UNCASVILLE, Conn. – To sum it up in one word, Ramiz Brahimaj defines his UFC debut as “memorable” – not just for him, but for everyone who witnessed what happened against Max Griffin in December.
Brahimaj (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) gained a lot of invaluable experience from his debut at UFC 256 – even though his ear nearly detached from his head in the midst of it. Thinking back on it now, Brahimaj makes light of the carnage, but the vivid sensory experience still sticks with him.
“At first, I thought it was the side of my head that was cut open,” Brahimaj told MMA Junkie. “I was like, ‘Sh*t, man.’ Then, it was kind of weird because I started to feel like a cool breeze and I knew something was up. Then, I started to get blood in my ear canal. I’m like, ‘Yeah, dude.’ The first thing I thought was, ‘Man, I’m about to be on WorldStar.’ I was like, ‘I’m about to be on WorldStar.’ I got blood going into my ear canal. I’m like, ‘Sh*t, I can’t believe this.’ I was like, ‘Damn, this is how my debut is going to go?’”
There were a number of different ways Brahimaj envisioned his UFC debut would play out. Standing in the middle of the cage, covered in blood with his ear hanging off was not one of them. But he took it in stride. In retrospect, he got his big stage legs under him and learned a number of valuable lessons.
“It was definitely a memorable experience,” Brahimaj said. “(As) I said, I definitely took a lot out of it. All in all, prior to that little accident that happened, I took tons and tons of reads. I feel like I grew so much (from) that fight. I hope Max did, as well. I know that I definitely gained a lot of experience as a newcomer in the UFC and coming off of a pretty lengthy layoff. But (as) I said, I feel healthy. I feel ready to go.”
Max Griffin elbows Ramiz Brahimaj ear off his head, viewer discretion is advised.. #UFCVegas13
— Danny Culley (@DannyCulley1) November 8, 2020
Following his win over Brahimaj, Griffin unorthodoxly claimed ownership of the ear when he tattooed a cartoon copy of the bleeding organ on his arm. Brahimaj laughed when asked about the move. All is fair in fighting, according to the Fortis MMA product.
“If that’s the wave that he wants to ride, I can’t knock him (if) that’s what he’s doing,” Brahimaj said. “I mean, all props to him. He won the fight, so I guess you can have some bragging rights when you win the fight, right? In the future, maybe I’ll have to take his ear from him, too – an ear for an ear.”
— Max Griffin (@MaxPainGriffin) December 14, 2020
With his ear healed up and without any increased risk in re-injuring it, Brahimaj has his sights set on a busy 2021. His schedule kicks off Aug. 21 when he takes on Sasha Palatnikov at a UFC Fight Night event.
“My goal for this year, ultimately, is to get three fights at least,” Brahimaj said. “I definitely have that in mind. I’m hoping I can fight maybe twice in the summer and once before December or maybe even my birth month of November. We’ll see. Whatever they give me, I’m open to many things on the table.”
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