• Seidou NJIMOULUH: “Fedor Emelianenko is my source of inspiration forever”

Seidou NJIMOULUH: “Fedor Emelianenko is my source of inspiration forever”

5 June 2024 FIAS
Seidou NJIMOULUH: “Fedor Emelianenko is my source of inspiration forever”

Cameroonian athlete Seidou Njimouluh won a gold medal in the up to 98 kg weight category in Combat SAMBO at the African Championships held in Cairo (Egypt). After the victory, he shared his emotions from the fights with the FIAS website.

How difficult was the path to the championship title?

– Nobody expected an easy walk, because every tournament is a battle, and every fight requires maximum concentration. All I wanted today was to defeat my opponents according to the rules of SAMBO. I had to show what I could do in this sport, make the most of all my knowledge and skills, and be better than my opponents on the mat.

From the outside it seemed that you managed to win both fights not only technically, but also intellectually. It was as if you knew how your opponents would act and successfully counterattacked. Is it so?

– Yes this is true. In each fight you need to analyze what is happening and use timing. And we are talking not only about strikes, but in general it is necessary to take into account all the nuances, try to understand the opponent and predict his actions. There are no small things on the mat.


I noticed that during the fight you periodically changed your stance. Did this help you to win?

– Taking into account the fact that strikes in SAMBO do not give points, you need to analyze and try different options to achieve the goal, including changing stances. Both of my opponents today were not easy, and it took me some time to understand them and find the keys to victory. Changing the stances also helped me with this.

Fedor Emelianenko, during his master class in Serbia, said that he can understand “who is standing against him” depending on the athlete’s stance, the position of his hands and other external signs. Have you, as a two-time World Champion in Combat SAMBO, developed a similar vision of your opponents?

– Fedor is my source of inspiration forever. I understand what he means, and I would like to believe that I had a similar vision. You are right, I have been practicing SAMBO for a long time, I have accumulated enough experience in this sport, I managed to win several major international tournaments and win titles. And I'd really like to think I can say that too.


Following your fight there was a final in the +98 kg weight category, also with the participation of the Cameroonian athlete Maxwell Djantou. You knew about it. How did you feel walking onto the mat? How important was it to win to set an example?

– Of course, we have a very strong team spirit, and our common task is to be close and provide help and support to each other. Of course, I felt this responsibility, and it became even greater given the fact that I am the first representative of the African continent to win the title of World Champion in SAMBO. I live with it, and this sense of responsibility for my teammates is now always with me.

The Cameroonian team has a ritual that every athlete and coach performs before going on the mat. What does it mean?

– It’s difficult to explain in words. The fact is that this greeting ritual, which is seen by spectators and other athletes, contains a very deep inner meaning. Let me just say that it reflects our common intentions and determination to win, our unity and common goal.


You are a two-time World Champion in Combat SAMBO. Can you say that the level of athletes and competition at the African Sambo Championships has increased?

– Yes, of course, I see how the level of professional skill of athletes is growing. Of course, we cannot yet fully compare it with the international one, but it is obvious that it is higher and higher every year. I am sure that in a year the progress will become even more noticeable.

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