In a recent interview with Brave Combat Federation, Surging global Middleweight contender Chad Hannekom gave his insights into MMA in Africa.
Brave Combat Federation Exclusive below:
Hanekom: “Africa will redefine global MMA”
Chad Hanekom had confirmed that he will soon be making his return to Brave Combat Federation. The Middleweight fighter from South Africa made a statement in the division making a performance of the night winning win at Brave 13 in Belfast. The Bahrain based global mixed martial arts promotion announced that the division will go significant expansion in the coming days including introduction of a championship in the near future.
At the moment Chad Hanekom is the only South African fighter to secure a win in the division. The division is led by the undefeated fighter from Dagestan, Russia – Ikram Aliskerov. In the recent footage released by Hanekom, he said he will be fighting a crucial fight in the near future and with one more win he will be back strong in the championship title race. Hanekom is undergoing training in Fight Fit Militia under the Head Coach Richie Quan.
The middleweight fighter is also excited that the promotion has made its entry to the continent of Africa, which will help more representation of fighters from the continent in the promotion.
1) What are your reactions regarding Brave Combat Federation coming to the continent of Africa?
CH: I am really excited about Brave moving its sights onto the African continent. I think that this move by Brave Combat Federation will become a catalyst and will definitely have a butterfly effect on the sport of mixed martial arts in the continent of Africa. This will have a definitive impact upon the athletes from the continent as a whole and the way they perceived their careers.
2) Which other nations than South Africa do you think have showcased growth in MMA?
CH: South Africa has the best MMA fighters due to the level of activity by promotions based in South Africa. The nation had hosted two major IMMAF African Open events. However I do believe, once given the opportunity there will be really good talents from countries like Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of my training partners are from these countries. These men and ladies have incredible genetics and athletic potential that is an untapped resource waiting to be discovered.
3) What do you think can be the major problems faced by athletes in Africa?
CH: The problems I believe that African athletes face is due to lack of exposure. Talent and ability wise there are some of the best unfound athletes in the world on this continent. I do believe that some of the athletes who comes from smaller gyms and who have not had the opportunity of being exposed to travel and train and fight abroad may not be able to make the step up to the big stage. However over the time it will get better.
4) How do you think can Brave Combat Federation address these issues?
CH: I think the mere fact that Brave Combat Federation has already taken its first step and set sights on the African continent is a positive sign for African MMA and their fighters. I myself have heard that there will be eyes further set on bringing more future events to other countries of the continent and this is really promising. I think it is not what Brave Combat Federation can do for African fighters; rather it is time for fighters of African origin to step up representing the African continent in global MMA.
I’d like to thank the everyone involved in Brave Nation for making us the fastest growing mma brand globally. We are breaking boundaries with each and every event. The future looks more Brave than ever.