you dislike, is there one person that You’Re, like you know what before all said and done i’d like to say, i fought this person. Of course, i i never like to look into the future um i like to live in the present and uh. You know i would never disrespect any of my opponents that i’m fighting, especially not the one that i have ahead of me november 7, but if there was one guy before i retired that i would love to fight, i know it’ll probably never happen um, but man. It would have to be gsb, i mean to me, he’s the greatest of all time and he he embodies what a true mixed, martial artist is in every facet of being a mixed, martial artist. So i mean, if i had the uh privilege to fight george st pierre and share the same uh share the same cage as him. I would love that, but i mean you know it’s a little bit too far-fetched, but a man could dream right. As a canadian there’s, nothing i like to hear more than george st pierre is the greatest of all time. I love that 100. That’S he’s the goal, i i don’t know uh. I don’t know if there’s anybody else in that conversation i mean the stuff that that guy’s done he’s came back, he’s won two titles and uh i mean he’s just he’s class act through and through you know, yeah 100. That being said, um you describe george st pierre. You describe jeff neal for people who haven’t seen you fight. Yet what can they expect from me when you fight max griffith, it’s gon na be an awesome fight. You know uh. I, like i like to pride myself as a hard-nosed fighter. I like to get right to the nitty-gritty and uh i get down. I fight, you know, that’s what i love to do and i always put on exciting fights. I’Ve never been in a boar fight. I like to credit myself and uh: you know i don’t want to jinx it. God forbid. I hope i’m never in the board fighting my life. I hope i’m always in an electrifying fight and i’m always keeping fans on the edge of their seat and uh. That’S what i bring to the table. I love it. Man, i’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and i’m glad you uh, i’m glad you came on uh. I appreciate it and best of luck, man and try to stay safe, make sure you’re. Nobody test positive this time and hopefully knocking on wood everything man all right, man, all the best stay safe and uh. Hopefully your uh. Your luck turns around here in a big way and uh all the best. Thank you. So much guys take care all right there. You have it. I’Ve been a fan of his for for quite some time. I uh. I appreciate him coming on um, look forward to his fight he’s uh he’s an absolute dog just like everybody there at forties, so expect great things from him. Like always, don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and make sure you fuddy you, you follow uh bloody canvas mma if you have nts until next time. Thank you and i’ll see you guys later.