Jamie Siraj believes he belongs in the UFC, and he’s ready to show it once again.
Vancouver’s Siraj (7-2) will battle Kelowna’s Blake Sigvaldason (3-1) in a number one contender bout in the bantamweight division at Rise FC 4 in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday night.
While Siraj, 25, does believe a win over Sigvaldason will earn him his UFC shot, he said he will gladly have a crack at current Rise FC bantamweight champion Chad Anheliger, if his octagon debut doesn’t come to fruition in the immediate future.
“I believe this could be my last fight locally. I believe my body of work speaks for itself. I’m young, I’m hungry, and I’m not one of those guys that’s talking out of there ass and fighting cans to get there. I’m fighting tough guys,” said Siraj in an interview.
“With a win here, I couldn’t see me not going to a bigger place like the UFC. But if that isn’t the case, everyone knows me. I will fight whoever, whenever. If it’s Chad next, great. I think I’m the best 135er in Canada not signed to the UFC, so if I truly believe that I will fight whoever to prove that.”
But before Siraj’s next fight can be determined, he must first pass a tough test in Sigvaldason.
Despite Sigvaldason only having four professional fights, Siraj said he knows the threats his opponent poses, knows he trains out of a good gym in Toshido MMA, and is, by no means, looking past him.
“I know coming in this isn’t a gimme fight. This isn’t some guy that’s meant for me to just walk all over,” said Siraj.
“In no way am I underestimating him or taking him lightly. He’s a very skilled opponent, he’s very tough, and I know he’s looking at this as an opportunity to build his name even more.”
With two wins via striking and another four by submission, Siraj has proved he’s capable of finishing the fight anywhere it ventures.
And although Sigvaldason also brings a well-rounded game of his own, Siraj said he will be able to find an opening, one way or another, to secure another finish.
“I think the fight’s going to be taking place everywhere. I don’t see it staying in one spot; we’re both too well-rounded and too skilled,” said Siraj.
“I feel I have a great game-plan going in to be the better mixed martial artist. I see me being a step ahead everywhere the fight goes, and somewhere in between all that he’s either getting choked out or knocked out.”
Coming in Hot
Much like Siraj, Sigvaldason, 25, will enter Saturday night’s contest scorching hot, currently riding a three-fight win and finish streak, which includes an impressive win over Michael Imperato at XFFC 21.
And although a win against Siraj may not immediately earn him a look on the big stage, Sigvaldason said he plans to continue letting his results speak for themselves.
“All I can do is keep winning and hope to get somebody’s attention,” said Sigvaldason in an interview.
“Beating Jamie and then beating Chad (Anheliger), two of the best guys in my weight class in Canada, would definitely be saying something.”
Sigvaldason is fresh off the biggest win of his career, taking out Imperato (then 7-3) to become the new XFFC bantamweight champion back in March. Sigvaldason would go on to vacate his belt due to confidential reasons.
Although he may not still hold the title of XFFC bantamweight champion, one thing that did remain was the impressive win on his record, a triumph Sigvaldason said let him know what level his game was at.
“It definitely made me realize where my skill level lies,” said Sigvaldason.
“I always knew I was good enough to win a title and eventually go to the big show, and that was just confirmation, and I need more of it.”
Similar to Siraj, Sigvaldason has shown his ability to end a fight both on the feet and on the mat.
Sigvaldason said with both he and Siraj possessing similar fighting styles, it’s going to be a tough fight no matter where it ends up.
“I know Jamie’s a high-level opponent and I think we have similar styles,” said Sigvaldason.
“I expect a good, back and forth fight. I’m going to try and implement my game-plan and push the pressure, and he’s going to try and do the same. I think it’s going to be an awesome fight.”
“I would like to thank my sponsors: Rock Steady Drywall, The Whole Bowl, Main Street Nightclub in Chilliwack, Connie Linder from Intengine, Darwin and Francine Douglas from Cheam Trading Post, and Trent Wittal from Catalyst Kinetics Group.” Follow Siraj on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“As always, a big shoutout to Toshido and everyone there. They’re the whole reason I was able to turn my career around. Also, my friends and family for always being supportive.” Follow Sigvaldason on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM