UofR students wins debut MMA fight


author: nathan mccarville | sports writer

green and gold with the two / nathan mccarville

Semir Ali, 5th year business student, has strong showing in first fight

Semir Ali, a former high school wrestler and fifth-year business student has made his debut in the Octagon of Lethbridge this past weekend with the Rumble in the Cage 60 event occurring on Nov. 24. The fight did not last long by any stretch of the definition, as  Ali was facing off against his opponent, Logan Geldreich, who also previously had a record of 0-0. Fighting in the featherweight division, the results of the MMA fight changed Geldreich’s record to 0-1, and Ali’s own to 1-0, improving Ali’s stats for the next big fight.

Ali’s performance made it look like it belonged on the professional side of the event’s card, despite being labeled as part of the amateur side of the event. Ali went straight for the takedown with a chokehold when the fight started. And when the chokehold didn’t hold, he finished his opponent on the ground with a flurry of punches just 45 seconds into the first round of the fight without taking a single hit. Usually spectators would be disappointed when a fight ends in such a small span of time, but the 45 seconds that Ali was in the octagon were well worth the $16.99 it costed to buy the stream.

Talking to Ali about his road to the Lethbridge’s octagon, I was able to ask a few things about the details of the fight, and his training to get the quick win.

So, how long have you been training for this fight?

Well, I’ve been in training camps since September. I knew I wanted to fight for a few years now, but it was just figuring out when the right time was. Looking into the future and the timeline, I thought October would have been a good time, but we got in in November, which was pretty close to schedule.

It seemed like you went straight for the takedown when the fight started. Was that your plan all along, or did you see a weakness that you could exploit?

The game plan was to take him down. We wanted to use our jabs to blind his vision so he couldn’t see the takedown coming in. We didn’t know how well of a striker he was, so we decided to take some time. After a few jabs, I decided it would be a good idea to dive and take his legs.

What was your mindset going into the octagon?

Honestly it was just to believe in my skills and to commit fully to what I was doing, and to not leave any doubt.

Now, you have a background in wrestling, did that help you during the course of your fight?

Absolutely, in MMA, a lot of people, if you’re looking at a pyramid of skills, people say that wrestling is at the bottom of the pyramid, so when you’re good at wrestling that person can really control the fight. So me and my coaches knew I was probably the better wrestler, so I could dictate where the fight took place whenever I wanted and that gave me the confidence I knew I needed when I got in there.

And finally, any plans for your future in MMA?

I do, currently talking with my coaches, and we might have another one at the end of January.

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