A lot can be said about the heart of a champion, what they sacrifice to be the best at their craft, the hours they put in when no one is watching and how they push themselves harder than most. Today we get to take a look inside the head of perhaps the best heavyweight fighter outside of the UFC and current CFFC champion Zu Anyanwu. He is currently sitting at 11-4 and could very well be on the verge of breaking into the UFC and when that happens, get your popcorn ready because there is a true reason they call him the “8th Wonder of the World”!
What got you into the world of MMA and for our readers that might be familiar with your body of work can you talk to us about what makes you a different fighter than the rest of the heavyweights out there.
Anyanwu: Fate got me in….. My Mind and my way of approach to the sport.
I can dig that approach, found your true calling! Now you are from Philly which is a city known for boxing. You have huge power in both hands which has been on display many times in your 5 TKO wins. Coming up was there ever any pressure to strictly go boxing and not MMA?
Anyanwu: Nah, I kind of fell into MMA. It was just there in front of my face at the time. But I spar with a lot of pro boxers whenever I get the chance to and for record I’m from Bucks County, PA outside of Philly. I don’t have to claim I’m from Philly to be tough like some people [smiles].
HAHA! Good call and thanks for setting the record straight. Looking at your Sherdog with your wrong info!! Now you have one of the best nicknames I have heard in a while, “The 8th wonder”. Talk to us about how you got it and what it really means to you.
Anyanwu: Well born in August, the 8 month of the year. Kind of stole from my boy Tim. It was his Flag football nickname… I was diggin’ it… lol. Thanks for that Mr. Jenkins [smiles]. But lately they been calling me “3TC” aka 3 Time Champ.
Well that new name makes sense with you being the current CFFC Heavyweight Champ and a 3 time holder of that belt. Speaking of being the current the heavyweight champion in one of our favorite promotions, the CFFC. Talk to us about what drew you to the CFFC, how has your time been there so far and what it means to be the face of that promotion?
Anyanwu: I watched them from the outside for a while. I needed a new start at the time. They were hot so I joined them at the right time. They treated me good and still do even though I’m not the easiest person to please. Nothing but love for CFFC though.
A pro fighter that isn’t easy to please???? Never heard of that before haha, but I agree there is nothing but love for that promotion and all they do for their fighters. So you recently finished a trilogy of fights with Plinio Cruz which I saw you drop the first one back in 2014 but winning the last two via decision. Talk to us about this trilogy that has produced some amazing battles. Is this rivalry over?
Anyanwu: The trilogy is done and forgotten. Cruz was a good opponent just not on my level at the time. With more training he will get there maybe even surpass it.
Wow that is pretty humble to say someone else could be better than you in time, impressive! Speaking of moving forward you took an interesting approach to figure out your next opponent. You took to social media (Twitter @Azunna215 and also is on Facebook) to have fans suggest who you should face and even tagged the management of the CFFC in the post. What prompted this approach and how has it gone so far?
Anyanwu: Well Mr. Pinto has been buggin me… inboxing me, leaving me voicemails/emails. I don’t even know how he got my phone number to be honest. Even tagging me on Facebook and we’re not even friends on social media lol. So I was like ok… let the people decide. So, I made poll for people to vote. So I put Shaun Teed in there as well to make it fair. It looked like Mr. Pinto edged out the win by a slim margin, my people are recounting the votes to make sure. I’ll keep you posted.
We appreciate that man! It was defiantly a new approach and something we had never seen before, let the fans pick the fight they want to see… novel idea! My Facebook and Twitter timelines have been flooded with people responding to you. Guys like Joe Pinto seem to be very vocal in setting up that bout, are there any fighters in particular you would like to see across the cage?
Anyanwu: At this point, it’s whoever. I’m under UFC radar heavy… I think they want a finish. I have to turn my savage back up most likely. Instead playing around in there. I got content with the game for a stretch.
I can understand why they want you, with the way that division in particular has a ton of guys dropping to injuries and being cut, you would make a very exciting and interesting addition to that roster! Now you are currently ranked as the #1 HW is Jersey and #6 in the northeast. We have seen a ton of CFFC guys make the jump to the big two promotions in the UFC and Bellator, you say you are on their radar, what do you think gives you that final push to make them pick the phone up?
Anyanwu: I think I need to get back to finishing guys. But it could be any day now… I know I’m next in line.
You’re not a shy guy and have admitted more than once that you are the best HW outside of the UFC, how do you feel you stack up with the top ten in the UFC with the likes of Derrick Lewis, REEM and moving to the top in Stipe Miocic?
Anyanwu: Put me right in there with the Top 10… I’m ready!
I agree after watching the videos of your fights. Now watching your fights and being a PA guy, one thing that stood out was your fans. The night you won the strap in the announcers said the crowd wasn’t on your side but by the end you had them cheering for you. What do your fans mean to you, I mean hell you got them picking your next opponent hahahha and if you could say one thing to them what would it be and why?
Anyanwu: Most of them are friends I already know. I don’t use the fan word like that… I’m not really a big deal yet, lol. If I don’t know them well I call them my supporters [smiles]. They show me mad love.
I like it but I think you would be surprised man, your fan base is bigger than you think. Get back to that savage mode you were talking about and they gonna be coming out the woodwork! Before we let you go, are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention?
Anyanwu: Scruples & Big Heads for always helping with the camp. Matt Howard and Company Healthy Plate Meal Preps for making all my meals. My Team MPR MMA Endurance owned by my Head Coach Erick & Erin Purcell for letting me train at the best Facility in PA. David Osaghae (Judo Movement), Jose Tabora (Judo Movement) for all their work they put into me the last couple years. Lastly I’d like to thank me for believing in me and my parents for making me.
There you have it fight fans, Zu “3TC” Anyanwu, the CFFC Heavyweight Champ! We will keep you updated on his next title defense or when he makes the jump to the UFC, whichever comes first! Make sure to get over to Twitter and follow him (show him his fan base is bigger than he thinks) @zu8DUB, he is also on Facebook, while you’re there make sure to give us a follow @theartofMMA and Art of MMA on Facebook.