Windsor, Ontario native T.J. Laramie became the first Canadian to pick up a win on Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday night. And given he also earned a UFC contract thanks to a doctor’s stoppage TKO of Daniel Swain, he made a bit of history in that regard too.
“It’s like a dream come true. It doesn’t even feel real,” Laramie (12-3) said of the contract-winning performance.
There was a spot early in the fight where it seemed like Swain might have Laramie caught in an arm-bar. Post-fight, the Canadian downplayed how tight things actually were. “Those submissions were nowhere near getting close. You could see how calm I was in there. If the submissions were anywhere close, I would have been moving a lot faster.”
As to the finish, which came after Swain couldn’t continue following the opening round, Laramie said “it was bittersweet to see he was injured, or whatever it was. I hope he recovers fast, and I hope he gets better. But I feel like he just couldn’t take the pressure, he couldn’t take the strikes I was giving him on top.”
That top game, Laramie added, is one of his best best attributes. “I’m not the kind of guy who’s just going to lay there and hope for a decision. I go and try to do damage every time — I’m going to be coming with elbows or coming with hands every time.”
Laramie is a young fighter with a wealth of experience given his age, something that will likely factor in on how the UFC books him in the featherweight division. “I’m only 22 years old, I’ve got 15 pro fights. I’m pretty experienced,” he noted. “I feel like I’m ready to fight some of the top level guys now, but I have no problem taking steps to get my career. I’m not in a rush, I can see myself in this sport for a long time.”
While he’s not in a rush, Laramie later added, “if there’s an opportunity, I’m going to grab it.”
Expect to hear more from T.J. Laramie moving forward. And the Laramie name in general. Brother Tony is a top flyweight prospect, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find him on the Contender Series some day as well.