This past February, MFC lightweight contender Mukai “Afrikan Assassin” Maromo lost to Graham Spencer. It was his first loss in three years, and the reason why he was defeated is not lost on him.
According to Maromo, he became a victim of his own success.
“I was on a five-fight winning streak and I was winning all these awards, and I got a little lackluster in my training,” Maromo told MMAWeekly.com. “That’s the long and short of it. I underestimated a very good opponent.”
Maromo also feels he got away from what made him successful in the first place.
“I was focusing on all the negative aspects of my game, so I was trying to be a better grappler. That’s a good thing, but it took away a lot of emphasis on what I’m really good at and what won me fights,” he said.
“What I should have been doing was fine-tuning my game and get better at what I’m good at. But at the same time, kind of be good enough at takedown defense so that I could get up from takedowns as opposed to full-on grappling.”
Maromo will get an opportunity to rebound on May 10 as part of the MFC’s return to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, when he faces the fighter who handed him his first loss three years ago, Kurt Southern, at MFC 37 live on AXS TV.
“It’s a completely new fight,” said Maromo. “When I fought Kurt, I was 3-0 and I had fought three pretty decent opponents, but I overwhelmed everybody with my Thai boxing and I wasn’t grappling at all.
“Kurt was the first legitimate grappler that I fought and that fight is what taught me that I needed to start grappling actively and it made the fighter I am today, so I’m grateful for it, but this is going to be a totally different fight and I’m a totally different fighter.”
Having fallen victim to moving too far, too fast, Maromo’s outlook for the remainder of the year is one of putting in the steady work that will get him to where he wants to be… when he’s truly ready to be there.
“Being a world champion is something that’s always in the back of everybody’s mind, so I want to get back into contention as soon as possible,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m taking a more calculated, methodical, mature approach to my fighting; as opposed to just running head-on towards the person who has the title.
“I’m going to take more time between fights so I can improve dramatically instead of just taking fight after fight and becoming better-conditioned. I’m definitely looking to get the title in good time, but the goal for this year is to take the fights to develop myself into a fully-rounded fighter.”