Hi everyone, my name is Amir Sadollah. You may remember me from my starring roles in some great television such as, The Hundred Thousand Dollar Pyramid, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, and the actual Moon landing film. More recently however, you may recognize me from season seven of The Ultimate Fighter. When Spike initially contacted me about doing a blog, I didn't answer the phone because I thought it was either a collection agency or another 1-900 number that had somehow tracked me down. After the confusion cleared up and they explained what they wanted, I immediately thought it was a great idea and told myself now is definitely the time to learn to read and write.
So let's pretend that this blog I'm doing is a road trip. A road trip we are going on together. I will be the driver, and I'm not really sure where we are going but I'll try to make up celebrity gossip along the way, and stop for snacks and pee breaks occasionally.
During the initial airing of season seven, I was asked to do an episode blog for The OC Register. I loved the experience, but never got to do a post-Finale follow up blog. I was thinking maybe a brief synopsis of my experiences post TUF was something I could touch on in my first blog. So I've dictated a hastily organized, randomly relevant group of thoughts on the subject.
One question that comes up often in conversation and interviews I've done since the show is, "How has your life changed?" I've never really had a good answer for that question, nothing beyond a monosyllabic, "a lot" or "it's crazy." Not because I didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to really explain it in any abbreviated form; just the fact that now more people seemed to care what I had to say, and doing more interviews and appearances, was huge example. It's been a little less than a year since the show, and it has for sure, created one of the biggest series of changes in my life to date. Now what I do seems to matter. It matters to me, I should say. All those dumb things I didn't want to do as a child are now important. Little things like going to bed early, eating my vegetables, and taking the time to learn and do things I may not always want to. In short, I have really had to mature. There is no room for me to blame shortcomings in my life on anyone else, and now it matters what I do because it will reflect in my fighting. Whether I continue onto a long decorated career, or fade into obscurity, is largely, if not entirely up to me. I can only go on what brought me to this point, and that was hard work and sacrifice. In my mind the bar is now raised, so then, must the bar be raised in my dedication and work ethic. I haven't looked at winning the show as success in itself, but rather an opportunity to succeed. All of a sudden I have access to train with a very high level of athletes. I still pinch myself when I hear myself talk about working out with Forrest, or Randy or any of the other legends and world class talents in the sport I get to work out with everyday. I can be almost star struck by the guys I train with, and then be hard on myself if I wasn't better than them. While I love everything about being a fighter, and getting the chance to support myself doing just what I love, there is no shortage of pitfalls that come along with it. One of the struggles that come along with this is how much to let in. I can easily see letting your fifteen minutes of fame sweep away your hard work ethic, your drive, your fire. This is an insanely competitive job, and sometimes I feel like I got to see a sample of what I could have, but I know I'm not there yet. It's gone all too easily, especially if you're not continuously driven. Probably the first thing I noticed after the show, was how easy it was to become addicted to the lifestyle of a rock star, and think you're "that guy." It's very easy to fall in love with the celebrity treatment, signing autographs, constant attention, and getting free stuff for no good reason. I usually elect to stay away from all the glam, like it's a ruffied drink. Sure, it might make you feel good at first, but next thing you know you have HIV. More often than not, I spend weekend nights at home alone, and later listen to some random story about some girl that tried to fight John, and clipped Chaz.
So it would seem that most of the change comes mentally, how you cope, and how you let it affect you. Aside form that, there is all the non-fight-related, less than fun things I am now having to learn to deal with. For example, tax laws, dealing with bills and budgeting money. Oh, and my two favorite new enemies, home owner's associations, and insurance companies. Also I hate cilantro and bureaucracy.
I have learned more about myself on this ride than I ever thought possible. I wake up everyday and work hard. Harder than I have at anything else before, but somehow it doesn't seem like work. In spite of all the ups and downs and uncertainty, for the first time in my life I feel I really know what I want, and am grateful I will get the chance to go for it. If I was to be completely honest, I would say this experience has brought me as much fear as fortune, as much pleasure as pain. I can also say I wouldn't want it any other way.
Tune in next week when I make up a story about a magic sailboat, and cut and paste Wikipedia content to make myself look smart.