At the age of 45 Siala-Mou Siliga, also known as Mighty Mo, has found a resurgence in the land of the morning calm with Road Fighting Championship.
He may be old school, but to many younger fans he has the heart and mind of a young fighter making a name for himself in this unforgiving sport of mixed martial arts.
After running through the competition like a hot knife to butter in the first ever ROAD FC Openweight Tournament, he finds himself in the finale facing a familiar foe in Hong-Man Choi.
They have a long history together and seemed cordial for the most part, but they are still going to try to rip each other’s heads off for the inaugural title.
During the pre-fight press conference Choi slammed his fist down on the table and stated in Korean “I have been training so hard for this fight. You’re responsible for all my problems, and I’m going to pay you back for it.”
Of course, Mighty Mo does not speak Korean but he knows the international language of anger.
“Its like flipping somebody off, it’s a universal language.” He states with a giggle. “I don’t really have to understand what he really says his motions and reactions are universal. My confidence level is real high so I don’t need to bark back. When fight day comes, he is going feel some shit.”
Before this matchup was finalised, he had to face two other Korean fighters and performed well.
In the quarterfinal round he punch a hole through Mu-Bae Choi in a rematch at ROAD FC 27. Then, he went on to face Hyun-Man Myung in the semifinals at ROAD FC 30. This ended up being a much longer fight than Siliga anticipated.
“I was not fighting in my hometown so the advantage was more on his side. For being a banger he kept his distance from me and I didn’t want it to go to the cards. Going into the last round I had to knock him out or take him down to finish the fight. I knew his ground game was not as good as mine since I have trained with the best in the world like Josh Barnett.”
His premonitions were on target in that a neck crank finish early in the third round was the result.
Now, he has turned his focus on facing the giant from South Korea. These two massive individuals have competed against each other two times under K-1 rules and they are even-steven. Even though he has fought Choi twice already, preparing for him is not an easy task but Mighty Mo has it all figured out.
“It’s hard to find a 7-foot-4 guy walking around” Siliga says with a smile. “ But I make due with what I got and capitalise on getting the job done.”
He lives and trains in the United States but also does some of it in Japan. For him, preparations for a fight is as much mental as physical. He has his longtime friend and coach Faii Falamoe, the head coach at Kickboxing Ichigeki in Tokyo, Japan, in his corner making sure everything is copasetic.
“Me being an older fighter I understand the fight game very well. Training with a team you got to be mentally connected almost in every aspect of the fight game and life itself. So having Faii there is like working with my cousin. He has a long track record of competing in the fight world and dealing with a lot of world class fighters. I got a lot of trust and faith in him so it is basically like taking your family member with you to war” he states about his approach.
“I take the game totally serious and I don’t play around like I used to when I was younger. I took things for granted because I had power. I would celebrate way too much and didn’t have the proper mindset like I should have had. We all fall and get back up. Nowadays, I live in the gym, sleep in the gym, eat in the gym.”
Being a veteran of combat sports, Siliga has been involved in many tournaments but he believes that this one has garnered better results even at the age he is at due to the fact he is 100% and has something to prove.
“I am the most powerful and most in shape I have been in my career. A lot of people say I’m a legend but I truly do not feel like the legend I should be. That’s another reason I am competing to this day.”
Come fight night, the American will be very wary of the power Choi possesses but is confident that he has more and will come out on top.
“The power is there, he’s a big guy. Even if it is a pushing punch. But I’m not an average guy, I can take pretty much the best shots out there in the game. If I were to take one of his and he were to take one of mine, he would lose” he states with beaming determination.
“If I can end it right then and there with a takedown or standing up, I’m going to take it. It all depends on Choi, what he gives me. I don’t want to spend more time than I need to get the job done.”
When it is all over with, Mighty Mo has a simple plan and it involves family, food and the next proposal.
“I’m not like when I was younger. I used to take long breaks and hang out at the bar all day. Now, I just go back home to my family and BBQ. Less than a week I’m back in the gym going hard again. I’m just waiting for an opportunity. I’m ready whenever, even when I’m not ready.”
Fans can catch Mighty Mo this weekend when he takes on Hong-Man Choi for the Openweight Championship on Sept.24, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea at ROAD FC 33.