Martial arts on show at fest

Mixed Martial Arts competitors
Stephan Smith prepares for the MMA competition at the Tamboekie Fest


TOM’S Dojo will host their first-ever mixed martial arts (MMA) event at the Tamboekie Festival at 6pm tomorrow.A total of 24 fighters will fight in the Tom’s Dojo cage at the festival with six fighters from the local club – Bobby Lottering, Chumani Ndazala, David Hayes, Stephan Smith and Ezrick Whittaker – among other fighters from around the country.

Chris Bright, a well-known fighter in the MMA and ju jitsu world will bring one of his fighters, who is the current All African Champion, to test his skills against a more experienced fighter from Durban.

The fight card has been drawn up and is filled with hungry fighters who want to prove themselves so as to become professional.

It’s the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in watching cage fighting to do so. Johnny’s Gym will also host an arm-curling competition.

The local fighters have been training under the watchful eye of Tom Hayes.

“I have six guys fighting. They started with me from the beginning and now we are going to test their skills out to see if they have learnt anything.”

MMA is still growing slowly in Komani with seven fighters currently developing their skills. “MMA is a sport that helps you defend yourself. It is a dangerous sport which is why you have to spend a lot of time training so that you do not hurt yourself.”

Smith said he had fought in big cities and it was great to have an event being hosted in Komani. “I have been in Komani for three years and I see it as a contributing factor towards development in the town.”

Whittaker will be fighting for the first time. “It is something to look forward to. Tom knows what he is doing and he has helped us to be ready and fit.”

Former rugby player Nkqupela Qapaka said, “ MMA is getting big and I just want to do it for the fun. I will be fighting David Hayes – we know each other and I do not really mind who wins because at the end of the day it is about sport.”

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