Kickboxer Titus Tugume has not fought for more than a year but his trainer is cocksure the UPDF fighter will be in the right shape against American Robert Niemoeller December 18.
The two will face off in a full-contact fight at Kololo Airstrip for the Intercontinental Kickboxing Championship sanctioned by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. Muhammed Mayambala, alias Coach Meddie, who has handled Tugume since he raised his first kick, said his fighter has no respect for white opponents.
“Foremost, Tugume is a born fighter, naturally brave and he is a soldier. So he is never intimidated by ‘white’ opponents,” Mayambala told Daily Monitor during the fight launch at Green Lounge in Muyenga yesterday. Tugume has won several honours at amateur and professional level abroad in a career that spans nearly 50 fights.
This fight was initially scheduled for May 23, but was cancelled due to coronavirus disruptions.
“I see the postponement more as an advantage because it has given me more time to prepare for the opponent,” Tugume, who was recently promoted from Sergeant to Warrant Officer II, told the press. “I have to prepare more such that I put up a good show for the good of my country,” Tugume said.His trainer concurs: “We have been training even though the gyms are still closed and we shall continue while observing all the health guidelines,” Mayambala said.
Tugume added that though his opponent is better in boxing, “I’m better in kicks.” Early last year, Tugume finished an instructors’ course for one month in Orlando, Florida after defeating American Drew Deez in a semi-contact bout and won the 2019 World Mixed Martial Arts Ranking Association title February 2019. Major General Geoffrey Kasigazi, Deputy Commander UPDF Air Force urged Ugandans to support Tugume for this fight and all his endeavours because they enhance the image of our country.”
“We shall welcome the American as a tourist,” the general jibed. “But Tugume must win; it’s not a matter of if rather, when he wins.”
The fight is estimated to consume Shs360m and the organisers requested whoever is capable to contribute.
The match will attract less than 100 people and will be the first combat sport event since the coronavirus lockdown in March.