Rameau Thierry “Sokoudjou”? Maybe you’d recognize him more by “the guy that knocked out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira” or “the guy that knocked out Ricardo Arona.” Oh yeah, that guy.
By now, if you don’t know the name Sokoudjou, you’re likely living under a rock. After knocking out the aforementioned MMAWeekly top ten ranked light heavyweight fighters, Sokoudjou himself has fought his way into the top ten.
A mixed martial arts fighter from Cameroon, Africa, Sokoudjou now makes his home at the Dan Henderson branch of Team Quest in Temecula, Calif. Growing up in Cameroon though, he was a Judoka, winning several national and international titles. Sokoudjou made the move to the United States with Olympic dreams swimming in his head. He did win the Open Division to become a U.S. Open Judo Champion in 2001, but somehow, he never realized his Olympic dream.
Since hooking up with Henderson to help him prepare for a fight with Kazuhiro Nakamura – also a Judoka – Sokoudjou has made the transition to a career in mixed martial arts… and he’s done quite well.
Despite stumbling against Glover Teixeira – who is trained by UFC Champ Chuck Liddell and John Hackleman – Sokoudjou has quickly established himself as a contender in the light heavyweight division with the knockouts of Nogueira and Arona in the Pride ring.
With the Fertitta brothers’ recent acquisition of Pride Fighting Championships, as with many other fighters, Sokoudjou’s fighting future is currently in limbo while he waits to see what shape the new organization takes.
In this Exclusive interview with MMAWeekly In The Cage, Sokoudjou discusses how he switched from Judo to mixed martial arts, his training with Dan Henderson at Team Quest, his stunning knockouts and more.
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