Published on : 12/18/2020 – 15:37Modified : 12/18/2020 – 4:00 PM
Tafon Nchukwi makes his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, the most prestigious blended martial arts (MMA) league, on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas. The native of Bamenda, who migrated to the United States throughout his childhood, hopes to put on the colours of Africa there, particularly these of North-West Cameroon.
On September 8, 2020, Tafon Nchukwi achieved the feat of making Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), scream in amazement. The omnipotent boss of the UFC has but seen thunderous knockouts in blended martial arts (MMA) for thirty years. But the kick to the head that the Cameroonian gave Al Matavao throughout the Dana White’s Contender Series (a detection match) supplied him a contract with the most prestigious league of Mma to the world and created a buzz.
” I don’t feel any pressure, however, assures the person before his first fight at the UFC, scheduled for December 19 in Las Vegas against the American Jamie Pickett. Being there is the reason why I worked for six years. I’m super excited to show off what I can do “.
Yet right here he’s in the elite of MMA at solely 26 years previous and after 4 small skilled fights in whole. A fast rise that the Cameroonian explains partly by his victory in November 2019 in opposition to the promising William Knight ” He was already on the UFC radars, he slips. When I beat him I shined the spotlight on me “.
However, nothing appeared to predestine the native of Bamenda to break into this self-discipline. ” I played American football, football and many other sports … », He recalls. But no fight, however. During his graduate studies, Tafon Nchukwi discovered MMA in a gym. Conquered by this discipline, he left the university to get down to it. He then saw odd jobs, as an Uber driver or security guard. ” At first my household was not likely comfortable, says the fighter. But as time goes by and the victories observe each other, they’ve change into actual supporters “.
Arrived as a child in the United States
Tafon Nchukwi, his mother and his brothers left Cameroon for the United States when he was 10 years old. ” The fundamental purpose, like many individuals, was to have higher alternatives », He explains.
If the cultural hole was essential when he arrived, the reality of talking English was, on the different hand, a severe asset in adapting completely to the “American way of life”. This doesn’t forestall him from protecting a connection together with his place of origin. ” You always have to remember where you come from, he believes. I was born in Cameroon and I will always be proud to represent my roots “.
Tafon Nchukwi feels very concerned in the topic of the serious crisis shaking the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. He calls, in his personal means, for the settlement of the battle in the English-speaking half of the nation. Before and after his fights, he flies the separatist banner of the self-proclaimed digital Republic of Ambazonia. ” I try to play a role and shine a light on what’s going on there, he explains. I will continue to carry this flag hoping it will bring more attention to the situation there “.
But when the media current him as the second Cameroonian in the UFC after the celebrity Francis Ngannou, Tafon Nchukwi assures us that it doesn’t ” not bother at all “.
Tafon Nchukwi has not but had the probability to meet Francis Ngannou. He additionally is aware of comparatively little of the different Africans in the UFC other than his Nigerian teammate. Sodiq Yusuff. But, like them, he needs to make African MMA shine in the UFC. ” I hope I can defend this cause », He concludes before tackling a middleweight division which also counts in its ranks the Nigerian champion Israel Adesanya, the Moroccan Abu Azaitar, the South African Dricus du Plessis, as well as the Congolese Dalcha Lungiambula and Impa Kasanganay.
Tafon Nchukwi, flag of the self-proclaimed Virtual Republic of Ambazonia on the shoulders.