He is an ethnic Kosovo Albanian. He began practising judo from the age of four, took up kickboxing at age 12 and began training in mixed martial arts alongside his brother Egzon, at the age of 15. Selmani became Professional Kickboxing Heavyweight Champion, after an 8-man tournament in one night, that took place in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Selmani got invited for a tryout in Dubai, and it was William Regal’s choice to get him to sign a contract for WWE. In May 2015, it was reported that Selmani had signed a contract with WWE and would begin training to become a professional wrestler at the WWE Performance Center. In October 2015, WWE confirmed that Selmani was a WWE developmental recruit already training at the Performance Center.