CAPE TOWN – I may be very wrong, but the little that I have come to learn about Roedie Roets has made me appreciate the fighter, the athlete and the human being all together.
Maybe it’s got to do with him being born and bred in Polokwane, a small city in comparison to your big players in Mzansi such as Jozi, Durban, Cape Town, etc.
Small towns and cities are often home to down-to-earth people.
You know... decent, respectable and humble brothers and sisters.
Brother Roedie may be from a small city, but make no mistake, he has very big dreams.
And let me assure you, he is more than capable of reaching them.
“Ten years ago, I was only 12-years-old I saw the EFC and from that point on, I always wanted to be a champion and I want to be the champion of the world,” says Roedie ahead of his fight at EFC77 this weekend.
Residing in a town that is home to some of South Africa’s most elite wrestlers, Roedie has kept up the reputation as he is regarded as one of the best wrestlers the country has produced so far.
The wrestling champion and amateur MMA world champion, who is undefeated in both professional and amateur MMA, is undoubtedly a top prospect, with a notorious reputation.
“Relentless” by name and reputation, he continually puts the pressure on his opponents.
In his last fight, Roedie dominated a judo prince in the form of Sindile Manengela. Roedie’s controlled breathing and sniper-like tactics amplified his presence in the featherweight division as he submitted Sindile in the third via rear-naked choke.
On Saturday, he takes on another impressive fighter, who is an exceptional wrestler with strong clinch work.
“I know Pierre (Botha) my entire life, since I was a small boy. It’s going to be a good fight for me because it will prove that I am worthy of fighting for the title.
“Getting to fight him now is nothing big from me as I don’t care about his wrestling because I am a wrestler too. I will back my abilities because I believe that my abilities are better than Pierre’s,” says the unbeaten Roedie, who trains under the respected Richie Quan.
A win against Pierre will certainly place Roedie closer to the title, as a match-up against featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa will be a mouth-watering prospect, especially considering that both these players are elite wrestlers.
“I don’t really care much about Igeu right now. He is a great fighter, but I will deal with that when we get there,” added the Polokwane man, whose ultimate goal is to get into the UFC and prove that he is “the best featherweight athlete in the world”.
* EFC77 takes place at Time Square, Menlyn Maine in Pretoria on Saturday.
Full EFC77 fight card:
Martin van Staden vs Joe Cummins
Jared Vanderaa vs Ricky Misholas
Shaw Dean vs Quinton Rossouw
Alain Ilunga vs Lukasz Swirydowics
Gordon Roodman vs Justin Smith
Tumisang Madiba vs Devon Cronje
Roedie Roets vs Pierre Botha
Nerik Simoes vs Marcel Els
Asiashu Tshitamba vs Orlando Machaba
Serge Kasanda vs Cedrick Mbala
Trezegeut Kanyinda vs Benjamin Mangala
Stephen de la Rey vs Aly Kalambay@juliankiewietz