Home sweet home for Jamie Siraj.
Although now residing in Vancouver, Siraj, 24, grew up in Chilliwack and said it’s going to feel great to be back fighting there with much more at stake this time around.
“It’s awesome. My amateur fight career was built in Chilliwack. It’s nice to come back home now and do it as a pro with higher stakes on the line,” said Siraj.
“I’m at the point where one or two wins solidifies a spot in a big promotion for me, so it’s going to be nice to have my friends and family there. It’s going to be a loud crowd there.”
With the calibre and records of both Siraj and Sagman, the winner will be on the short list for the next crack at the bantamweight champion.
“At this point, winning titles isn’t what’s going to get me in the UFC. Winning fights is going to get me in the UFC,” said Siraj.
“For me, I just want the best guys available. I’m taking this fight because I realize what a tough competitor Gabe is.”
So far in his young professional career, all six of Siraj’s wins have been before the final bell, including an impressive body punch finish of Michael Hay to win the Unified MMA strap.
And while he views Sagman as a tough challenge, Siraj said he’s expecting to extend his finishing streak Saturday night.
“I know he’s game, I know he’s tough, I know he’s going to be in shape, I know he’s going to be on weight, and I know he’s going to be a professional,” said Siraj.
“As far as my skills versus his skills, my will versus his will, I think I have him checked in every area. I see me going out there and finishing him.”
Sagman Mentally Strong
Sagman, 27, also has his share of finishes, with three of his five victories coming via first round stoppage.
But despite being a well-rounded fighter physically, Sagman said his biggest advantage over Siraj comes between the ears.
“My mental toughness and relentlessness is going to shine through,” said Sagman.
“Whatever he brings at me, I’m going to be able to take. I’m going to be able to push through any situation. Over the course of three rounds, I’m going to be able to break him.”
For the first time in his career, in addition to his regular training at House of Champions MMA, Sagman spent a portion of his training camp in Las Vegas, putting work in at both the UFC Performance Institute and Xtreme Couture.
Sagman said it was a great learning experience for him and believes he’s grown immensely as a fighter from his time there.
“It’s a huge benefit being here. The Performance Institute itself is an amazing facility. They’ve got everything you can ask for,” said Sagman.
“There’s obviously lots of good guys in the room and the coaching staff are great. It’s an awesome setup; I couldn’t be happier.”
This will be Sagman’s first fight under the Rise FC banner, with the majority of his past professional fights having taken place in Romania for Real Xtreme Fighting.
Now having signed a multi-fight deal with Rise FC, Sagman said he’s excited for his future with the promotion and is looking forward to getting started Saturday night.
“I’m really happy to be working with Rise FC. I appreciate that they’re bringing in the real fighters. They’re not guys that are trying to pad their records,” said Sagman.
“I believe the winner of this fight should be getting a shot at the belt, so that’s definitely what I’m aiming for. I’m looking to be the champ at bantamweight, and possibly even flyweight.”
“I’d like to thank Jody Blakeway from Inkboy Tattoo Studio, Connie Linder from Intengine, Casey Bruinink from Main Street Nightclub, Darwin and Francine Douglas from Cheam Trading Post, Trent Wittal from Catalyst Kinetics Group, Brittani Linder from White Light Healing, Johnny Fletcher from Recovery Towing, and all my training partners and coaches.”
“I’d like to give a big shoutout to Kyle Nelson, Shane Campbell and Kru Alin, everyone back home at House of Champions, my business Absolute BJJ, and anyone that’s helped me throughout this fight camp and my career.”