Few walk into 2019 with a bigger smile than ONE Warrior Series’ Emmanuel “The Biafran Warrior” Onyedikachi.
The Selapak gym representative kicked off his professional mixed martial arts career in May 2018 when he joined Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 1 (OWS) in Singapore.
Already awed for his robust stature, Onyedikachi finally got the chance to show who he is a skilled martial artist that has what it takes to challenge world-class opponents.
Competing in three consecutive OWS events, “The Biafran Warrior” now holds an undefeated record with three victories inside the ring.
“I really appreciate the opportunity,” he says.
“To get in there was a great experience! I never expected to be [part of ONE Championship] this early!”
His most impressive win came in July, as he stopped Indian mixed martial arts veteran Sandeep Kumar Dahiya with thundering low kicks in the first round.
The Nigerian-born Onyedikachi has also had tremendous success outside of the ring as he got married and is now expecting his first child.
His recent achievements are almost a complete contrast to the situation he found himself in when he first arrived in Cambodia ten years ago.
“I know the feeling of being on the streets. I’ve had my experiences,” Onyedikachi shares.
“During my time in Cambodia – before I came to this level – I spent eight months homeless on the street.”
Homeless and without purpose, “The Biafran Warrior” has in the last couple of years managed to make an astonishing turnaround.
Now, he is looking to pay it forward to Cambodia’s most underprivileged.
The talented Nigerian now collaborates with the non-profit organization Awareness Cambodia, where he serves as an ambassador and helps by donating part of his purse to them.
He is now the organization’s “Kids Champion,” and offers free fitness and self-defense classes for the organization’s children.
“I appreciate that [Awareness Cambodia] are putting things together for the kids and helping them out,” Onyedikachi says.
“I visit them sometimes … I bring them food, buy them some things, and give them some percentage from my wins.”
Representing not only Cambodia and Nigeria, “The Biafran Warrior” now also serves as a hero for many of the children.
Through the organization, Onyedikachi raises awareness and implements health, education, and childhood development programs in some of Cambodia’s poorest provinces.
The sturdy competitor has now created a special bond with many of the people within the organization and the children they help.
“They love me so much! They are happy, taking pictures with me. I think their prayers help me a lot as well,” he shares.
“Every time I go fight, they call me, and we pray together, and they keep praying for me.
“It motivates me more. It’s no pressure. It gives me motivation! When I step in the ring, I know what I’m there for. I’m not just going there for myself, I’m going there for a lot of people who look up to me.”
Onyedikachi does not have an official bout yet, but he hopes to step into the ring in the first quarter of 2019.
When he does, he knows that he will have the full support of the children he tries to help.
“I’ll make sure that I make them proud,” he says. “I want them to believe in themselves. If their teacher can do this, they can also achieve whatever they want in their life!”