Saturday, June 21, 2008

Congrats to RVA's Amir Sadollah

For some reason, neither local media nor blogs reported the news that Richmonder, Amir Sadollah, was a contestant on Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) on Spike. In each week's episode, Amir, flew under the radar by ducking the sensational amateurish antics of his fellow fighters/housemates, instead showing understated flashes of charm and wit. In the cage, Amir's Chesterfield kickboxing training from Team Combat was an asset that intimidated his opponents into wrestling him to the ground. Unfortunately for them, Sadollah's slick submission moves made the seemingly bigger and stroger fighters "tap out" one after another (except one, see below). Amir's improbable success propelled him into the finals and toward stardom in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Well, our Richmond fighter won the whole thing. On Saturday, June 21st, televised live on the Spike network, Amir tapped out the favorite to win, C.B. Dolloway, with a textbook armbar from the bottom. The victory garners the middleweight (185 lbs) fighter and MCV surgical technician, Amir Sadollah, a six figure contract to fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now, he's on a collision course with UFC middlewieght champ, Anderson Silva, a man who is widely considered to be the best fighter in the world. The home team is gonna need all the help he can get during his next few bouts.

If you missed the chance to cheer on a local hero during the season of TUF (don't worry, the show is super annoying), you'll have plenty more chances to see Amir Sadollah in the future. Previous reality show winners have received top priority from the biggest MMA promotion in the world. And in the fastest growing sport in the world, that's a lot of exposure.

During tonight's prefight build-up, 27 year old Amir said that he still lives with his parents. It will be interesting to see if he's going to stay in Richmond, or relocate to a big league training hotbed like Las Vegas. However, in my only other MMA story on this blog, I reported that the first ever lightweight UFC champion, Jens Pulver had plans to take charge of the Amir's Chesterfield gym and rename it, Pulver Combat Sports. However these situations turn out, Richmond is starting to get mentioned in the fight game more and more, so expect to hear about MMA in the media around here, like it or not. At least with Amir involved, we've got a local hero who's amusing (and, I don't mind sayin it, kinda cute) leading the way.

  • Here's one of Amir's old kickboxing fights where you can check out his killer head kick.
  • This one is Amir coming from behind to beat a strong wrestler with a vicious knee.
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Update: Not sure why I tried to write this story like a reporter. The real story here is Amir's classy approach to the sport. Unlike the other TUF contestants who talked tough, Amir simply showed he had the fighting skills in the cage when it counted. He's not cheesy, doesn't act mean, and his face doesn't look like a cinder block. With his "wolfcut" hairdo (it's not a mullet), he's a pretty accurate amalgamation of all things hipster (think Ilan from Top Chef, but less pretentious). The dude is goofy and honest and if you saw him during the post-fight award ceremony, you'd be charmed by him for sure. During his moment in the limelight, Amir was at a loss for words, instead, making faces for the camera and little antics with his crystaline award. I've never met, Amir, but I've got a feeling that he's someone that even non fight-watching Richmonders would be proud of. Check him out.

6 comments:

  1. Jeff E.10:49 AM

    Thanks for covering this! I've been watching the show since I randomly ran across his fight with Gerald several weeks ago. It was great to see him beat CB Dolloway (again) with a textbook armbar. Too bad the media dropped the ball on this but hey, what's new? The blogosphere once again fills the gaping void.

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  2. Someone had to do it. The story is newsworthy and Amir deserves some props.

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  3. I want to throw him a parade. And also maybe keep him. ;)

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  4. That's what I'm talking about, Brie. Where is the Elliot Yamin treatment? Well, as an official tastemaker in Richmond's blogosphere, I think yall should take Brie's advice. Claim Amir as one of our own. I mean, "Richmond, VA" was only mentioned 30-40 times on national TV thanks to his efforts. At the very least, commentators (like me) should stop describing Amir as an underdog (just because he's so humble) and recognize that he was the most talented/well-rounded fighter on the cast.

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  5. Food and mma? This may be the best blog ever. (I just found out about RVA Blogs, btw.)

    Good coverage. You're right, the only other thing I've seen on Amir was a brief (but excited) hit on CBS 6. Agreed that's he's not all that much of an underdog, what with his iron chin and decent cardio. My guess is that it's the amount of times he gets taken down/spends on his back, but anybody who follows mma should know how many submissions you can pull from there. Interesting to see who he'll take on in the middleweight division first, as Anderson Silva is moving up to 205 in July.

    P.S. Favorite Amir quote:
    "I predict Matt Brown will win...by murder.

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  6. Combat Sports Center is organizing a SURPRISE party/welcome home tonight...be at Combat by 5pm if you would like to participate in showing our support/welcoming him home!!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Almost like a parade). ;)

    -B

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