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Mukai MaromoThough he only fought twice in 2012, MFC lightweight title contender Mukai “Afrikan Assassin” Maromo feels it was a watershed year in his three-year career thanks to his two bouts against veteran Adam Lynn.

“Those two fights made me grow as a fighter,” said Maromo. “Before that point, I had only fought guys who were good at one particular thing. They were exclusively a grappler or exclusively a striker; so I never had a chance to fight a guy who was good in all skills. It made me adjust my game and be more well-rounded.

“That’s why I moved out to Montreal and started training here. I had to reinvent my game and pick it up, and so far everything’s worked out well.”

Maromo had won his first bout against Lynn in May via controversial split-decision, so when the two rematched in August, he intended to make sure there was no doubt about whom the clear-cut winner would be.

“I don’t like winning under controversy,” Maromo told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m also not one of those guys who wins under controversy and doesn’t take the rematch on whatever grounds.

“On the second one, he didn’t make weight, so it was cut down from a title fight to a three-round fight. I wanted that win over him. I didn’t want that looming controversy, so I wanted to make a mark on that fight.”

Maromo ended up knocking Lynn out in the second round of their rematch, setting the stakes for his upcoming lightweight title match at MFC 36 in Edmonton, Canada, against Graham Spencer on Friday night, live on AXS TV.

“Graham’s a real interesting opponent and the last one I lost to,” said Maromo.

“I remember when we had that (first) fight, it was one of those last minute fights where I had to cut an extra five pounds because my (originally scheduled) fight had been cancelled and his had been cancelled and I wanted to fight. I admit, my pride got the better of me and I took that fight and lost a unanimous decision.”

Maromo feels if he can keep the fight standing, he should be able to avenge his previous loss to Spencer and take the title he’s been chasing for the last year all in one fell swoop.

“When they offered him a title match against me, I was really hoping he would accept that, because I really want this title and it allows me to get that rematch, get that revenge for that loss,” said Maromo. “It’s a bit of a double whammy for me to get this all at once, so I’m excited for it.”

Should Maromo take the title, his next step is to establish himself as a true champion and be recognized as such by the MMA community.

“I want to win this title and defend it at least once and legitimize it,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider myself a true champion if I went out and got it and then lost it right after that. I definitely want to get it legitimized so I can establish myself and get the experience I need to be a fighter on a world-class level.”

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