When Richard Muzaan took to the podium to claim gold for Nigeria in MMA at the African Games: “It was an amazing experience because it was my first time winning a gold medal representing my country Nigeria and it was encouragement for my teammates back in my country to motivate them to train hard.”

For the 23-year-old heavyweight, the whole experience of competing in the Games was educational: “It was amazing sharing the ring with athletes from other countries and I learnt a lot about cardio management.”

But the journey to that glorious moment has not been so easy for the champion. As for most of his compatriots, challenges present themselves in terms of access to resources, such as training equipment and sponsorship.

However, in the governmental area of Abua-Odual in Rivers State, “it’s not difficult to access training. You just need to look for an MMA gym where you can train and acquire knowledge and get an opportunity to participate in MMA events. It’s a fast growing sport in my country and it’s becoming more popular by the day.”

Indeed, Muzaan is able to support his family through his career in combat sports. With a 3-0 amateur and 3-2-1 pro record in MMA, he is also a national gold medallist in kickboxing, the sport in which he originates. It was a friend who introduced him to MMA.

Looking to the future, Richard Muzaan is passionate about “training as hard as I can” to pursue his goals of “representing my country again and becoming a gold medallist in the Olympic Games and becoming a world champion as I’ve always dreamt…just like Usman Kamaru and Israel Adesanya.”

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