Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Amir Sadollah made a name for himself by winning the Ultimate Fighter Season 7, now the Brooklyn-born 185-pounder would like to continue building that reputation inside the Octagon.
Since the conclusion of the show Sadollah’s moved out to Las Vegas and is currently training at the Xtreme Couture gym with Randy Couture and good friend and coach from the Ultimate Fighter, Forrest Griffin.
Sadollah recently took a few minutes away from his training for this week’s fight against Nick Catone to answer a few questions.
Q: How’s your life changed since you won the Ultimate Fighter 7?
A: I think it’s helped me to grow up in a way. It sounds kind of cheesy, but just becoming a man.
Q: You have to get recognized a little bit more, right?
A: It’s cool and it happens, but I try not to dwell on it too much. It does kind of blow me away, how random some of it is. If I’m at fights, people obviously know who I am. But if I’m out at the grocery story or movie theatre and someone notices me, that’s always a little weird.
Q: So you’re living in Las Vegas full-time, what’s that like?
A: I kind of stay out of the Vegas scene so to speak. The biggest thing for me is the gyms I train at and the guys I work with out here. It’s a whole different level. It’s all the guys I used to watch fight, and now I get to train with them and have them punch me in the face.
Q: Do you look at your upcoming fight being any different than the one on the TV show?
A: One thing I think I’ve always done pretty well, whether the fight is an amateur one or in the UFC, I take them all completely seriously. This is definitely no exception.
Q: But is this a different kind of test, where you don’t have to worry about some of the things that were going on with the show and can concentrate solely on your opponent?
A: They’re all real, but this fight and everyone after it is going to be big tests. The bar is going to continue to be raised, and that’s cool. I want to earn it.
Q: What part of your game have you worked on the most after watching yourself on the show?
A: I’ve definitely worked a lot on wrestling and picked a good place to do it. I know it’s kind of a dull answer, but really I’ve worked on everything. These days you can’t get by on just one aspect of the game, especially out here because the level is such a step above.
Q: What’s the one thing that stands out about your opponent, Nick Catone?
A: I don’t really underestimate any aspect of anyone’s game. I don’t care if I’m fighting Roy Jones Jr., I’d still be cautious of getting submitted. I think he’s a tough guy, aggressive. He’ll keep pressure on me the whole fight. He fights smart, fights hard.
Q: How exciting is it to be on Randy Couture’s return card?
A: I’m definitely excited. I wish I wasn’t fighting because I’d like to watch all the other fights. Definitely a great card to be on.