Picture credit score: Will Paul of CES/MMA
Ashiek Ajim, an expert bantamweight fighter out of Lengthy Island, has visions of being the most effective on the earth. All of it begins on the regional circuit, although, and Ajim plans to go round accumulating bantamweight belts from varied promotions.
“Ideally, if it performs out this fashion, I want to acquire all of the belts within the native promotions,” Ajim informed MMASucka.
Ajim was set to struggle at CES 66 on March 4. His authentic opponent, Jay Perrin, who was the CES bantamweight champion, signed to the UFC to take a short-notice struggle towards Mario Bautista at UFC Vegas 48 on Feb. 19. Ajim then suffered an harm and was pulled from the cardboard altogether.
Ajim has designs on taking straps in CES, CFFC, Ring of Fight, Cage Titans, and LFA.
“I simply need all of the belts so long as the UFC doesn’t name me,” Ajim mentioned.
Ajim has his eyes set on the UFC, as he feels it’s at the moment the most effective MMA promotion on the earth.
“The UFC is seen because the highest-level promotion. Should you’re the UFC champion, you’re the most effective on the earth,” Ajim mentioned. “That’s how I have a look at it. If there was one other promotion that got here up they usually occurred to be the No. 1 MMA promotion, I’d reasonably signal with them and be their champion. As a result of I’m simply aiming to be the most effective on the earth, so whichever promotion that’s, that’s who I’m going to. Proper now, it’s the UFC, in order that’s my purpose.”
Ajim mentioned he would take a one-off struggle with Bellator or signal a brief contract with Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Eagle FC if it meant getting nearer to reaching his purpose of signing with the UFC, he mentioned.
First, he needs to gather as many straps at 135 as he can. Ajim doesn’t plan on shifting to featherweight until he may develop into a two-weight champion within the UFC, he mentioned.
4 of Ajim’s 5 skilled victories have come by way of KO/TKO. Ajim mentioned he doesn’t have a putting background; reasonably, he began with every little thing: putting and grappling abruptly.
“Folks form of see me as a knockout artist as a result of I end fights. However I personally don’t see myself as a knockout artist or an influence puncher. Within the gymnasium I’ve by no means knocked anybody out. Perhaps from physique photographs, however to the pinnacle, I’ve by no means damage anybody. However in fights, I simply occur to place guys down.”
Ajim mentioned he goals to be a jack-of-all-trades.
“Sometime, hopefully, I could be a master-of-all-trades,” he mentioned. “That’s the purpose. However clearly, you’ll be able to’t grasp every little thing.”
Ajim’s lone professional profession loss got here to present UFC bantamweight Kris Moutinho. Moutinho rallied to TKO Ajim within the second spherical after Ajim had him damage early within the struggle. Ajim mentioned he discovered rather a lot from the loss; mentally, bodily, strategically, and tactically.
“I put him down within the first fairly early,” Ajim mentioned. “In my thoughts, I simply thought I’d let him up after which I may put him down once more. All I used to be considering was contact him; simply land yet another clear shot. I wasn’t actually considering strategically.”
Ajim admitted that Moutinho’s expertise edge – he had three skilled fights to Moutinho’s 11 on the time – performed a task in his lone skilled blemish.
“The largest factor, technically, must be the ringcraft,” Ajim mentioned. “At any time when [Moutinho] wished to go, I form of allowed him to. I exchanged with him reasonably than disengaging, going again to the middle after which happening offense on my phrases. That was an enormous issue technically. I believe the largest factor that performed into it was extra mentally. I really feel like going into the second spherical, I don’t know describe it, but it surely may need been an adrenaline dump. After you set a man down, you are feeling like you’ll be able to end him, and when it doesn’t occur, your physique form of shuts down. I can’t actually relive that second, however I attempt to remove what I can, and undoubtedly shifting ahead, I took rather a lot from that struggle.”
Whereas the chance for Ajim to struggle Perrin for the CES belt didn’t materialize, Ajim will look to place what he discovered to make use of going ahead in his profession. For the reason that loss, he has completed each Carlos Espinosa and Richard Barnard in a mixed 64 seconds.