Rafel Wozniak, a 2015 SA kickboxing champ, has earned the respect of many opponents who have stepped in the ring with him.
Rafel Wozniak, a 2015 SA kickboxing champ, has earned the respect of many opponents who have stepped in the ring with him.

The evolution of Rafel Wozniak

By Julian Kiewitz Time of article published Aug 25, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - After enjoying his time as a stuntman and extra on the movie sets, it is no wonder that Rafel Wozniak is strongly considering entering the Fight to Fame reality show set to launch in South Africa soon.

The new reality show that will see combat sport athletes from all backgrounds compete for a Hollywood production contract will be rolled out in 150 countries across the globe. The show will see athletes take part in various stunts, assessments and obstacle courses with the aim of becoming the next big action star.

The show is driven with the motivation that too little combat sport athletes are given the chance to use their skills and athleticism in movies – thus providing combat sport athletes with a fair chance of cracking it on the big screen.

And Rafel is keen on getting a piece of that pie, especially due to the lack of funding available for the combat sports climate. “It will definitely help a lot of people, yes, I’m sure I’ll give it a shot,” says the man who is no stranger to adrenalin, action, stunt work, limelight and physical and mental challenges.

“Funding and opportunity is important for the growth of our sport. If the government funds a part of it, it will make a big difference, we have so much potential in various sports that lack support. If I was doing this as a kid, I definitely would’ve been a multiple world champ by now! It is expensive to maintain a healthy diet, get the right nutrition as well as own training kit etc.”

Rafel, a 2015 SA kickboxing champion, has earned the respect of many opponents who have stepped in the ring with him. He has an edge of durability in his armour, something that can be tough for opponents to overcome mentally. And that fortitude may be the reason why he is in the firefighting business, despite it not coming easy for him.

“A friend told me about an advert they saw in the newspaper, I went and tried out for seasonal firefighters, I got in and did that for about four years since 2010. I applied for a permanent post four times and had no luck.

“So I did everything else with my main focus on my fighting career. I was a packer at Makro for R10 an hour, I worked at a hardware store, I did fire-alarm installations, gate motors, cameras, I was a barman, a cleaner and a lot of other shi*** jobs. I also became a movie extra and then a stuntman (very cool job), did some ads etc. until I applied for my fourth time in 2019 at the fire department for a permanent position and eventually got in after 10 years.

Rafel Wozniak says the hardest part of his as a firefighter is the loss of life.

“The best part of my career is that everyday is different, you never know what to expect. It challenges you physically, emotionally and mentally.

“The hardest part of my job though are the things you see. The loss of life,” says the Lakeside firefighter who sent out a special shout-out to his colleagues. “I would like to salute all my colleagues who graduated with me, my crew in Ottery and Lakeside, and a big shout-out to my brother Michal Wozniak and my girlfriend Stacey Kensley as I’m very proud of them and pray for their safety, daily.”

Rafel – who last fought at PFC14 in October 2019 for the kickboxing number one contender title against Tshepo Majuba – is excited to return to the ring again. “I can’t wait to get back in there, more than anything I have ever wanted,” he says.

“It was what I was born to do. I enjoy my stand-up fighting (Muay Thai and K-1), but I am also planning on doing some mixed martial arts and boxing down the line. I want a few world titles, EFC, UFC, Glory Kickboxing, One Championship, and maybe a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship title, (laughs).

“To everyone that has followed my career thus far, watch this space and see evolution take place before your eyes. I’m coming back better than ever before.”

For more details about Fight to Fame visit www.fight2fame.com


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