Smealinho Rama made a successful 205-pound debut at the historic WSOFNYC event. Now the surging light heavyweight contender is aiming to make a run at the top spot in the 205-pound rankings. To do this, he’ll need to overcome Brazilian grappling star Ronny Markes. Rama will be looking to go 2-0 in his new division along with making a lasting impression for the inaugural PFL season.

In anticipation of this light heavyweight contest, here are 10 things you should know about the former WSOF heavyweight champion.

1) He’s Outlanded Every Opponent in his Past 3 Fights

Rama is enjoying a 2-1 streak for his last three fights. He won the WSOF heavyweight title with an impressive KO finish of Derrick Mehmen and then dropped the belt to the seemingly unstoppable Blagoi Ivanov before making a successful 205-pound debut against Jake Heun. Rama’s recent success is due in large part to his ability to completely overwhelm the opposition on the feet.

Rama has outlanded his last three opponents by a margin of 168-66. This degree of separation can be found in total power strikes landed with Rama scoring 81 total power strikes compared to his opponent’s 43. It’s hard to get anything going against “The Prince” when Rama’s offense never seems to falter.

 

2) His Inspiration For Combat Sports Came From Middleweights

The former heavyweight admits that his intrigue for mixed martial arts didn’t start until his late teens when he witnessed his first UFC bout. That battle was a marquee middleweight match-up between a pair of older generation stars at UFC Fight Night 5 – Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben.

3) Finding Success with the mantra of Hit but Don’t Get Hit

We’ve already highlighted Rama’s ability to apply pressure on his opponents by outlanding them on the feet. One of the drawbacks to unleashing that type of offense is the opponent having more openings to return fire. However, Rama has mitigated that by making his opponents land only 33-percent of their total strikes. While his opponents are swinging and missing, Rama is landing half of his total strikes.

4) Nationality Is Irrelevant To Him

Representing the colors of one’s country to claim their bulk of national support seems a mainstay in sports. But Rama sees it differently. The light heavyweight’s  birthplace may have been Greece and current residence may be Canada, but he gives credit to neither. “Canada has done nothing for me. Greece did nothing for me. I did everything… I don’t represent any country. I don’t believe in any of that. Race has no part in this sport.”

5) His MMA Success Was Fast-Paced

Rama’s climb to the top of the Canadian heavyweight circuit happened at a blistering rate. The Prince bulldozed his way through the Canadian circuit before signing with WSOF where he eventually became the inaugural heavyweight champion. All of such was done at the age of 22.

6) He Owns An Impressive Finishing Rate

Leading up to Rama’s WSOF debut in 2014 he boasted a particularly dangerous track record of finishes. He entered the promotion with a 6-1 record with all six victories coming by way of first round finishes. Sprinkled among the six are three TKO’s and three submission victories – a feat that rightfully caught the eye of WSOF.

7) Athleticism Runs In The Family

Rama is known as a particularly athletic heavyweight who owns power, strength and agility despite his size. He gained much of his athleticism from habits learned from his father who himself was a professional soccer player in Albania. He initially followed in the footsteps of his father through soccer, but eventually gravitated towards wrestling which seamlessly transitioned him into the world of combat sports.

 

8) He Wasn’t Always Called ‘The Prince’

Like many MMA fighters, Rama proudly revels in his fight name with every appearance in the cage. His is a word connected to royalty or merely a word he felt fit the part, but in truth Rama doesn’t exactly know where the name came from. In fact, his other option was a little more cliché; that being “Bad Boy”. In comparison “The Prince” fits just fine.

9) His Time At The Top Was Not Short Lived

Prior to signing with WSOF, Rama was considered the No. 1 heavyweight contender in Canada. He gained this title by keeping an unblemished record and finishing Mike Hackert at Maximum Fighting Championships 36 with one of his signature first round finishes. It only took one appearance for the WSOF to allow him a title shot before he ultimately lost it to Blagoi Ivanov at WSOF21.

10) He is a strong and undefeated wrestler

Rama spent much of his early years progressively falling into combat sports by way of wrestling. His highest level of achievement in the sport was becoming a Canadian 108kg National Wrestling Champion. Supporting that was also an undefeated competitive high school record of 32-0.

 

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