Steven Koslow discusses the origins of his nickname before he makes his debut at UFC 282


Steven Koslow is getting his opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in the world just before his 26th birthday.

Koslow faces Cameron Saaiman, a fellow promotion newcomer at UFC 282, in Las Vegas. Ronnie Lawrence had to pull out of the fight due to undisclosed circumstances. Koslow stepped in as a replacement.

The 25-year-old has opened up a lot of eyes, not just because of his 100 percent first-round finish rate, but also because of his nickname: “Obi Won Shinobi The Pillow.”

“My first nickname was ‘The Pillow’ because of my jiu-jitsu abilities, and I always put people to sleep,” Koslow told MMA Fighting. I’ve been proud of my jiujitsu since childhood, so that nickname was mine from the start. My whole life I have been a fan of anime and Naruto, so my nickname was “Shinobi The Pillow”.

“For my pro debut, we actually did a Star Wars themed event on May 4, that was in 2019. One of the announcers said “Obi Won” as I was about to walk out. It was actually “Obi Won Shinobi The Pillow”. This has stayed with me ever since .”

Saaiman, who is also 6-0 as a pro, makes his first octagon appearance after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, where he picked up a third-round knockout victory in August.

Koslow is a Fusion X-Cel product from Orlando and 10th planet Jacksonville. He is very aware of the talent of his opponent. Short notice opportunity, or not, Koslow is thrilled to make his octagon debut against a fighter he has a lot of respect for.

“I know Cameron is a tough guy, that’s why he’s undefeated — amateur and professional,” Koslow said. He’s not that much older than me, but he is a young man. Cameron is a young man, so I was excited to fight him in my first UFC fight. That way, I could really show how great I am and begin my journey to becoming a belt holder.

“That is my main goal getting to the UFC belt, and I want to be a UFC champion.”