Anthony Njokuani Talks Dancing, UFC 145, Steroids in MMA, and More
"So dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life..."
It's rare that a mixed martial artist and Usher ever be used in the same sentence.
That is however unless your name is Anthony Njokuani.
Njokuani, a UFC lightweight, literally danced his way to the Octagon as he was pursuing a career in dancing.
"I actually wasn't trying to become a fighter," Njokuani told Bleacher Report. "I was becoming a hip hop dancer."
"This place I was going had me taking two elective classes. So, I took American kickboxing classes. The guy in charge saw a lot of potential in me, and he eventually opened up his own gym. He told me and a few others to come with him, and we did," said Njokuani. "That's how I started and haven't looked back since."
The dancing recently stopped as Njokuani found himself on the bitter end of the judge's scorecards as he fell short by split decision to Danny Castillo at UFC 141.
It was Njokuani's fourth loss in his last six outings as he felt he received the short end of the stick when all was said and done.
"I think I did enough to win the fight, but it is what it is. It was a tough loss. It was hard to fall in that fight but I'm proud of myself for how I handled things," said Njokuani.
Njokuani will get the chance to redeem himself when he takes the Octagon on Saturday, April 21st against John Makdessi.
The Nigerian product will have his hands full as Makdessi has fallen to the hands of defeat just one time over the course of his 10-fight career.
Njokuani has one goal in mind when the opening bell begins in their lightweight meeting—avoid the judge's scorecards.
"I definitely think I have the advantage. I've been putting 100 percent in. I know he's not better than me. He's got some tricky movement," said Njokuani. "He tends to trick and catch guys."
"Considering my past, I'm not going to let it go to the judge's scorecards. There will be no judge's ruling in my future," laughed Njokuani. "I think it'll be a first-round finish."
As Njokuani continues to advance into the depths of his prime, he has a strong desire to represent his home country of Nigeria by doing things the right way.
"It means a lot to represent Nigeria. It means a lot to have a lot of Nigerians who are proud of me and proud of what I'm doing. I'm happy and honored to represent my home country. My brother and I plan on starting a gym there when our careers are over,"said Njokuani. "We've always wanted to do something for our people and give back to them for supporting us."
"I want to keep making sure I do things the right way. It sucks for those of us who are busting and working hard when you have guys cheating their way through with steroids. But it will catch up to them. Maybe not today or tomorrow but it will in the long run."
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