Emmanuel Onyedikachi (3-0) has come a long way from his native Nigeria.
“The Biafran Warrior” now resides in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and for the last three years, he has been working diligently towards accomplishing his dream life as a professional martial artist.
On 11 October, he took another huge step toward his goal. He competed in ONE Warrior Series 3 and, like his previous two outings in the developmental league, took home another victory for the “Kingdom of Wonder.”
This time, he won a hard-earned decision win, in which he showcased his phenomenal stand-up abilities as well as his grappling skills.
Onyedikachi did not know much about his opponent Xie Xiaoxiang leading up to the welterweight showdown, but he was confident in the preparation that he had done in Phnom Penh.
“I don’t take any fight as an easy fight, no matter how less experienced or more experienced the opponent might be,” the 31-year-old says. “Every fight I’m preparing like I’m going to fight a lion.”
The path to the global stage of martial arts has not been straight for Onyedikachi. Growing up in Nigeria, his family wanted him to pursue a very different profession.
“My parents wanted me to become a priest — a Catholic priest,” he reveals.
It is fair to say that he didn’t follow through with his family’s plans. The powerful athlete did, however, follow the family tradition in a slightly different way.
“My dad is a professional boxer and my uncle is a professional boxer. So when I was twelve years old, they started teaching me boxing,” he mentions.
Building on the family tradition, he later picked up Senegalese wrestling and even competed in over ten bouts in his native country. Even though he kept training and stayed in great shape, it wasn’t until three years ago — while living in Cambodia — that he made a choice that would change his life forever.
“Three years ago I made a strong decision,” he remembers. “I was working as a general manager of PPT Gasoline station. When I decided to become a fighter, I quit my job. This is the secret about me: I quit my job to be a fighter.”
Onyedikachi is now teamed up with Kun Khmer specialist and ONE athlete Chan Rothana and does most of his stand-up training at the renowned Selapak gym.
2018 has been huge for “The Biafran Warrior,” since he is now starting to reap the rewards from his leap of faith. He joined Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, and has scored three impressive victories over skillful opponents who have tested him both standing and on the ground.
“It just takes a little bit of pain to become great,” he says. “This might be an opportunity for me to get to another level”
Even though he has sacrificed a lot to get where he is, there is is no doubt in his mind that he made the right decision.
“This is what I do. I love fighting,” he states. “It’s the life that I wanted to be living. This is my dream life.”