The Imbizo room was packed to capacity and the crowd were entertained with 14 well-matched and contested fights. Mixed Martial Arts has grow substantially in KZN with Fight Force putting together shows of this caliber.
The main SA Welterweight Title fight between two Durban Warriors; Johan van Staden (Queensburgh) and Ronald Dlamini (Berea) was extremely intense with the better-conditioned Dlamini taking the fight with a referee stoppage (TKO) in the 3rd round.
Dlamini took several big blows from van Staden as well as defended two submission attempts in the first round, but his fitness and determination well deserved him the title. Mark Strydom CEO of Fight Force says that the sport has continued to exceed crowd expectation and outgrown all the original venues. The Durban ICC is earmarked for all 2011 shows that will include International contestants, testing their skill against our local talent. Mark says further that MMA in KZN has developed much faster than the rest of SA and we hope to make Durban the fighting hub of SA.
KZN fighters that excelled were former Warrior, James Rennie (Queensburgh) making a successful return, beating a tough Leon Mynhardt from Pretoria with a second round submission.
Calven Robinson (Bluff) also made a successful return to the cage, stopping Clinton Young (East London) by submission, just seconds before the end of round 1.
Young Wesley Hawkey (Bluff) seems to keep getting better, defeating a tough Tyson Chelin (Durban North) on points over 3 rounds. These two guys were awarded "fight of the night" by the adjudicators.
A close second choice as fight of the evening was between two well versed KZN fighters, Dallas Jakobi (Berea) and Paul Cunningham (Kloof). Both are excellent fighters on the ground, however Dallas proved to be too strong with very agressive "ground and pound" with the referee stopping the fight midway through round 3 due to strikes. Dallas very succesfully escaped several submission attempts from a skilled Cunningham.
Surprise of the evening goes to William Bentley (Umhlanga) who submitted SA Champion Ryan van Niekerk in round 2 with an armbar. This was sweet revenge for Will who lost in an SA Title bout against the very same opponent at Sibaya in July last year!
Somebody to look out for is teenager Saxon Delafield (Hillcrest) who, at only 15 has now got 6 finishes in concession against much older opponents. This youngster is a classic example of how the sport has evolved with a good compliment of all round skills in all aspects of fighting.
Fight Force will be on at the Randburg Sports Complex on July 15th and then back at the Durban Exhibition Centre on August the 19th. For more info see www.fightforce.co.za.