The 5th edition of African Pride Fighting Championships was well organised & well attended. Mothballed years ago the championship has re-emerged with massive promise. The gym, while we 'lost' all 3 fights walked away content & proud. The official record as always is only a part of the story...
Matthew 'Hamsta' Landsdale vs JP Rosouw (MMA – Bantamweight – Amateur)
It was a real pleasure watching Hamsta fight the way we always knew he could. He found his range & angles early on. Constantly moving he landed well & consistently. Even though he was by far the shorter fighter, the reach dis-advantage had little effect (being one of the smallest fighters in the gym has benefits...). When Hamsta was pressured he remained cool, used his footwork & kicks to get out of harms way.
Unfortunately for Hamsta when he set the cracking pace for the fight he forgot that he'd been away for a few weeks during the fight camp & hadn't put in his usual effort. With literally 15s left on the clock he put up his hands & ran to the corner to throw up. In choosing not to puke on his opponent he gave up the fight & the victory he had so clearly earned. While it goes to the books as a loss it was, possibly oddly, a very proud moment. He had given his all, no one can ask for more.
Lof Schaaf vs Dirk Kroon (MMA – Catchweight [74kg] – Amateur)
Unfortunately the audience didn't get to see what Lof is capable of as he got taken down & caught in a guillotine choke very early in the fight. He is talented & works hard consistently. This fight was not a true reflection of the man nor the fighter. Really looking forward to seeing him in the cage again.
Onias Baison vs Deijuan Tim (MMA – Bantamweight – Amateur)
Onias' long awaited return to the cage was brilliant. He has grown immensely as a fighter & his new found understanding carried over into the fight. He effectively shut down Dejuan's striking (his strength) forcing him to take Onias down. I think there is little doubt though that Dejuan won the 1st round having caught Onias in a heel-hook / ankle-lock attempt & even though it wasn't a real threat it effectively put Dejuin in control for the bulk of the round.
The next 2 rounds saw Onias mostly on top dominating. His ground & pound was less effective than we'd hoped, credit to Dejuin & his crew but how anyone saw that as anything but a victory for Onias is beyond me. & the referee who immediately turned to voice his displeasure to the chief official.