By Hervé MFOGNAM
World Champion EFC light heavyweight on September 28 in South Africa, Simon Thierry Biyong is now known as the name that matters most in the game MMA.
The first Cameroonian EFC World Champion has agreed to play answer questions with our platform.
– Mr. World Champion briefly describe our readers.
Simon Thierry Biyong is a trained artist, sports enthusiast and professional MMA athlete. My love for art led me to the Mbalmayo Artistic Training Institute (in the central region of Cameroon). After my studies in Cameroon I wanted to continue my apprenticeship in an artistic university to have a license in art. To do this, I opt for Italy where I join a academy of fine arts in graphic design where I spent 03 years. It is also on Italian soil that I begin to practice MMA.
– Tell us about your beginnings in this adventure?
During my academic years in Italy, I had almost no friends, no knowledge, I needed to take care of my spare time and what better than sports. So I started playing basketball to the point of joining a local team but the experience was not good. I opted for basketball because in Cameroon it was my sport because football had not given because of my size. After this misadventure, I decided to completely stop basketball in favor of the MMA that I already followed in Canada through television. It was also a good way to de-stress, to externalize frustrations by hitting a bag. I therefore integrate the only gym that trains in MMA in the city where I live and that I found on Internet.
– Tell us your debut in MMA?
Upon my arrival, the coach directly put me to the test and he was directly seduced by my technique and especially my physical worked during my basketball years. Unlike other beginners I had an advantage especially since I learned very quickly. Over time I had proposals for amateur fights; five in total and I won all these fights. There was also a semi-pro fight that I won by K.O against a world champion of a Brazilian wrestler who had more experience than me. After these fights, my coach said that to gain time I have to go pro since age is important in this sport because the sooner you start, the more you can go far. So my coach quickly found me pro fights and the first was for a belt against an Egyptian opponent who weighed my weight + 15 and I also knocked him out and won my first wrestling belt (where the fighters have different weights but decide to fight). My exploits began to interest people who were amazed to see a new explosion all in its path. All my first fights were played in Italy by the way.
– Once your successful start in MMA, at what level is the school that took you to Italy?
I tried to do both; sports practice and studies. I was already in the third year and it required more study time and the other side (combat sports) I behaved very well which opened doors for me. It’s also my signing with the Calibian Sports Management agency that has forced me to focus only on my career.
– How is the meeting with CALIBIAN SPORTS MANAGEMENT. the agency that currently manages you?
The meeting was done through my coach, who is responsible for the practice of MMA in the Northern Region of Italy. He was approached by CALIBIAN SPORTS MANAGEMENT who showed an interest in me. The agency told my coach about this and that’s it. To achieve my goals I needed professionals like CALIBIAN with me. Especially since as soon as I became professional I set myself the goal of being world champion by 2020 regardless of the organization.
– You finally realize your dream in your home continent before 2020. What favored that?
A combination of circumstances and a good preparation. Initially my opponent for this belt (QUINTON Rossouw) was not to fight against me but with another South African fighter who is in the top 5 of 93 kilograms. The latter was injured and the South African organization that was already interested in what I do thanks to the work of CALIBIAN has seen fit to take me to replace the injured. I did not know it was for the belt as far as CALIBIAN had explained to me that to reach the belt I had to win my next 02 fights and have this possibility. So when I am informed that I fight directly for the belt in the first fight in the organization I was super happy, excited. From that moment I considered my opponent as an obstacle to the realization of my dream and it was necessary to blow it up. When I entered the cage I had only one idea in mind to have the belt and that’s what was done and I was crowned EFC world champion lightweight lords.
– Have you had the feeling of having delivered your best fight for this title?
I was really prepared for this fight and I was a little disappointed to the extent that I told myself that the opponent was stronger. But it’s part of the process, maybe he was really up to it but I was more prepared than him. I can not afford to deny the potential of a league fighter
– After this coronation did you receive the congratulations of the Cameroonian authorities ?
I had a lot of messages from my fans, friends, family and journalists too. As far as the authorities are concerned, I was received by the Cameroonian consul in Italy.
– You realized your dream: to be world champion before 2020. What are new immediate and distant goals ?
The immediate goal is to enter the cage because I live because of it. As a full-time athlete I feed on fights. Indeed in early 2020 (between March and April) I will defend the belt in South Africa and before that I hope to have a fight between now and the defense of the title. Routine is training while waiting for these deadlines. Over time I would like to join the American league of MMA and build me a good career on this side: it’s my total goal because I’m very close to what happens there.
– What advice can you give to young fans of this sport who would like to follow your footsteps?
In MMA we have two categories: beginners and others who already practice. To those who start I will tell them that the most difficult are the beginnings and very soon the routine is installed. In addition, it is important to set goals, to always aim far and not to give up on difficulties because it is part of the learning process.
For practitioners I will say that if the MMA is a passion that you want to transform into a profession, you have to be determined, not give up and optimize the training that gives you an esteem in itself. Do not be afraid of its objectives because the bigger they are the more you work and realize them becomes obvious.
– Thank you Champion