Joe Proctor on UFC on FOX Bout With Ramsey Nijem: “It Definitely Puts my Name on the Map With This Win”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After making the most of his first official UFC bout at the TUF 15 Finale in June, by quickly stopping Jeremy Larsen, Joe Proctor has promptly been moved into a high profile bout when he fights former TUF finalist Ramsey Nijem on December 8th. Although Nijem has already added three UFC bouts to his resume and is coming off back-to-back wins, according to Proctor, his camp had a feeling he would be fighting the charismatic lightweight next.
“He’s a good wrestler, and it seems like I always get paired up with good wrestlers, which I don’t mind at all,” Proctor said recently, while appearing on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “He’s just at that level in the UFC right now; he’s got a couple good wins and he was on the Season 13 show, so, it was weird but it kind of made sense.”
“One of my good training partners called it right from the beginning, he said “I think you’re going to fight Ramsey,” and I said “we’ll see,” Proctor furthered. “That’s the name they shot at us so it was very good.”
After getting knocked out by Tony Ferguson at the TUF 13 Finale in June, 2011, Nijem has gone on to score wins over Danny Downes and more recently C.J. Keith, who he stopped in the first round at UFC on FX 4. While both men have had their fair share of successes in recent months, due to the Octagon experience of Nijem, a win for Proctor at the UFC on FOX 5 card would be a significant marker.
“I look at this fight as pretty much to put where I am in the 155 division,” said Proctor. “He’s good. He’s got some good finishes and he did great on his season and he fought at 170, so, with him coming down to 55 he’s a big 55’er just like me. It definitely puts my name on the map with this win, absolutely.”
Proctor caught the UFC’s eye by going 7-1, and winning three straight fights under the Reality Fighting banner, before losing to James Vick in the quarterfinals for TUF 15.
“I know he’s very aggressive,” said the Team Aggression fighter, when asked to assess the abilities of Nijem. “He comes to bring it every time. Those are the fights I like to be in. I like to be in those wars. To be completely honest, I think my edge is anywhere it goes; I think I’m a very well rounded fighter, and I think I shine in all the abilities he has.”
While states like Florida, Nevada, California and Arizona are renowned for producing top of the line fighters, Proctor is just the latest UFC competitor to come out of Massachusetts.
“They both brought the stepping stone for us up-and-comers,” said Proctor, while discussing the success of Massachusetts fighters like Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon, the latter of which helped developed him into a professional fighter. “If it wasn’t for Joe Lauzon I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. He took me under his wing and showed me the right direction to go. He’s brought me through the whole stepping stones.”
“Pretty much the same direction he went,” Proctor added. “He went through the Ultimate Fighter process and now he’s fighting Gray Maynard for hopefully number one contender ship. That’s unbelievable. Him and Kenny are awesome. They’re such good figures to look up to and it makes us drive to work towards what they’ve accomplished.”
The December 8th, UFC on FOX 5 card will be hosted by Seattle’s Key Arena and will feature a lightweight bout between champion Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz in the main event.