Kenilworth-based Fighterz Inc’s Christian Bobo Mpia, 25, is all wrapped up, gloves on and ready to have his next conversation in the Last Fighter Standing mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.
“I take fighting as having a conversation. I know how to speak so I dominate quickly,” said Bobo, the welterweight Cape Town LFS champion.
Bobo, known as the ‘Congo Giant’, defeated Khulekani Hlongwa in the final of the Cape Town Prelims event at the Sunnindale Sports Complex, last month. And, he said fighting three MMA fights on the same day came easy to him because he’s accustomed to five or more fights a day.
The competition had eight fighters in multiple weight divisions battle it out for a spot at the national finals, which is scheduled to take place at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, in October.
“I trained hard for these prelims because I knew it was going to be tough. For an event like this, everything needs to be in the right place – your mind, fitness and you also need to get enough rest because it’s easy to burn yourself out before the big day,” said Bobo.
“I trained five days a week and when I was at home I’d go for a light run on the beach or just stay loose by doing some light work on my punching bag.
“What made these fights really interesting for me is that I’ve never met or seen any of my opponents before. I couldn’t really go in with a game plan on what to expect and how to counter, instead, I just had to go out there and do what I do best.
“But, I’m confident in my abilities and stepped into the ring knowing that I did enough in the gym. It’s always great to get into the ring, I’m never afraid because I enjoy fighting,” he said.
Bobo is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and came to South Africa to put his wrestling skills to the test.
The tall ripped fighter was soon introduced to boxing and has now stamped his authority on the MMA scene.
“Back home I was a wrestler. I started when I was seven years old because my older brother was a coach. I used to do Libra and Greco wrestling and have almost 100 wrestling fights to my name.
“While competing here in South Africa, I was told that with my long reach I would do well in stand-up fighting, and I joined a boxing gym in Tokai.
“I trained there for two years but needed to take my fighting to a higher level and have been with Fighterz Inc for the past six months. I feel that I’ve become a more complete fighter at Fighterz Inc because they’ve really tightened up my stand-up skills,” he said.
Bobo has not only been polishing up on his own skills, but he’s also been sharing his wrestling knowledge and is teaching the ground game to the members at his gym.
Back home, he was also a Division 2 soccer player and played as a striker, but he chose a career in the fight business instead.
“I still get together with some friends at least twice a week for a game of soccer. People never believe that I’m a fighter because I’m always very chilled.
“When I’m not training then you’ll find me laying in front of the television and eating,” said Bobo.
“I’ve enjoyed my time so far at Fighterz Inc because I get to spar and train with other champions. This only motivates me because if you want to be the best you have to train with them.
“And, everyday I learn something new and I feel that I still have lots more to add to my skill-set.I’m excited about the LFS national finals. In my mind I’ve already won this tournament, I just need to get in the ring and show up,” said Mpia
“I’m going to dominate there and bring the belt home to my gym,” he said.