The GO!&Express caught up with Asange Belu and Sean Swart from Hudson Park High School who participated in the MMA (mixed martial arts) SA nationals recently held in Edenvale, Gauteng.
Mixed martial arts is an extreme combat sport in which contestants are permitted to use the fighting techniques of wrestling and boxing but also those of martial arts such as kickboxing, judo, and karate.
Belu, took part in his first-ever competition and brought home a silver medal. He fought in the heavyweight division and made it all the way to finals, where his journey ended in second place.
Swart, also took part in his first competition and also brought home a silver medal. Swart fought in the featherweight division and also made it all the way to finals.
What does your SA MMA Championship medal recognition mean to you?
Belu: I did really well, and made my coaches, and gym, proud. But this is only the beginning… We’re bringing the noise.
Swart: The medal tells me that I have the potential to be a great fighter.
How are winners selected for MMA and on what basis were you awarded your silver medal?
Belu: You either win on points awarded by landing more strikes, or a win by a knockout or a tap-out /submission. I never leave it to the judges, though.
Swart: I won my first two fights and got to the finals where I was unfortunate to lose but earned myself my silver medal.
Who/what are your inspirations?
Belu: I don’t know, and I don’t care. I just love fighting whomever my coaches put me up against. I go into the cage to make them proud
Swart: My coaches, and my best friend, Asange Belu.
What was the most challenging parts of the MMA national champs this year?
Belu: Collecting sponsorships and adapting to the rule changes.
Swart: The training was hard, and getting mentally prepared for the fights.
What were your favourite parts of the MMA national champs this year?
Belu: Having fun with the fight crew and experiencing my first cage fight.
Swart: Winning my first fight, and watching my team members fight.
What more you do you hope to achieve within the realm of MMA?
Belu: My MMA journey has just begun so it’s too soon to say. I just want to fight and just shake up the fight world
Swart: I want to be the best martial artist I can be.
What training did you have to do in preparation for MMA nationals?
Belu: Shark tank and fight camp.
Swart: Sprinting, kicking bags hundreds of times, sparring with fighters in our gym and hitting pads.