Interview the Afrikan Assassin, Mukai Maromo
Just a few days after his 2nd round KO victory over Adam Lynn at MFC
34, I got the chance to interview the Afrikan Assassin, Mukai Maromo.
Maromo who fought to a controversial split decision over Lynn back
in May, redeemed himself by using some well executed Muay Thai to
dismantle Lynn in their rematch this past weekend. The 8-2 Lightweight
had a lot to say about his rematch and a few other things as well.
What did you change in training camp for your rematch with Adam
Well I changed camps completely; I ended up going to Tri-Star because I mean it’s one of the most well-known and one of the best MMA gyms in all of Canada so it was the most logical place to go. I went there and it was a total change from everything. I mean they have everything. They have boxing, kick boxing, wrestling, and BJJ so it was a full serving gym.
What do you think you did differently in this fight that made you so
much more successful?
For this fight I actually recessed my strategy and also, one of the most
important things is I had the last fight to use as a bench mark. I studied
the last fight a lot, I watched how he liked to do his thing, how he
initiated his takedowns, he had positions that he liked to be in when
he was trying to hold me down that he was most comfortable in. Also
while we were standing I took a look at my own technique and that
definitely helped a lot.
Having gone three rounds with him before, was there anything you saw
in his game that you felt you could take advantage of in this fight?
For sure, what I saw was that I had overestimated his wrestling. It
wasn’t as good as I thought it was and also I had underestimated his
striking. His boxing actually was really good and he had good timing
and punching power so I had to deal with both of those factors coming
into this fight if I wanted to be successful at all. I mean just keeping
my hands up and keeping a nice tight guard while we’re standing. If it
ever got to the ground to just tie him up and neutralize his ground and
pound and neutralize the position until we were stood back up, and
that’s exactly what I did.
When Lynn dropped you in the first round, what was going through
your mind? You seemed to stay composed as the fight hit the mat.
He didn’t actually drop me, if you noticed throughout the fight he was
trying to throw a lot of jabs and hooks to the body with his left hand.
So like he’d throw a double jab, a fake jab to the head and then one
to the body; so I was trying to catch him with a knee and I was on one
foot and he threw a short right hand over the top and it just caught
me off balance and knocked me down, it wasn’t like he stunned me
and I was in LaLa land for a split second there. It was just a well-placed
punch on an off balanced opponent and as soon as it hit the ground I
could tell you exactly what happened. I saw him coming in and it was
good because he faked the jab to the body this time and threw the
over hand since I think he expected me to drop my guard and my hands
to block the punch. As he threw the over hand I actually helped him
since I had my knee up, I had to lean my hand back to try and land the
knee. He caught me with a glancing right hand and I hit the ground and
immediately put my feet on his hips so he couldn’t jump on top of me.
If I’m not mistaken you said that you would get the finish within the
first two rounds, what made you so confident?
What made me so confident is in MMA each round is five minutes long
so that gives me more than enough time to adequately take out an
opponent and to come up with a game plan to defeat him. The last
fight if I wouldn’t have been caught with the left hook that’s exactly
what I would have done. If you watch the Sabah Fadai fight that one
was because I had never gone three rounds with a really good
opponent in a really good organization. So that was me trying to see if I
could go all three rounds and how I would feel doing it and kind of get a
feel for how my lungs would be and how everything would go as a
whole and it went well. With Adam during the first fight I was trying to
figure him out and he caught me with a clean left hand and that
changed the whole type of fight. This time around I was focused on
how he was using his hands and how he was setting up the takedowns
and it was getting easy stopping his takedowns in the second round. I
mean that’s when I really started unloading on the leg kicks, when I got
up from the first time he took me down. A lot of leg kicks can nullify
your speed, strength, takedowns and punching power and when you
slowdown that split second I can start landing my punches at will.
That’s when I can set up the head kicks and the knees, jumping knees
and the ultimate finish, and that’s exactly what happened.
You paced yourself well when you had him hurt (a lot of fighters gas
themselves out). Was there an exact moment when you knew to go for
In any fight I don’t rush and if I hit a person and have them rocked I’m
not going to just jump in, smother them and give them opportunity
for them to tie me up and regain their wits and also pull a couple of
seconds, if not minutes off the clock and make it a grappling match.
I take a step back and assess how much I have them hurt so I can
judge how hard I can attack. After I rocked him with the first uppercut
I saw he was hurt but not fully hurt so if I jumped in he’d still have
sufficient punching power and his wits would be about him enough to
be able to avoid the attack. I threw a couple of straight punches, tried
to throw a couple of jumping knees to catch him off guard, I landed
the punches but missed the knees. Then I threw another barrage of
punches and landed the jumping knee and followed up with a couple
more punches and that barrage of elbows. In any contact sport you
can’t rush the person because that makes it a coin toss. It makes it a
heads or tails type situation where you’re not in control anymore and
I like to keep the control because once you’re hurt it’s hard to react,
your reaction time goes down and everything changes, so I like to land
a few punches, sit back then go hard again land quick, clean punches
and knees and elbows which I did. So I didn’t know when the knockout
would come but I knew if I sat back and threw enough blows with the
right kind of power and the right kind of mix of attacks I’d definitely get
How does it feel to go from just a split decision win over Adam Lynn to
a KO victory?
It feels amazing because I definitely got to silence the critics. Going into
this fight I had a couple of people on my fan page on Facebook and my
Twitter that were sending me a lot of “Adam Lynn is going to kick your
ass” and “The real LW champion Adam Lynn” and I don’t mind people
stating their own opinions and I’m not going to lash out or cuss them
out, I’d rather do all my talking in the ring. So it’s an added bonus to
be able to silence the critics and show them where I stand and exactly
what I bring to the fight game. The only disappointment is not being
able to fight for the title but that’ll come in time
After such a huge victory, what’s next for the African Assassin?
Actually I think I’m going to work more on the technical aspect of my
game, I definitely need to pick up on more wrestling and more Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu technique and still improve my boxing and Thai boxing as
well. So I’m actually looking for more in-depth training so I can learn
more about this sport and not just physically apply myself getting
ready for a fight. I’ll probably take a couple months off and be on the
mats on a regular basis and in the ring sharpening my skills because
I mean the caliber of opponents is going to take a big jump from
being guys who are mediocre to being world class. From performing
against Adam Lynn and even a guy like Sabah who both are really good
opponents but I mean that’s a big jump in class. I mean I’m not trying
to go backwards in this journey and also I’m anticipating fighting much
tougher opponents, either that or just as tough. I need to be ready for
that caliber of opponents and I’m going to put in my time on the mats
and definitely come back even stronger and much better.
Will you be staying at Tri-Star?
Definitely, from now on I’m going to be focused on putting more time
in at that gym once I get booked for a fight. I did four weeks out there
last time and that was sufficient but next time around I’m probably
going to look to do six to seven weeks as opposed to the four that I did
Anybody that you’d like to give a shout out to?
For sure, I always have love for my sponsors, Crystal Glass here in
Edmonton, Jaco, St Petes Gentleman’s Club, A&G Glass, Krush Ultra
Lounge, Union Hall, Edmonton Rush the lacrosse team out here and
then just all the fans and MFC for putting these fights together plus the
fans that come out and show us all the love. If you want to follow me
on Twitter it’s @AfrikanAssassin and on Facebook (Mukai Maromo).