Ramzan Abdul Aziim is celebrating the gold medal he claimed for Mauritius in amateur MMA in the 77,1 Kg / 170 Lbs men’s category at the 2023 African Games last Tuesday 12 March – Mauritius’ Independence Day.

Hailing from the island’s town of Mont Ida in Flacq, the twenty-seven-year-old holds a 4-1 amateur MMA record.  But he boasts extensive experience in Brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai, having achieved a brown belt and 2nd Kan respectively.

The welterweight transitioned to MMA just three years ago at the club Academie Jaunbocus Tawfiq (under coach Muhamad Tawfiq Jainbocus) when GAMMA “was first introduced under the MBJJF for the development of MMA on our island.”

On the popularity of MMA on the small, Indian Ocean isle off the coast of South East Africa, Aziim observes, “The sport is growing day-by-day as local people see the big events of ONE Championship and UFC etc. on the screen. There are about five or six clubs now across the island which athletes can easily access.”

Outside of MMA, Aziim works in a school but his life is dedicated to his sport. The juggling of responsibilities means, “the only time I get to spend with my family is at the weekend.” But the biggest obstacle to participating in the 2023 African Games was not related to personal or time-demands, nor was it mental or physical. The greatest challenge was financial. However, the team was fortunate to eventually attain financial assistance through their federation which enabled them to travel.

Asked about his ultimate goals in MMA and what motivates him, Aziim says: “The goal is to be a GAMMA World Champion one day and compete with different organisations in MMA. I don’t believe in motivation. I believe more in consistency. Motivation can be up and down but with consistency, you keep training no matter what.”

Competing on an international platform at an event as prestigious as the African Games provides a tremendous learning curve and great developmental experience for any athlete. Speaking from personal experience, the champion relays: “I gained more confidence in my BJJ game plan for MMA and got more familiar with competing in a ring. I learned to be more relaxed under the pressure of competing in a ring.”

So, how did it feel for him to win a gold medal for his country on an Olympic platform?

“It was a historic moment for me to get the Gold medal for our country especially for our 56th Independence Day of the 12 March.”

And what’s next for Ramzan Abdul Aziim? “Next step, is to continue improving my game and stand on the podium of the GAMMA World Championships 2024.”

The 2024 GAMMA World Championships is set for Jakarta, Indonesia this December.

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