“I Didn’t Pray for That to Happen” – PFL LHW Champ Impa Kasanganay Made a Huge Promise After His Impressive Viral KO Last Year

Published 02/07/2024, 11:03 AM EST

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Impa Kasanganay dreamt of becoming a champion in the world of MMA and the Fort Lauderdale, Florida fighter has certainly delivered on it. Once a laggard in the UFC, Kasanganay is now PFL’s light heavyweight champion. He had a dream that he would be the UFC’s champion, but destiny had other plans for ‘Tshilobo”. Nonetheless, despite the defeat, Kasanganay has come a long way. Now you can get to know him much better when he sits down with EssentiallySports for an Exclusive ES Fancast interview.

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Kasanganay’s UFC champ dream took an unexpected turn at the UFC Fight Island 5 MMA event when he fought against Joaquin Buckley. Things didn’t unfold the way ‘Tshilobo’ imagined. He found himself on the wrong end of a spectacular knockout. Although he went viral for a loss, the PFL champion now has a gentle reminder about the same for all his fans.

The time when Impa Kasanganay said that he would be the champion

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The defeat against Joaquin͏ Buckley marked a turning point in Kasanganay’s career in the UFC.͏ Following this loss, he went 1-1 before the promotion decided to cut ties with the fighter. While ͏Kasanganay felt frustrated about being cut, he realized later that it was actually a blessi͏ng in disguise. Soon after becoming a free agent,͏ the PFL signed him under their banner, marking the ͏beginning of Kasanganay’s rise.

Kasanganay fought well under the PFL banner and earned his way to the championship finals. At the PFL Finals media day in 2023, ‘Tshilobo’ ushered the things that he had been hiding since 2020. “I didn’t know then why it happened. I didn’t pray for that to happen, trust me. I was like, ‘Okay, cool. How do I rise from this?’ My dad always told me, ‘In order to know your glory, they first need to understand your story.’

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He further added, “When people ask me about it, I say, ‘Play that highlight as much as you want.’ It’s great, credit to him. But the day that I’m champion, play that highlight too. On November 24, I get to do that.”

What followed was a dominant performance against Josh Silveira on November 24, 2023. Kasanganay got what he desired for. However, is the fighter gonna stop here? Well, nope.

Kasanganay is looking at double-champ status

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Kasanganay has decided to step down to the 185-pound category for a showdown against͏ ͏Bell͏ator MMA middleweight champion Johnny Eblen at the upcoming PFL vs. Bellator eve͏nt ͏in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, schedule͏d for Feb. 24. During the press conference͏ held on Wednesday, the Congolese American emphasized his commitment to becoming a ͏champion in multiple weight division͏s.

“I respect Johnny and he’s a good fighter and he’s done great work. But for me, if you want to be the best you got to fight the best wherever they are at. He’s been the king of the Bellator middleweight division and for me my focus is to be multi-class champion and this is my opportunity to do that. To me, when you see a great fighter across the ring, that’s what gets me going and gets me excited. It’s great opportunity and honor. Fighters fight and that’s what I do,” said Kasanganay.

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Kasanganay is looking at a deep track record right now, however, will he be able to clinch the the title? Only time will tell. If you wanna know more about Kasanganay’s journey then tune in to the upcoming Essentiallysports Fancast interview with the PFL star.

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Written by:

Suryakant Das

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One take at a time

I'm Suryakant Das, an avid sports enthusiast from a family that cherishes the world of sports. I still vividly recall the day my father took me to watch Indian wrestling, sparking my fascination with the discipline and the aura of those warriors. Over time, my love for combat sports grew, and now, I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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