Saturday, 7 January 2012

The evolution of MMA in South Africa

Although South Africa has had the good fortune of an international mixed martial art blueprint, it is just not possible for the sport to bypass all the hurdles which needed to be overcome in other developing environments. The professional MMA path, however, is much easier for us to trod as a result of it. 

Following the footsteps of more established MMA communities, South African MMA has gone a long way down the road of developing the quality of our mixed martial art events, so much so that they are very rapidly approaching world class. The organisation and production of these events has however, drastically outgrown the single most important element of the sport... the fighters themselves. 

This is not to say that we do not have some extremely talented fighters stepping into the cage, we have just not given them the time to fully evolve afforded those pioneering communities. Our ranks are still very much dominated by fighters hailing from traditional disciplines, who rely on these skill sets to win fights and often look very out of sorts should the fight not remain in their area of expertise. We currently lack a well rounded MMA fighter. Someone who is completely comfortable and competitive in all aspects of the game - at the highest level.  The creation of such an athlete cannot be rushed, as the mastery of the skills required takes decades of hard work and dedication, time we have not yet been privy to. 

The closest we currently have to someone of this calibre, is current EFC heavyweight champion Ruan “Fangs” Potts, who, though lacking the same MMA experience that the rest of the country does, has got amazing credentials in almost every independent traditional discipline conducive to being a complete MMA fighter. 

The current generation of South African fighters are paving the way for the future of the sport, which is still very much in its infancy. These brave warriors are improving their skills every day and gaining experience with every fight. This in turn effects the growth of the entire community, and it is only a matter of time before we are producing world class fighters and seeing world class fights right here on our soil.


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