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Australian Fighting Championship

I’m ready to whip some ass

The AFC has a rich history of housing some of the finest martial artists to grace the sport. However at AFC 18, the promotion will be graced with possibly the biggest star to date, that being UFC and PRIDE veteran Rameau Sokoudjou. Famous for entraining martial arts fans all over with world with a string of highlight reel performances and knockouts, Sokoudjou has long been a household name. Having competed on 32 occasions and with two thirds of his wins coming by way of knockout, Sokoudjou is a genuine excitement machine. His MMA journey, and career highlights are quiet unique:

“It’s been amazing! I’ve gone from a small village in the middle of the jungle to fighting in the Saitama Super Arena in front of 60,000 people. Fighting is a tough sport, you can’t win them all but it’s been an amazing journey. People always talk about the Arona and Nogueria knock out, but to be honest my highlights have involving ring girls behind the scenes and I don’t want to talk about this because I don’t kiss [and tell]. Weight cut has always been a challenge; when I was 17 I weighed 245 [pounds] so it’s tough for me to get down to 205”

Sokoudjou is definitely a well-travelled veteran of the sport having competed for the UFC, PRIDE, Strikeforce and the WEC among others prior to making his AFC debut. Within these promotions he has fought some legends of the sport, all of which has helped his development as a fighter:

“I had no amateur fights, [I] went directly to fighting some of the best in the world, all my fights have been a learning experience”

History has proven that when Sokoudjo wins, he often wins by devastating KO. This has given Sokoidjou incredible confidence in his hands, legs, knees and elbows however all that experience has taught him that patience is also a virtue in this sport:

“Obviously I have a knockout punch and kick, some on my fights I work too much for the knockout and didn’t pace myself. I’m always shooting for the knockout and I’m trying to find that balance I’m saving for cardio for the later rounds”

AFC 18 is a historic card for numerous reasons; one of which is of course the fact that the promotion will venture internationally for the very first time. Fighting on the card is somewhat of an honour, main eventing the card is a significant honour, and even for a fighter who has been there, seen it and done it all, AFC will be very special for Sokoudjou:

“I’m really looking forward to fighting in China for my first time; I’m actually 1/8 Chinese and I’m looking forward to demonstrate some of the Chinese martial arts my great grandfather taught me”

Fighting in big promotions helps a fighter to develop; fighting the best guys in the world helps a fighter to develop; and training at Team Quest with Dan Henderson definitely helps a fighter to develop! But even after all these years in the sport, Sokoudjou is hinting at the fact that come April 15, we may see a few never before seen techniques:

“I’m training with Dan Henderson still at Team Quest, some friends from the jungle came to train with me and I have been practicing my Chinese martial arts. So don’t be surprised if you see some technique you’ve never seen before in a MMA fight”

BJJ and submission specialist Marcelo Tenorio will be standing across the cage from Sokoudjou come April 15, not that Sokoudjou is really concerned at this point in time. Not only is Sokoudjou planning to knock Marcelo out, he is actually worried a few of Marcelo’s teeth will go missing too! Further to the point, Sokoudjou already has post dinner plans with his opponent:

“I will approach this fight ready to whip some ass, I’m sure this Marcello is a nice guy and I feel bad that I’m going to have to knock him out. I hope he has a good mouthguard so I don’t knock out any of his teeth because when he wakes up I’d like to take him to a Brazilian barbecue restaurant”

So AFC 18 is only a couple of short weeks away, and when it goes down history will be made! The man, Rameau Sokoudjou, will be an important part of that history however there is a lot more on the line in this one than first meets the eye. Sokoudjou will be fighting for his heritage, but he also already has one eye on current AFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jamie Abdallah, and if Sokoudjou has his way, the coveted strap will be wrapped tightly around his waist in the very near future:

“It would be really special for me because my great grandfather came from China [so] to come to his home Country and display some of the skills my great grandfather taught me would make him very proud. I’d like to say sorry in advance to Marcel though, my Brazilian brother I’m gonna beat you up so I could claim my light heavyweight belt in the future. How awesome is this going to be a Chinese MMA promotion having me, a descendent of a Chinese man the champion!!”

On that basis, and with Sokoudjou’s obvious intent to claim the AFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the future, I couldn’t possibly leave the conversation there. So I asked Sokoudjou ‘if you beat Marcelo will you call Jamie out and if so do you think you have what it takes to take his title?’ His response…

“Of course I do know I have what it takes to destroy him and make that title mine!!!”

Article by Josh Warner AFC

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