This week will see the return of the International MMA federation onto African soil, for the third edition of the African open Championships. The Amateur MMA event will take place from 24-26 May 2018 at the Brakpan Sports Center. This extremely prestigious event is a huge opportunity for Amateur athletes to cement their name on a global platform, and as always Team SA will hoping to take full advantage of this Opportunity to win some gold for their country. We spoke to to Team Coach JD Du Plessis of Nova MMA to get a little insight into the team representing South Africa foe 2018
The team that will be competing is as follows:
Riyaad Pandy, Sheldon Victor, Julian Plaatjies, Stevo Law, Alan Menhennet, Donald Mabusela, Delano Human, Nathanial Komane, Jorfdan Chetty, Nkosi Ndebele, Cassandra le Roux, Dimitri Fogg, Katiso Matime, Gift Walker, Stephan May.
“Some of these athletes were chosen last year. This year we have a squad made up of all the top athletes in South Africa. Unfortunately some great fighters could not participate due to injuries & other responsibilities.
The final athletes chosen are all active fighters and have participated in a few MMA events. The group is made up of new and young fighters as well as experienced fighters. This event is a big stepping stone for these athletes since the growth of IMMAF events around the world.
A team will be chosen to go to the World Championships in Bahrain. The Junior World Championship is also later this year, where we have athletes like Cameron Saaimon to represent South Africa. ”
The team will be Headed up By JD Du Plessis and Managed by Grant Oliff. JD is the founder and head coach of Nova MMA with a long History In Combat sport. Grant Oliff is synonymous with MMA in South Africa and has been involved with MMA South Africa for a very long time, He is also the highly regarded Match Maker for the Biggest amateur show in South Africa, Fightstar.
“All the athletes are focused. We are excited to see the new athletes like Julian Plaatjies, Stevo Law & Alan as well as our experienced fighters like Riyaad Pandy & Delano Human. And off course the crowd favorite, Nkosi Ndebele – which will be fighting in a lower weight class.
Bahrain is bringing over a dedicated team of athletes. Se we are excited and expect them to bring their A-game.
We have some strong talent in South Africa, as well as great coaches & leaders, so I am positive that our South African team will do great!”
This is a massive opportunity for these athletes and M sure all and any support will be extremely appreciated.
““The Africa Open enables athletes from Africa to experience international competition through bringing it to their doorstep. The IMMAF competition platform forms an important part of an MMA athlete’s development pathway and inability to travel far afield should not be a bar to access. With plans to stream the event, MMASA is this time also providing an international showcase for upcoming Africa talent. For international participants, not only does the Africa Open create another opportunity to compete and to medal, but also the chance to experience South Africa hospitality and some of the incredible tourist attractions that the country has to offer. The Africa Open offers those from other continents a once in a lifetime experience.”- IMMAF president Kerrith Brown