Mukai "The Afrikan Assassin" Maromo was supposed to be fighting for the vacant MFC lightweight title tonight, but his opponent Adam Lynn came in over the 155 pound limit. The fight will still go down as the main event tomorrow and will be a three-round non-title fight instead.
Maromo hopes to put the controversy of their first show down to rest as he was the victor in a hotly contested battle that resulted in him being awarded with the judges' split decision.
"I would love to win beyond a shadow of a doubt and I think I let that fight [first Lynn fight] ride a little too close," Maromo told Bleacher Report. "I lost the first round for sure, he came out really strong and caught me with a left hook that knocked me down, but that was pretty much all he did for the whole fight. The rest of the fight was me really taking the fight to him for the last two rounds and I got the split decision."
Lynn is no newbie when it comes to the sport of MMA. Having fought the likes of former Strikeforce champions Josh Thomson and Nick Diaz and with a 17-9-0 record, Lynn is well travelled.
For Maromo, 7-2-0 himself, the first Lynn fight was a tricky affair considering Lynn's experience, but Maromo is ready for him this time around.
"I've experienced being in the ring with him and any rust or any jitters that I might have had coming in to the first fight are not there anymore," Maromo said. "I've realized where I made my mistakes and how I can beat him so the new game plan is designed to beat him before the end of the fight, so I am looking to finish this fight for sure."
For the first time, Maromo ran his camp for the rematch with Lynn out of Tri Star gym—home to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre—a place that is known as being one of the stronger camps on the MMA scene.
In terms of MMA training, Maromo hasn't seen or worked out at a better place than Tri Star, and hopefully this pays dividends in his fight with Lynn tonight.
"From an MMA standpoint, they (Tri Star) have a very in depth program, they provide everything you need under one roof," Maromo said. "Also they have a large number of high-quality fighters. They have a number of guys in the UFC, a number of guys in Bellator and a number of guys in high-level promotions around the country. Just the experience itself and training with that caliber of talent in one room, it definitely makes you a much better athlete and competitor for sure. This was a very good move and by far the best MMA camp I've had to date."
It was a long road before getting to Tri Star gym, and even before starting his career in MMA. Maromo is a native of Zimbabwe, Africa, where he grew up. Afterwards he spent some time in the United States on a track and field scholarship before finally deciding to settle in Canada.
Most people find moving a big life event even if it is within the same city. But moving between three countries with different cultures is a massive life event that although positive, can be a lot to get used to.
"It [moving to the States] was a very big move," Maromo said. "Talk about culture shock at the highest level, you go from a predominantly African country where I speak one language and everything is totally different and then you go from that to North Carolina where people are different, dress different, act different [...] it was like taking your whole world and turning it upside down. It was also exciting. It helps you grow as an individual and you experience new things that you never would have experienced. If I was still living back in Zimbabwe I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now."
Being a native of Zimbabwe and with how instrumental the UFC is in growing the sport of MMA around the world, Maromo is confident we'll see the day where the UFC puts on a show in a country like his.
"It's growing phenomenally right now. MMA is like a virus right now. It's like an epidemic and definitely I think it's going to really blow up in the smaller countries for sure," Maromo said. "I don't think they would do a major pay per view show in a smaller country, but definitely one of their fight nights or one of their smaller shows definitely."
Maromo might be getting his shot in the UFC by the time they move in to countries like his, but he'll have to get through Lynn tonight before that happens, and he's focused on the task at hand. Fans can catch the MFC 34 event live at the Mayfield Trade Center in Edmonton, Alberta or live on AXS TV (formerly HDnet). If you want to know more about Maromo, give him a follow on his Twitter @AfrikanAssassin.
Leon Horne enjoys all sports and has a particular interest in MMA; give him a follow on Twitter for more information and keep an eye out for interesting interviews and news, Follow @Leon_Horne