Crystal's chance to shine bright like a lovely Diamond
CAPE TOWN – She may be on the other side of the globe, but Crystal van Wyk will feel the love and support of her fellow South Africans when she steps into the ring this weekend.
“The Lovely” as she is more affectionately known will showcase her ability in one of the biggest Muay Thai boxing promotions in North America on Friday.
The Lion Fight 64 Muay Thai event which takes place in Kansas City will see the South African take on Andy Nguyen in a Flyweight bout.
When it comes to the ‘art of the eight limbs’, Van Wyk has done well in the amateur ranks, racking up a record of 2-0 and this will be the 33-year-old’s first professional Muay Thai fight on her 3-fight contract with the organisation. She will be keen on shifting into gear after losing her first pro mixed martial arts bout to Sarah Hayes via unanimous decision in September last year on the Valour Fighting Challenge 73 card.
In her opponent, she finds a 38-year-old veteran fighting out of Bossier City, Louisiana who has struggled to find winning momentum holding a record of 6-9 thus far.
“It’s been a huge dream come true for me to represent South Africa in my first pro Muay Thai bout in the US on one of the biggest Muay Thai platforms in the world,” says Van Wyk, who now stays in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
“I love my country and my people and cannot wait to showcase my skills and prove that South Africans can make it to the very top,” she added.
Born and raised in Table View, Cape Town, the mother of two is coached by her husband Hentie van Wyk.
The couple moved to the US seven years ago to pursue further education and employment opportunities. They have been living in Fort Mill for the last couple of years, however, they plan on returning home soon after building a solid foundation in the States.
Hentie - a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and former national champion played a huge role in Crystal’s development, helping her transition from fitness and hip-hop dancing to martial arts.
Hentie says that the calling for the couple - who run their own Battleroom MMA gym - to come home has become louder as he too has some exciting news soon regarding his appointment to represent Africa in one of the biggest fight promotions in the world.
“I can only elaborate more on this in three weeks' time. For now, all I can say is that the first show will be at Grand West Casino,” he says.
If you would like to catch Crystal’s fight, you can check it out on UFC Fight Pass this weekend.
For more information visit the Lion Fight website for more details.