UFC veteran Reza Madadi has been training with Niklas Bäckström since the Luleå native made the move to Stockholm in 2008. MMAViking.com talks with Mad Dog a day after it is announced that his Allstars Training Center training partner will be step into the Octagon on just over two weeks notice to face veteran Tom Niinimäki.
Madadi reflects back to his first run in with “white skinny guy” with a “funny accent” as the featherweight stepped into HILTI Stockholm. “He didn’t have a place to sleep or clothes for training” admits the former UFC fighter about the teenager that wanted to be a professional fighter. “Niklas showed where there is a will there is a way” proudly says Madadi who realizes that his protege has gone from the bottom to the top.
While the days of the UFC limelight may be behind the Iranian born Swede, he advices Backstrom to “feel the energy… feel the atmosphere”. “Now is your time” says the UFC veteran of three Octagon bouts. “Now you are here Niklas, just enjoy.” See the full video interview below.