Tonight at UFC on FOX 7, Ramsey Nijem (7-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) looks for his fourth straight UFC win. Opponent Myles Jury (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), meanwhile, looks to keep an unblemished record intact. That alone, Ramsey said, gives him an edge.
Nijem, whose lightweight bout is part of the FX-televised preliminary card at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., has been on a roll since losing “The Ultimate Fighter 13? to Tony Ferguson.
Nijem, the season’s fan favorite, got off to a good start against show villain Ferguson, but late in the first round of their tournament final, he was battered senseless with a left hook and knocked out. But Nijem said there’s been a silver lining to the loss.
“I think it helped with the nerves,” he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I’ve said it before, I got knocked out on national TV, so I don’t think anything worse can happen here.”
That’s why, despite a three-fight win streak and his steady move up the lightweight ladder, Nijem isn’t stressing about tonight’s fight. He’s facing the well-rounded Jury, a cast member on “TUF 15? who’s undefeated in his pro bouts. Recently, he’s picked up UFC wins over Chris Saunders and Michael Johnson to push his current win streak to 11 fights.
Nijem, though, believes such a mark can hinder more than it helps.
“That’s one thing with Myles Jury: He has that undefeated record,” Nijem said. “People are like, ‘Oh, he’s undefeated.’ But that can haunt you more than a lot of people realize.”
Besides, he thinks it’s a good matchup for him anyway.
“He can strike, I guess,” Nijem said. “He can wrestle and take you down and hold you down. He’s a dangerous everywhere. He’s a well-rounded opponent, but so am I. I’m a very good wrestler, and I think some people forgot about that.”
And if it goes the distance, Nijem is prepared. He went the distance in wins over Danny Downes and Joe Proctor, which sandwich a knockout win over C.J. Keith.
Nijem said conditioning has never been an issue in his five-year career. When he’s not training, the Utah-based fighter spends his free time staying equally active. He swims, bikes, runs the mountains and rock climbs. He said it’s all for a simple goal.
“I approach the fight as a fight,” he said. “I’m there to hurt somebody. I want to put on an exciting fight for the fans and make it a bloody mess. I put in the work so I can do that.”
Further fueling his drive is that loss to Ferguson. As he learned in that fight, a split second can be the difference between an undefeated UFC record and an embarrassing knockout in front of a national TV audience. That’s why the defeat is always fresh in his mind.
“It still haunts me,” he said. “I think about it everyday. It’s kind of good. It motivates me to train that much harder and be ready for the next fight. I know that in any split second, a fight can change. It just takes the right timing, and sometimes it can just be dumb luck. But a fight can change, so you have to be ready for everything.”
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