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“Cedric Doumbe: Rising MMA Star and Cultural Icon in France”

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  • Mbappe and his teammates, despite playing earlier that day in Clermont Foot, made a special trip back to Paris solely to witness Doumbe’s fight, a gesture that deeply touched the MMA fighter.
  • “I think people like me because of how I hype up a fight, my antics during entrances, my knockout victories, and how I stay true to my words,”.

When Cedric Doumbe made his PFL debut in September, knocking out Jordan Zebo in just nine seconds, it solidified what his French fans had long suspected – he’s a star in the making.

The 31-year-old former two-time kickboxing champion had already amassed a fervent following in France, but this marked his global introduction. As Zebo lay defeated on the canvas from Doumbe’s devastating left hook, TV cameras captured the astonishment of none other than French football icon Kylian Mbappe, alongside his PSG comrades.

Mbappe and his teammates, despite playing earlier that day in Clermont Foot, made a special trip back to Paris solely to witness Doumbe’s fight, a gesture that deeply touched the MMA fighter.

“Kylian was blown away by the competition and the night. He told me he enjoys everything I do,” Doumbe shared. “We’ve made plans to grab a meal together, and he pledged to watch all my fights, even if they’re in the US. He said he’d wake up at 5 am to catch them. That meant a lot. He’s a good guy.”

Transitioning from kickboxing to MMA, Doumbe has won five out of six fights, with only one disputed loss in March due to a foot injury. This Friday, he returns to Paris’ Accor Arena, facing American Jaleel Willis in the Bellator Champions Series, aiming to continue his winning streak.

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But Doumbe’s appeal isn’t just in his fighting prowess; it’s his charisma and playful spirit that captivate fans. From his theatrical walkouts, like carrying a mattress inscribed with “Bonne Nuit Jordan” to the cage, to his witty social media posts, he knows how to entertain.

“I think people like me because of how I hype up a fight, my antics during entrances, my knockout victories, and how I stay true to my words,” Doumbe mused. “Plus, they appreciate my personality. I’m not a villain; I’m a good guy.”

His popularity surged after MMA was legalized in France in 2020, turning him into a hometown hero. Doumbe leverages this fame to spread positive messages, particularly to the youth.

“As you grow, you realize fame isn’t everything, but it does offer a platform to reach many people,” he explained. “I advocate for peace, drawing from my Muslim faith and family values. It’s crucial, especially for the youth, who make up a significant part of my fan base.”

Despite not headlining the event on paper, Doumbe believes his fight will steal the show in Paris due to his immense local support.

“In Paris, where my fans adore me, I feel like the main event. It’s not to diminish the talents of Patchy Mix and Magomed Magomedov, but for me and my supporters, my fight is the highlight,” he declared confidently.

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