Umar Edwards, Heinrich Jacobs, Fidaah Edries, Terence Balelo and Toufeeq Khan. All of them will be representing the Western Cape at the MMASA Amateur Championship. Picture: Supplied.
Umar Edwards, Heinrich Jacobs, Fidaah Edries, Terence Balelo and Toufeeq Khan. All of them will be representing the Western Cape at the MMASA Amateur Championship. Picture: Supplied.

MMA stars to showcase talent at SA Amateur Championship

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - A total of 149 athletes from across South Africa will visit Edenvale this weekend hoping to turn some dreams into reality at the Mixed Martial Arts South Africa Amateur Championship.

Over the course of the next four days, athletes from the Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape will put their MMA skills, knowledge and grit to the test.

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The event will have various categories (starting at the age of 12-years-old).

The Championship will see the youth participants be broken up into three categories: (Category C, 12-13-years-old; Category B, 14-15-years-old; Category A, 16-17-years-old), while the Juniors (18-20-years-old) and Seniors (21-years-old and up) will each have one category with a total of 87 weight divisions running across all these categories, as per MMASA - affiliates of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

All these athletes have been through a trial process via their provincial federations before being chosen to compete at the Nationals.

“To watch the future of our sport step-up and show their talent will be worth every minute spent creating the event,” says MMASA’s CEO, Jason Brown.

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The Championship rules are based on IMMAF’s elimination structure.

“Should you lose in the first round, you will then be eliminated. Should there be a need to fight for bronze, then the two losers from Day 1 will fight on Day 2,” says Brown.

The winners will not only walk away with Champion-status bragging rights and an early foundation to continue building their mixed martial arts brand for the future, but they too will have an opportunity to compete at the IMMAF World Championship in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan in November/December later this year.

“With the Africa IMMAF Open being cancelled, we have the World Championship to look forward to in November. The Youth IMMAF Championship takes place in Turkey this July … it is envisioned that South Africa will send a team.

“A South African squad will be selected immediately after the Nationals and training will begin in earnest for the World Championship and other such events,” says Brown.

There have been five National events thus far, with 2020’s event in Durban being the biggest turnout yet.

One athlete who is very keen on operating on the East Rand, Gauteng neck of the woods is Terence Balelo.

Swellendam’s future prospect, will enter the competition representing the Western Cape once again after winning the Junior and Senior Flyweight titles at the 2020 event.

Sadly, due to Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, Terence was unable to attend the World Championship after the globe was brought to a grinding halt.

This year, he is optimistic.

“I am super grateful to represent the Western Cape once again at the SA National Champs,” says Terence.

“I have been craving to get back into the cage for months.”

Julian Kiewietz chats to a buzzing Terence Balelo shortly after the latter's victory at PFC Amateur Fight Night. Picture: Supplied.

Terence put on an emphatic display at the Professional Fighting Championship Amateur Fight Night late last year when he dominated Andrew Bezuidenhout, finishing the fight via Ground and Pound in the first round at the Portuguese Club in Milnerton.

“Training for this camp was truly uncomfortable but I loved every session because it made me more disciplined and made me improve a lot,” adds Terence.

“I have the greatest coach (Fidaah Edries) and team ever (Fighterz Inc.), we’ve worked really hard and we're gonna showcase our hard work in Gauteng by bringing those Gold medals home to Cape Town, Insha Allah,” added Terence.

Terence will be joined by three of his Fighterz Inc. teammates - Heinrich Jacobs,

Umar Edwards and Toufeeq Khan - all under the tutelage of coach Fidaah.

The event will take place at the Take Note Technologies building in Sebenza, Edenvale.

Strict Covid-19 protocols will be followed and unfortunately no spectators are allowed as per the Level 1 Disaster Management Act Regulations.

If you would like to watch the event, you can stream it via the Alpha Mixed Martial Arts promotion’s Facebook and YouTube page.

“We have to thank Dwain and Tanya Meredith from AMMA who assisted MMA South Africa by hosting the event,” says Brown.

The itinerary is as follows:

Thursday 8 th April – Registration from 09:00 to 17:00.

Friday 9 th April – Juniors and Seniors

Saturday 10 th April – Youth, Juniors and Seniors.

Sunday 11th April – Finals and prize giving for Youth, Juniors and Seniors.

This article was sponsored by The Capital Hotels and Apartments.


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