There’s no shortage of motivation and confidence in Saeid Mirzaei and Tre’ston Vines.
Canada’s Mirzaei (2-0-1) will lock horns with the United States’ Vines (3-0) in a welterweight bout at SHP 57 on Saturday night in Northport, Ala.
Mirzaei, 28, is coming off a win over 16-fight veteran Nicolae Cury at Rise FC 4, a fight he accepted for just his third professional fight, which led to him becoming the Rise FC 175-pound champion in the process.
Mirzaei said the win over Cury was a big confidence-booster for him, and provided him with the belief he can beat any welterweight on the regional scene.
“Nicolae was a judo world champion, he was a professional for 11 years, and he trained with a lot of UFC veterans, so I believe beating him gave me the confidence I can beat anyone on this circuit to get to the UFC,” said Mirzaei in an interview with MMA Empire.
“He (Vines) does not have the grappling, takedowns, or jiu-jitsu that Nicolae had. Nicolae was also a much more experience striker than him too. He’s a good athlete, he has talent, martial arts, and skill, but he’s just not on my level, and I’m going to prove that Nov. 7.”
Vines, 24, is coming off a second round TKO victory over Bryan McDowell at SHP 55, a victory which extended his knockout streak to three fights.
Vines said that win was further confirmation he continues to become a more consistent fighter, which is a trait he’s always strived for.
“Spectacular consistency. One thing I always tell myself is legendary glory, phenomenal fortune,” said Vines in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’ve been chasing this since I was kid. I’ve always wanted to be a fighter since I was five or six.”
New opportunities for Mirzaei
Like all Canadian fighters currently, in order to stay active, Mirzaei was forced to look outside of Canada to secure a fight, due to MMA events currently being on hold in Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mirzaei said he recently signed with LCManagement which led to him being able to sign on the dotted line to face Vines.
“I was working with a couple lawyers here in Vancouver, but I didn’t feel like they had the connections or cared that much, so I cut ties with them and signed with an agent in the States who got me this fight,” said Mirzaei.
“He’s got a lot of fighters into the UFC, he’s got my back, and we’re working well together.”
Prior to Saturday night’s affair with Vines, Mirzaei has fought his entire professional career in his home province of British Columbia.
But going forward, Mirzaei said he’s looking to gain more exposure on the international stage and start becoming recognized worldwide.
“I would like to start fighting more in the States, even in Bellator. I’m also open to fighting in Asia and Europe,” said Mirzaei.
“Pretty much wherever there’s an opponent, an opportunity to shine, show my skills, make some money, have some fun, and get another win on my record, I’m open to it. I believe I have the skills to be the best welterweight in the world.”
Throughout his professional career, Mirzaei has been no stranger to ending fights before the final bell, finishing 13 of his 18 combined professional and amateur wins.
And although Vines has been finished just twice in 15-combined professional and amateur fights, Mirzaei said he’s confident he will be the third man to do so.
“Anything can happen in a fight, but god-willing I’m going to take him out, as usual,” said Mirzaei.
“It’s going to be semi-easy work. I don’t think he’s too much of a challenge and I don’t think he’s on my level. I give him all the respect for his talent and his knockout wins, but I think it was against much lower-level opponents, and I’m ready to take him out.”
Vines has no intent of rushing career
Still undefeated as a professional and with all wins coming by knockout, Vines has proven to be a young prospect to keep an eye on.
Although a win over Mirzaei could start earning him some looks from some of the bigger promotions in the sport, Vines said he’s still young and isn’t looking to rush anything.
“I do see myself in the bigger spots, but right now I’m just trying to build up the experience before I get to those bigger spots because if I rush it now, in my opinion, it would be stupid,” said Vines.
“If anything, I need to take this time to build my experience because if I rush it, nine times out of 10 I’m going to mess up my career. I’m just trying to build my way up as much as possible and be as smart as I can, so I can learn the game as much as possible.”
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, Vines has remained active through 2020, having competed twice already this year, most recently in August at SHP 55.
On the other side of the cage, Mirzaei has been out of action since July 2019, largely due to his opponents pulling out of the fight on short notice.
Despite Mirzaei entering this bout coming off a 15-month layoff, Vines said he won’t be underestimating any aspects of his opponent’s game.
“One thing I always tell myself is never underestimate your opponent,” said Vines.
“If they have the experience, and they know, for a fact, they have to put the work in, they know how to come back in there and have that motivation.”
While the striking department is where Vines has found most of his success so far in his career, he’s also proven he can excel in the grappling and jiu-jitsu realms as well.
Vines said, no matter where the fight ends up on Saturday night, he believes he’s better than Mirzaei in every aspect.
“I see myself better everywhere. I think of it as visualize, adapt, overcome,” said Vines.
“I’ve just always found a way; I just make it happen. That’s must how I am and how I’ve been my entire career.”
“I’d like to thank Nabil Salameh, Ken Tran, Titan MMA, Michael Defrancesco, and Mikhail Basharymov.” Follow Mirzaei on social media: INSTAGRAM
“I would like to thank everybody from the Kagefit family, and everybody outside the Kagefit family. I would also like to thank Strikehard Productions for just keeping going during the pandemic.” Follow Vines on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM