A professional muay thai fighter from Salford talks about why he believes a switch to mixed martial arts (MMA) is the best opportunity for his career.
Randy Mboyo, 27, born in Congo, has lived in Salford for 20 years, growing up in Higher Broughton.
With a lifelong passion for sport, Mboyo says: “I’ve always been a sporty person, in school i took part in athletics and rugby.
“My friend told me about muay thai so i thought I’d give it a try and I just fell in love with it ever since”.
But after seven years of muay thai fighting with eight professional bouts, the 27-year-old made the decision to try his luck at MMA.
Mboyo reveals: “The money in muay thai is not the best. I switched over to MMA as there’s better promotions and more people watch the shows”.
With almost ten years of competitive fighting experience, Mboyo says: “I just love to fight as it allows me to channel everything through my training and fighting”.
Speaking about the transition from one sport to another, Mboyo explains: “The good thing about it was the stand-up game for most MMA fighters is either boxing, kickboxing or muay thai. So it was just about being able to adapt and change different stances and being aware of different situations that could happen in MMA as it is both stand-up and ground fighting.
“I feel like my stand-up game is very good, very sharp. My striking feels powerful, and I’m happy with my speed. It’s been a year of focusing on my groundwork, submissions and wrestling”.
A former personal trainer at Multifit Salford, Mboyo now does part-time bar work to give himself more time to focus on his MMA career. Mboyo explains: “Personal training was taking up too much of my time. I want to take training seriously, it’s my life now and if you don’t train then you won’t get far”.
One year into his amateur MMA career, Mboyo follows a consistent training regime: “I try and train 4-5 times a week, twice a day. It’s a very hard lifestyle. Everyday i wake up and train in the morning, go home and recover, then go again in the evening”.
Mboyo fights out of One MMA Academy, a mixed martial arts gym located at Unit 1 Maiden Mews, Worsley Road, Swinton, M27 5WN. Mboyo has been with the gym since his MMA journey began, and believes it offers him the best opportunity to progress: “It’s got so many active fighters. We’re being coached by Pietro Menga, a Cage Warriors champion, he’s been in the game for a long time.
“Lot’s of fighters like to come to the gym to train, so that’s a good opportunity for us upcoming fighters to be able to mix in with the high-end professionals. Obviously, if you’re training with people that are better than you, then that’s how you’re going to improve”.
So how does Mboyo prepare for the run-up to a fight? Mboyo says: “Physically, i just start upping the pace, training smart and hard like I’m in the fight. I have to make sure I’m recovering good, sleeping good and eating good as well”.
Mentally, as it get’s closer to the fight I start visualising fight simulations in my mind and different ways that I’m going to win. I’m always thinking at the back of my mind that I need to be training harder than my opponent”.
From a dietary perspective Mboyo is a vegetarian, and explains this choice: “I’ve become vegetarian just for my training. Personally I just feel like meat has not been good with my diet. For me I feel like I can digest better and when I’m training now I’m getting the full output of what I’ve just ate. I feel like I’m getting better and better by the week”.
Unable to participate in his next scheduled fight in nine days due to an injured hand, Mboyo is now focusing on 2020 with his goal set on becoming a professional MMA fighter. Mboyo says: “I’m looking at five fights next year and five wins, with the hope to go pro at the end of next year.
“The doctor said I’m clear to fight in March, where I’ll be looking to fight in Cage Warriors in Manchester”.
Mboyo is looking to take his career as far as he can, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mentioned: “We’ll see how it goes really. There’s obviously other federations out there that are good”.
To find Randy Mboyo on social media, he is available on Instagram, where he posts regularly about his MMA journey.