There was explosive Muay Thai action in the headline fight between Timothy Steenkamp and Wade “Weetbix” Hammond at the Madfit promotions event on Saturday night in Roeland Street.
The packed venue was treated to blow-by-blow action in the 10-bout event, which was a mix of Muay Thai and boxing, contested by amateurs and pro-amateurs.
Madfit owner and professional mixed martial artist, Don Madge says events such as these make the presence of MMA felt in South African sports.
The mix of Muay Thai and boxing also gives fans the best of both worlds and unifies those from both codes.
Madge says MMA is growing at a rapid pace in South Africa, particularly in Cape Town, with the many different forms of MMA staged in the city.
He says it is important for upcoming fighters to have as much competition as they can from an early age.
An event like this will bring them to national stardom and on the international scene, says Madge, who competes at the highest level of MMA.
Currently signed under Professional Fighters League (PFL), Madge also made it to the premiere of MMA promotions, the UFC.
Having a background in Muay Thai is what pushes him to give opportunities to up-and-coming fighters.
“It’s a huge passion of mine and to be able to have these events and be able to see our guys coming through the ranks and develop is amazing.
“Our goal is always to support local talent, especially here in Cape Town. We want to showcase the skills the guys have, put on good events for amateurs and pros.
“We have to show everyone, we are not just a rugby, cricket, and football nation, we have excellent fighters in this country and we plan on having more and more events to showcase that,” says Madge.
The goal is to take the sport to the mainstream media and now with more and more South Africans making a name for themselves in the global MMA scene, this dream is not far-fetched.
“We can take it to the point of the mainstream, we have boxing on TV and we have MMA, why not Muay Thai? That is the goal, that is how our guys will be able to go international.
“MMA as a whole is growing very fast in the country and especially in Cape Town we have a huge Jiu-jitsu scene and have a very big Muay Thai scene so shows like this and guys interested in the sport who come to watch and understand what it’s about will only make it grow.
“And the more it grows the more our presence in combat sports grows,” says Madge.
At the weekend, the middleweight fight between Steenkamp and Hammond was the perfect end to the night.
Steenkamp, who trains out of Viper MMA, ended up getting the nod from the judges for the win. The amateur boxing fight between Myburgh Moore and Dean Promnick was the supporting bout of the night and also one of the best fights of the event, with Madfit’s Moore taking the win via points.
Results in other Muay Thai fights saw Tanner Matodes from Madfit defeating Katlego Ndhlovu who came out of Top Primate Gym.
SA Pro-am super lightweight Muay Thai champion Michael Bezuidenhout won via a TKO against Altaaf Armien.
Ezra Solomons defeated Kaylim Gabriels in the amateur featherweight division.
Frances Marais won against Lily Hann in the only female bout of the night.
In boxing, Qhawe Mafika showed his boxing prowess against Rufaro Tsodzai in the super welterweight division and won by a decision.
Karl Nieuwoudt won via decision against Daniel de Bod at catchweight. Ariel Meezraci got the stoppage win against Keenan Paul after the corner threw in the towel at the end of the second round.
Pride Fighting Academy’s Denver Isaacs and Blood Sweat and Tears’ Owen Venganayi were evenly matched, but it was Isaacs who went home with a Super-Am Lightweight title around his waist.