By Caoilte de Barra
The semifinals of the 2022 IMMAF Africa Championships were nothing short of exciting as we were treated to another day full of finishes. The action began at 11 am (UTC+2) local time. Fifteen fights took place in Cage 1 and only three made it as far as the judges’ scorecards.
The Women’s flyweight division opened up proceedings. South African athletes dominated to make it an all South Africa final. In the semifinal day opener, Bianca Stander overcame the impressive Judo ability of Angola’s Esperanca Pereira to get a rear-naked choke submission in the final minute of the second round.
South Africa’s Nicole Van Wyk also showed off her grappling ability against teammate Nadia Terblanche to secure her place in the final. She was hunting for various submissions over the bout but it was another rear-naked choke late in the second round that got her the win.
The Featherweight division then turned up the tempo with two big finishes. Namibia’s Veja Hinda landed a walk-off head kick finish over his opponent from Mauritius, Geraldo Moïse. South Africa’s Nioclaas Vermaak added to the excitement directly after, finishing Angola’s Elizandro Sousa with a spinning back fist. The exciting strikers will meet tomorrow in a highly anticipated match-up when they compete for gold.
At Lightweight, Zimbabwe’s Lewis Mataya continued to perform, booking his ticket to the final with a TKO finish over Namibia’s Geraldo Bok. He will meet Zambia’s Ken Nyaondo, who made it two wins in two days against Angolan athletes. With neither nation having any other representatives left in the competition, this one will be a high stakes match-up tomorrow.
Later in the day, Middleweight action saw DR Congo’s Elyse Balepe score a huge slam KO over Angola’s Garcia Kinkela with one second left on the clock. The highlight reel win lines up a finals day bout with Kinkela’s teammate, Elisio Zua.
Concluding the action was the tournament’s first look at Light Heavyweight action. South Africa’s Zhane Tannous showed some exceptional grappling from his back and locked in a Triangle Choke on Angola’s Enoc Emilio Kakesa, forcing him to tap with eight seconds remaining. He will meet Kakesa’s teammate, Stanislau Kakesse Wezy, in the final.
You can watch all of the action from the 2022 IMMAF Africa Championships live on immaf.tv. The Championships will be free-to-view for audiences in African countries and available to immaf.tv subscribers. A Championship Pass will be available for non-subscribers from outside of Africa, providing three days of MMA action for just $4.99.