Five first-round finishes in five fights during his rookie campaign in 2012 has MFC heavyweight prospect Smealinho Rama on the verge of becoming the promotion’s big man.
“I’m pretty happy that they were all first-round finishes, and that’s what I want to continue to do,” said Rama of his fast start. “I don’t want to be a decision fighter. I want to finish every fight and make it exciting and want the fans to love it.”
Still early in his career, Rama realizes that he still has a lot of growth ahead of him.
“I’m pretty happy with what I did, but there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “I’d like to be more the fighter that I am in the gym in the ring and let loose a bit more and have a good time out there.
“I feel I’ve changed quite a bit (since my debut). I’m a better fighter. I’m better with the media. I’m training harder. I’m learned what my body needs and how to train properly and not over-train and how to set myself up to have a positive training camp before a fight.”
For Rama’s first fight of 2013, he’ll be fighting in what is essentially a heavyweight title eliminator against Mike “Honey Badger” Hackert at MFC 36 live on AXS TV on Friday night in Edmonton, Canada.
“We wanted this fight as soon as possible,” said Rama. “I wanted to get this fight in my third or fourth fight, and unfortunately we couldn’t get it, but here we are now. We knew whoever the number one guy was, we were going to get it; it was only a matter of time.
“Now I’ve got the fight that I’ve wanted and I’m just ready to take the number one spot and get my title shot.”
Rama told MMAWeekly.com that he feels he’s well-rounded enough to take the fight wherever he wants it to go, be dominant in all positions and continue his winning streak.
“All I need to do I think is just go out there and do what I want do,” he said. “Do my thing, do what I’ve learned and the fight will be just like every other fight.”
Even though he’s entering only the second year of his career, Rama feels he’s established himself through his performances in his fights and now seeks to be recognized for what he’s accomplished.
“In a way, I do have something to prove and I don’t,” he said. “People still look at me as an underdog, but all my fights have been first-round stoppages. When I’ve got the number one spot, maybe I’ll get a little more attention, but I’m not looking for attention. I’m looking for fights. I’m looking for sponsors and exposure.
“I want the world to see me. I don’t want the world to know me. I don’t want them to talk about me, but know that I’m there and I’m a legitimate contender. I want to take the number one ranking, take the MFC title and I want to keep this steady road I’ve been going on this past 12 months.”