MELBOURNE, Australia – Newly minted UFC welterweight James Moontasri said he had dreams of competing in taekwondo at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Moontasri (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) competed on the U.S. national team for the striking-based martial art, but he never got to vie for gold, but knocking out Anton Zafir (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a spinning back kick at Saturday’s UFC 193 is not a bad substitute.
“I feel almost like this is my Olympic gold medal – that’s how proud I am right now,” he said backstage at the 70,000-capacity Etihad Stadium, where he starched Zafir on the event’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed prelims.
“That’s a good way to end,” he said, dropping the virtual mic.
Now, Moontasri can begin the process of building a win streak, which so far has eluded him in the UFC’s octagon. With a 2-2 record, he’s made a fresh start at 170 pounds.
“I feel great,” he told MMAjunkie. “Not a lot of people in this world can say they do what they love and make a living at it, and I’m just happy with what I do.”