Lukhmaan Jhazbhay: The overly-active kid who turned into a lethal athlete
CAPE TOWN - The naturally-enthusiastic Lukhmaan Jhazbhay has so many reasons to be even more excited.
Not only is the mixed martial artist close to getting back into the cage again now with the easing of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, or the fact that he is so close to turning professional, but the Overport, Durban-based athlete is also high-spirited about the reality that MMA is slowly getting the attention it deserves with shows like Fight to Fame coming to fruition.
“I heard about the reality show and I would want to partake in it if I was given a shot at it because I want to be remembered and not forgotten, I’m here to make a legacy,” says the former South African WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) champion.
“I feel more shows and more events should be held in order for this sport to grow in our country, like it has in others. I feel with more support given to MMA, it will help us fighters get more recognition.”
Fight to Fame is a new reality show designed to create Hollywood movie stars out of combat sport athletes. The show which is being rolled out to 200 countries - starting early 2021 in South Africa - will see fighters compete in several assessments including stunt work, acting training etc.
The winners from these shows will then have the opportunity to earn a role in a Hollywood movie production and open bigger doors than just that of the fight game. A much-needed opportunity in the thriving and still growing mixed martial arts landscape of Africa.
The landscape has certainly started to blossom over the years as MMA has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
The sport has received even more notoriety and acclaim in Mzansi with the likes of Don Madge, Dricus Du Plessis and DRC’s Cape Town-based Dalcha Lungiambula having signed with the biggest and most powerful MMA promotion in the world - the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
MMA has also been one of the most watched sports on national television over the years - at one stage it’s numbers exceeded that of Super Rugby according to a Nielsen Sports study a few years back.
And with Lukhmaan on the verge of turning pro, the opportunities are endless for him and up-and-coming athletes who have been given a strong platform by guys like Trevor Prangley
Rico Hattingh, Garreth McLellan, Dino Bagattin, Conrad Seabi, Martin van Staden, Andre van Zyl, Nkazimulo Zulu .. the list goes on.
“I’m looking forward to returning and pushing myself for my pro debut which I think is going to be a breeze,” says the confident athlete who is also a NAGA wrestling champion as well as a SA Shuriken champion.
Lukhmaan - who received his pro license at the beginning of this year - has been plying his trade in the African Fighting League and the Maximum Fighting Championship with his latest fight ending in a first round TKO at MFC.
“My coaches/managers have been preparing me for my pro debut, my next fight should be in November or for the latest - January 2021. If they can’t find a fighter in that promotion, then I will come down to Cape Town and take the belt in the Professional Fighting Championship,” says the flyweight who is a personal trainer at Elite Gym running his own MMA classes.
Being a personal trainer, Lukhmaan - like so many others - found it challenging in the lockdown with the subsequent closing of gyms.
“Lockdown has been very hard for me due to closure of gyms and practices so it had me really stressed out about what’s going to happen to my fight career, but I did trained at home because martial arts is a lifestyle to me so I wouldn’t be complete if I never trained at home lol,” says the Elite Silverbacks fighter who started kickboxing when he was a 7-year-old after needing to channel his energy due to his inability to sit still.
“Fighting grew into a passion for me and I’ve never stopped until it became a career choice,” he concludes.
Lukhmaan’s perseverance might just make this passion turn into a very lucrative career, and who knows, maybe he follows in the footsteps of Dricus, Don and Dalcha, soon.
For more details on the reality show, visit https://www.fight2fame.com