Only one African Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athlete will land a life-changing multi-million contract at the conclusion of Scuffle Search, a docu-reality series that is set to expose the continent’s raw talent to the world.
The athletes are drawn from six African countries – South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC Congo and Zambia.
The series, which will air on Netflix, follows the lives of MMA fighters like Kenyan-born William Odino, Emmanuel Onjeh-Patrick (Nigeria), South African duo of Joshwynn Wenke and Nkosi Mpakati, Valentine Kamgang (Cameroon), Chadrack Lomboto and Elizier Kubanza from the DRC and Zambian Humphrey Mulenga.
Some of these talented and skilful athletes were born or brought up in notorious slums in Africa like Kayole (Kenya) and Diepsloot (South Africa). But life has given them a second chance, an opportunity to grab the BRAVE CF professional contract that will thrust them into international stardom.
They will battle for stardom in the welterweight division for the opportunity to reach the pinnacle of their professional MMA success.
“The winner will get an international fight contract with the international promotion,” said Jason Van Schalkwyk, a former South African boxer and founder of Scuffle Media said in a recent interview in Nairobi.
Scuffle Media is documenting the fights for a Netflix Series that will take a couple of weeks in the edit suite in Bahrain and Britain before it is released.
An elimination quarter-final fight is set for November 3 in South Africa with the semis coming barely three weeks later. The final will take place in February, 2022, according to Schalkwyk.
“The reason why I put the show together is that people have a misconception of what MMA fights are all about. People think that all those fighters are violent while it is not,” Schalkwyk was quoted by the Nairobian Newspaper.
In Kenya, for example, MMA is a relatively unknown combat sport.
But with the establishment of Local Fight Night Entertainment (LFNE), an MMA promotion company setting base in Nairobi and athletes like Odino, getting global exposure, it is just a matter of time before Kenyans and Africans in general start endearing themselves with the sport.
“We want these fighters to become pros and live off their talents,” noted Stephen Omwenga, founder and CEO of LFNE.
At the moment, three Africans MMA fighters – Israel Adesanya and Kumaru Usman from Nigeria and Cameroonian Francis Ngannou hold the most prestigious achievement in combat sports, the UFC championship, within their respected divisions.
William Odino is a 32-year-old fighter who was born in Kisumu, Kenya. He has been fighting since 2015, first as a kickboxer then in 2018 he became as an MMA athlete. He has participated in 10 fights during his career. He now lives in Nairobi with his family.
Humphrey Mulenga comes from Lusaka, Zambia. The 18-year-old has been fighting for two years and has had five kickboxing fights. In his spare time, he helps his coach train other fighters at his home gym in Lusaka.
Emmanuel Onjeh-Patrick is a 27-year-old fighter from Lagos, Nigeria. He has been fighting for over 3 years and started his MMA career with Shidokan and extreme striking. In total, he has taken part in 19 fights. He currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Joshwynn Wenke hails from Gauteng, South Africa. He started training in karate at the age of six and then moved on to kickboxing when he turned 12, eventually going into MMA. He has since had 16 fights in the cage. He now lives in Kensington with his young family.
Chadrack Lomboto is a 22-year-old athlete who was born in Kinshasa, DRC who has been fighting for 5 years. He started his MMA journey in kickboxing and jiu jitsu and has participated in 15 fights during his career. He is currently completing his studies in Kinshasa.
Elizier Kubanza was born in Matadi, DRC. He has been fighting for 7 years and has training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Kickboxing. He has participated in 14 MMA fights, 35 kickboxing fights and 4 boxing matches. He now lives in Johannesburg where he continues his training.
Nkosi Mpakati iss a native of Transkei, South Africa. He has been training in MMA since 2018 and has taken part in 11 fights during his career. He now lives in Durban, South Africa where he works as a personal trainer.
Valentine Kamgang comes from Moumee, Cameroon. The 30-year-old fighter has been fighting since 2019 and has training in Muay Thai. He has participated in four fights. He now lives and works in Douala, Cameroon.