Being the younger brother of Georges St-Pierre and Tristar’s head coach Firas Zahabi is bound to draw attention
Aiemann Zahabi’s unanimous decision win over Reginaldo Vieira at UFC Fight Night 105 on Sunday displayed how to deal with such pressure in his promotional debut victory. The Tristar fighter recently told MMAjunkie:
“A lot of people think I was going to feel the pressure, but I love it,” Zahabi told MMAjunkie. “It was a gift to have people care about what’s going to happen with you and your performance.”
An accidental eye-poke may have hindered the debutant, who also notably fought three rounds for the first time in his professional MMA career. This was a test which Zahabi expected, however:
“I knew it was going to be a big test,” Zahabi said. “I’m always looking for the finish. I thought I had him a couple times rocked for the finish, but I didn’t want to overexert myself to get caught with something stupid. … I dug deep and showed I was tough out there.
“A lot of people wanted to know if I was tough, if I had any grit in me. If this fight didn’t show, I’m going to keep fighting in the UFC, and I’m only fighting tougher guys. I’m excited for my next test.”
The obvious perks of training under his older brother at Tristar’s gym in Canada were the opportunities to work and grow alongside names such as Georges St-Pierre, & former UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald. While Zahabi is no spring chicken at 29 years old, he feels that experience is a factor which makes him a formidable opponent for anyone in the UFC, and is looking towards one man for an opportunity come this summer:
“There’s only one place to go, and that’s to Sean Shelby. Hopefully, he’ll contact me or my brother, and we’ll get chatting, see what’s up. Sean Shelby gives me the names. He’s the man with the options, so we’ll see what play he wants to do and hopefully, we’ll get a good fight for May or June.”