Zimbabwe Moves to Introduce Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

PLANS to introduce mixed martial arts as a sport in the country are in motion with Zimbabwe set to send 12 officials for a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) hosting and officiating seminar in Benoni, South Africa early next month.

MMA South Africa wrote to the Zimbabwe Boxing and Wrestling Control Board on April 7 inviting them to send representatives for the seminar scheduled for May 1 and 2.

A number of Zimbabweans such as Themba Gorimbo, Elvis, Sylvester Chipfumbu and Thembani Mhlanga, among others have had to move to South Africa to take up mixed martial arts.

Gorimbo is currently the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) welterweight champion, a title he won in 2019.

"I can confirm that we are sending a group to South Africa for the mixed martial arts seminar, which is the first step towards establishing the sport in Zimbabwe," Eric Kandiwa, who is part of the team organising for the trip told Standardsport.

"It is supposed to be training for trainers as you know the sport is non-existent in terms of structures so they can come back and grow the sport. "You would realise that we have included guys from powerlifting, karate and boxing since it incorporates all those things.

"We are currently looking for sponsors to assist us in this endeavour. Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, so sponsors should jump on board to be part of this phenomenon," Kandiwa added.

The list of representatives who are set travel to South Africa for the mixed martial arts seminar will comprise nine men and three women.

Already there are 11 names and the organisers are looking for one more woman to complete the list.

The seminar will include referees training and administration training.

"We have a number of Zimbabweans fighting and doing well in South Africa yet we don't have the sport here in Zimbabwe. This is the first step to remedy that and establish it here," Kadiwa said.

"We have been in talks with MMA South Africa for a long time and it was about time we started doing something. Maybe one day we are going to have players who have started the sporet here compete in the Ultimate Fighting Challenge (UFC)."

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