“Ultimate Fighter 13” finalist Ramsey Nijem doesn’t mind the new nickname he earned from the reality show, but he also says Tony Ferguson earned a reputation as well, and it’s just who he is.
Everyone knows reality shows aren’t exactly reality, but any time a camera is on a person 24 hours a day, their true personality does tend to show through.
For Ramsey Nijem, he’s happy with the way he was portrayed during the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and doesn’t even mind the nickname that he earned during the show.
Nijem found a propensity for removing his clothes quite a bit during the six weeks he spent in the house, and roommate Chris Cope was nice enough to give him a nickname for it.
“I’ve been looking for a nickname cause I don’t have one so ‘Stripper’ Ramsey, it’s kind of catchy. I’m just going to be ‘Stripper’ Ramsey from here on out,” Nijem joked when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio.
Laughing aside, Nijem may have had fun in the house, but when it came to his fights he was all business. Right away after his first win over Charlie Rader, it was Nijem who established himself as a fighter to watch as the season progressed.
Because the fighters on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” didn’t have to fight their way into the house, Nijem admits that he may have been overlooked a little bit, but once they saw him fight Rader, all of that went out the window.
“I think the first one they might have underestimated me going into it. Once I went out there and controlled it, showed how good of a wrestler and a fighter I am, and how I’m actually here to fight and win, I think after that people stopped underestimating me,” said Nijem. “It kind of opened their eyes, ‘oh he likes to have fun and he’s a good fighter.'”
While Nijem was fine with the way he was portrayed in the house, his opponent at the TUF 13 finale was not put under the best spotlight during the final 2 episodes of the season.
Tony Ferguson, who Nijem faces Saturday night, had too much to drink after the quarterfinal fights and proceeded to pick fights with almost everyone in the house. From taunting Charlie Rader about a custody battle he’s involved in over his son to going after Zach Davis who literally found out earlier in the day that his MMA career could be over, Ferguson was unrelenting and unapologetic.
The next day, once the alcohol wore off, Ferguson offered his apologies to everyone involved and has since stated several times that he regrets the incident ever happened.
Nijem isn’t buying it though. He says Ferguson was shown on television exactly how he was, and if anything the editors on “The Ultimate Fighter” actually saved him from worse exposure if they would have shown everything that happened.
“A lot of people thought it was editing to make Tony look bad, but in reality it was editing to make him look better than what actually happened. He said something about Zach’s eyes and that was the day Zach found out he’ll never be able to fight again. He said something to me about stripping, just taking a cut at anyone,” Nijem revealed.
“Someone like Tony, I feel that’s just who he is. He had an outburst the night we all went out together, he had another outburst they didn’t show, that’s who he is. That’s going to be his rep and he’s going to have to change who he is. Cause he likes to get drunk, get violent and angry.”
Despite their obvious differences in the house, now Nijem and Ferguson are going to meet in the cage.
Since the show ended, Nijem has been in Utah working alongside fellow “Ultimate Fighter” alumni Court McGee and Jonathan Brookins. He’s also enlisted the help of Chuck Liddell’s head coach for many years, John Hackelman, to help improve his stand up.
Nijem believes that what fans saw on “The Ultimate Fighter” was a raw version of what has now been molded into a future champion.
“There’s a lot more you haven’t seen. From the show I look like just a wrestler with no hands, and obviously I have a lot to improve on in my stand-up game. I’m working real hard,” Nijem stated.
“My coaches here they know me better, they know how I am, they know when to push me and when not. It’s just different than training with coaches that don’t know you and don’t understand you as a person.”
Nijem is hopeful that at the end of all the training, six weeks spent locked in a house with 13 other fighters and a few strip teases in between that the result will be him crowned as the latest “Ultimate Fighter” champion.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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