Fighterz Inc teammates, coach Fidaah Edries, Terence Balelo, Faeez Jacobs and Robin Felton celebrate just one of Terence’s many victories. Photo: Supplied
Fighterz Inc teammates, coach Fidaah Edries, Terence Balelo, Faeez Jacobs and Robin Felton celebrate just one of Terence’s many victories. Photo: Supplied

WATCH: Terence is ready to fly and inspire the kids of Swellendam

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Mar 5, 2020

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Terence Balelo has an exciting future ahead of him.

It starts today with his first trip on an aeroplane. And that trip will take him to another exciting experience ... his first South African National Amateur MMA Championship.

“It feels really great to be part of the Western Province team because this is one step closer to my goal,” says Terence who aims to become a flyweight champion in one of the most popular mixed martial art brands - the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) - in the world.

“Yes, it’s going to be my first time on a plane, I’m a little bit nervous but also excited. Just to imagine a kid from Swellendam being on a plane and representing Western Province in Durban means a lot for me. It makes me excited because it also proves that my non-stop hard work and my faith in God is paying off.”

Julian Kiewietz caught up with Terence Balelo who is ready to fly and inspire the kids of Swellendam. Video: Julian Kiewietz

The 19-year-old up-and-coming mixed martial artist fully deserves to be where he is right now.

When he was younger, he felt the hunger of chasing that calling within, no matter how adverse his conditions may have seemed, and you can tell that his drive and ability is on that “special” level.

“I got introduced to MMA by my friend, Heinrich. I was in grade 10, and from there on I immediately started to fall in love with the sport,” Terence says.

“Being from Swellendam, access to MMA was tough and I really wanted to train and learn the sport, so I reached out to a couple of gyms in Cape Town via Facebook. After one or two rejections, I ended up with my coach - Fidaah Edries - and with no hesitation and with love he said ‘come after you finish school then we can work’.”

Terence - as young as he is - then left his mom’s house in Swellendam and moved to Cape Town without a job or place to stay.

Fighterz Inc head coach and owner, Fidaah, worked out a plan with Terence whereby he works for the gym and gets residency, something that Terence will always hold dear to his heart .

“My coach is the best,” Terence says with passion and pride.

When watching Terence, you would swear he has a strong Taekwondo, Kyokushin or Muay Thai background, with his athleticism and mechanics - however, he credits “good flexibility” and coach Fidaah’s high-level training.

“We at Fighterz Inc are on a different level now, and coach Fidaah is the best coach in the world... that’s a fact. He pushes me every time, day-in day-out. The mental training is helping a lot as well, and the ability to work the mind is phenomenal,” Terence says referring to coach Fidaah’s Mastermind Peak Performance Programme.

“Coach Fidaah made Faeez (Jacobs, the Extreme Fighting Championship bantamweight king) a champion and he’s going to make me a champion as well.

“I will become the first South African ever to earn the UFC flyweight belt, but aside from my sport goals, my main goals are to give my family a great and secure life, and then also give back to my community, Swellendam being a great human being overall and by keeping on believing in GOD.”

The Durban event will be the second of its kind and will be hosted at CMH Suzuki, Umlanga from today up until Sunday.

“We are very proud to host the first National Championships outside of Johannesburg,” says MMASA board member and KwaZulu-Natal MMA chairman, Justin Ferrier.

“We are looking to make the country proud and hoping for a great turnout. We want to do right by the athletes who have prepared for this - out of province and our own - we hope it’s the first of many we get to host. There will be entertainment, snacks and drinks and non-stop action for all and we are excited to not only cap our next SA Champions, but to also find our team to go to the World Championships,” says Justin.


IOL Sport

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