In the lead-up to UFC Fight Night 121, Nadia Kassem took time to answer questions from RealSport.
It was a good conversation and will give fans a glimpse into the personal life of a fighter. All fighters are different, but all have one thing in common, to be the champion. Nadia is an absolute firecracker, and she embraces it. The first topic was the obvious where did she get one of the coolest nicknames ever with “187”.
187 was a nickname that had latched onto me since I was a teen from just being a little (expletive), always going against authority in any form. I used to get into street fights and always had an edgy personality. It wasn’t long before people were calling me 187 from the aggressive behavior and mouth; *not proud* on the flip side here I am!
187 is one of those nicknames that had to have an interesting background, and she didn’t disappoint. One thing about Nadia is she is open and honest. She doesn’t sugar coat anything and tells it like it is. Her go-getter attitude, drive, and determination is something to admire.
Unwinding is important for everyone, especially for a fighter. She is a huge fan of everything Leonardo DiCaprio and 90’s gangster rap, Picture me rollin’ by Tupac is a classic, she said. It’s not uncommon for a fighter to love rap music, and seriously, that song is a classic. Nadia is humble, for someone who flips a switch in the cage, and someone who works as hard as she does I didn’t know what to expect when I asked what her favorite thing to do in her spare time was, besides smashing faces.
I’m pretty chill. A kick back with the girls or with the family will do me any time. People suck, I’m not really one to go find new friends.
We stuck with fighting for the rest of the conversation. The night before a fight has to be a surreal feeling. Some fighters go all out, some relax, some just do their normal daily routine. Nadia seems to have this down in her own way.
Night before is just another night, eating and recovering, acting like the following day I’m not about to commit a homicide.
Ronda Rousey started things for "187"
Being competitive is who she is and MMA is perfect for her. In our feature article, her competitive spirit is evident. It was important to ask who it is she looks up to in MMA, who got her into the game.
I've always said Rousey had geed me up to start MMA. Watching her coach on TUF in 2013 and fight had driven me to start my MMA career. But what motivates me is the urge to inflict damage, if it isn't at the peak potential I know I have, the fight wasn't worth it, win or lose.
She holds herself to a high standard, with a unique approach. All fighters want to win, all fighters want to become champion, but it's important to Nadia that she competes at the top of her game all the time, that she fights with everything she has and doesn't leave the fight asking herself "what if?"
We ended with "what's next?"
After this fight is over, going to have a little time off then back to it. UFC career is just starting.
This is a debut that UFC and WMMA fans spend a lot of time waiting for. Win or lose, you will see young, fresh talent in the strawweight division, which is already exploding. Nadia Kassem will be a name to remember as she has everything a fighter needs to be at the top of the division and the chance to be the champion someday.
Look for my preview and prediction next week as Nadia "187" Kassem takes on another Aussie Alex "Astro Girl" Chambers.
Rapt did a great feature video on her and I've shared it below. Martial arts is her life, and she's incredible at it. Get excited, remember the name and "don't blink" at UFC Fight Night 121 on 18 November 2017.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Nadia "187" Kassem, and what else would you like to see on RealSport related to WMMA?
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