Mensah Aka Miezan Prince took to the MMA podium at the recent 2023 African Games in Accra to be awarded the gold medal for Ivory Coast in the 70.3 Kg / 155 Lbs division (lightweight).

The 26-year-old from Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city and former capital, came to Ghana with a broad background in Sanda, wrestling and jujitsu. He boasts four gold medals in Sanda and has one professional MMA fight and victory to his name.

The main struggle for the champion as for many of his counterparts across Africa is “insufficient financial resources”. Luckily, he has had the support of his national federation, despite the lack of infrastructure for training and equipment.

Working as a professional sports coach by day the Ivorian medallist trains five times a week, with the hope of one day becoming a world champion and lifting his family from poverty.

Prince’s experience of competing in MMA at the 2023 African Games exceeded expectations. He is most of all proud that Team Ivory Coast showed itself to be one of the best in Africa,  while he only has good things to say about the conditions for athletes during the championships.

Prince relates: “It was a new experience for me to leave my country to face other nations, which positions me at continental level in Africa and gives me an international profile.”

The champion’s motivation, he says, comes from the pleasure he takes from success in his work and his desire to make himself known in his country.

Looking ahead already he is keen to defend his title in the next African Games in Egypt in 2027. But in the nearer term, he is looking forward to competing in the Côte d’Ivoire National Championships and the Africa Integration Championship of Abidjan, followed by the GAMMA World Championships at the end of the year in Jakarta. Prince is certainly a talent to watch out for!

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