2016 IMMAF Africa Open Championships: What to expect

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is fast approaching the 2016 IMMAF Africa Open Championships, in association with Mixed Martial Arts South Africa (MMASA), which will take place from 29 August to 4 September 2016 in Johannesburg. Hosted and commissioned by MMASA, South Africa’s national representative to IMMAF, the Championships will be held at the Brakpan Indoor Sports Centre and will feature on UFC FIGHT PASS, plus international broadcast channels, post-event. Ahead of what will be the inaugural Open Championship to take place on African soil, IMMAF.org spoke with MMASA President Bertus Coetzee, to discuss the factors surrounding this historic event. MMASA is one of many IMMAF Members who enjoy the beneficial ties that come between the MMA governing body and its national government. Among more than 50 other IMMAF Member Nations, MMASA is an example of having one of the strongest government relationships. “MMA South Africa was chosen by SASCOC (The South African Olympic committee) in 2013,” Bertus Coetzee explained. “We have received support from them and the Martial Arts Authority of South Africa since then in any implementation from our side regarding the sport in South Africa. In turn this has helped us grow the sport exponentially and generate worldwide interest here in our country.”

Roedie Roets
South Africa’s Pieter Roedulf Roets became the Lightweight Amateur World Champion at this year’s #2016IMMAFWorlds in Las Vegas
The MMASA President expressed that South Africa will provide one of the greatest experiences for the teams and athletes who travel to compete, with an exciting atmosphere following national promotion of the 2016 Africa Open Championships. “Teams and athletes can expect a great event with great atmosphere. The event is being promoted nationally and getting lots of interest in this regard. The top teams from all over the world will be competing in this event so it will great to have the exposure and experience for all athletes for this event. “With great weather, beautiful scenery and warm people, South Africa has risen to be one of the best destinations in the world to experience. Our hospitality, culture and diverseness have to be experienced as it needs to be a bucket list for any and all travelers, worldwide. With a great MMA community in South Africa and immense following, we will undoubtedly be creating a Unique experience for the world to see.” In just 3 years since MMASA’s inception, a milestone event has been secured. In turn, the Africa Open provides great potential for further growth of MMA’s grass roots and encouraging community participation in the region. “For an Association only 3 years old, this historical event will be the first of its kind on the African Continent. The event itself will create massive awareness in our communities, and the communities will be getting involved thus creating an impact throughout South Africa. This event will also ensure a starting point in developing South Africa as the MMA hub for the African Continent. It will mark a very important milestone for the country and its MMA Athletes. This is what the Association has worked for since its inception.” Each National Federation can enter a maximum of 2 participants per weight category, with an imposed limit of 32 participants for each weight category. For more details on the 2016 Africa Open Championshps visit MyNextMatch.com. By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran Photos by Jorden Curran

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