MUAY THAI GUERRILLA ’16 by Baba Sakho & Dany Njiba

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In November 2016, Baba “Babs” Sakho took Muay Thai, the world’s most effective striking style back to his homeland of Senegal, in support of the LionHeart Initiative to develop multi-dimentional MMA fighters in the region. Baba used his 12 years of experience competing and coaching to develop the striking skills of MMA fighters affiliated with the LionHeart Initiative, as well as exhibit Muay Thai to a new audience. Baba has a competitive record of 12-3, and served as an instructor at Puteaux Scorp Thai in France, where he coached fighters who are now kickboxing Champions of France and Europe, and Muay Thai World Champion.

Babs who was joined by his best friend and teammate Dany “The Dog” Njiba, a Muay Thai World Champion and Champion of France, has a fight record of 39 wins, 1 draw, and 5 losses. His recently earned titles at 71 Kg include:
2015 – AFMT Champion of France
2015 – IFMA World Champion
2016 – WBC National Champion

Born of parents from the Democratic Republic ofCongo, Dany was born in France where he started with Kickboxing and eventually transitioned to Muay Thai. Without means to pay for sports dues, he often changed sports activities, and eventually found Kickboxing and fell in love. He later transitioned to Muay Thai which he practiced for two years before joining Baba Sakho at Puteaux Scorp Thai.

This project contributed to LionHeart vision to lift deserving and talented athletes from poverty by driving a long-term development of MMA in Africa with the aim of creating local and international opportunities for young athletes to excel in the world’s fastest growing sport and mainstream entertainment. A unique strength of the LionHeart Initiative is its ability to motivate volunteers and connect experienced martial artists with talented athletes in Africa. Over the years, the MMA for Africa movement, which grew out of the LionHeart Initiative, has led to dozens of volunteer instructors worldwide traveling to Africa and offering free seminars in MMA or underlying grappling and striking arts. In return, these foreign visitors are afforded a life-changing experience in training with local martial artists and being exposed to the rich culture and traditions of African communities.

While continuing short-term projects led by foreign volunteers to grow MMA and underlying martial arts (thereafter cited as MMA) in Africa, but recognizing its limitations, the LionHeart Initiative will also fund long-term MMA travelers to live and train in African communities. Concurrently, LionHeart will promote and support pan-African exchanges for African MMA fighters to travel to neighboring countries to share their skills, which represents a cost effective and sustainable long-term concept of operation. Additionally, LionHeart will help organize competitive circuits and collaborate with local promoters to hold MMA events, which will serve promote the sport locally, motivate aspiring pro-fighters, and alter the local martial arts landscape.