Young and promising fighters hear it all the time.
“Do something different to stand out in people’s minds.”
UFC prospect Top Noi Kiwram delivered a memorable first impression to a wider audience, and he did so using an unusual mechanism: cigarettes.
On Friday’s “Road to UFC” show, the commentary team mentioned how Kiwram (8-3) is an avid smoker, who even does so right before fights.
Was it true? Is it possible for a pro athlete with the cardio to win a three-round unanimous decision over Yuma Horiuchi (9-5) like Kiwram did on Friday, able to hack darts moments before and after a fight?
Of course it’s true, Kiwram said.
“Of course (I smoke before fights),” Kiwram said. “Every day, brother. Yeah yeah. It’s real, brother. Why don’t you smoke cigarettes? Why don’t you do bad things? Why? Are you 20 or something in life? You do something wrong, then you go fight? …Why do you care? We do not care?”
If smoking cigarettes is the pre-fight ritual, then what is the post-fight celebration? The nicotine party never ends.
“Now I have a cigarette with the coach,” Kiwram said. “Just, I’m done. And this? I have a cigarette now.
Although he looks like a mean smoker, Kiwram is also very good in combat. He’s won eight of his most recent 10 fights, including back-to-back fights as he qualified for the “Road to UFC” flyweight semifinals on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
Learn more about Top Noi Kiwram in the video above, or see him in his element in the photo below.