The Chosen Fighting Championship is back, and promises a bigger crowd, bigger fights and a lot more exposure for Eastern Cape amateur mixed martial artists.
Chosen 2 is set to take place on April 1 at the Pieter Rademeyer Hall in Algoa Park where it will showcase Port Elizabeth fighters battling it out with East London brawlers.
Following the success of the inaugural event in December, Chosen organiser and professional MMA fighter Ivan Strydom said the last event showed him how hungry Nelson Mandela Bay fans were for combat sport shows.
“We announced the first show and news spread like wildfire, and on the night tickets sold so quickly we had to make more seating available.
“It was a huge success, and it made me think that we need to go bigger the second time around,” he said.
Much like the previous event, fighters from East London’s Black Dragons gym, as well as some smaller East London-based clubs, will take on talent from Lions MMA, Port Elizabeth Submission Fighting Academy (Pesfa) and Evolution MMA.
The fight schedule will consist of nine preliminary fights, followed by seven fights on the main card.
The organisers have confirmed that officials from MMA South Africa, as well as management from Johannesburg-based amateur promotion FightStar, will be in attendance.
“The idea behind Chosen is to create a stepping stone for local talent. We want to give our guys exposure and we want them to move on to bigger events,” Strydom said.
“In time, we want to grow to become that promotion where everyone wants to fight. But for now, we just want to give our local talent a stage.”
Gelvan Park fighter and personal trainer Clayton Christoffels, 30, comes off a first-round victory at the previous Chosen, and believes he is much more dangerous than he was in December as he prepares for his lightweight bout against Angelo Hektoor.
“I had some injury hassles, but I learnt to train around them. I have grown a lot since my last fight, and I am really looking forward to this one,” Christoffels, fighting out of Pesfa, said.
“Ivan’s show is great exposure for our local talent, and there really is a lot of talent here. But the event also shows some guys that being a fighter is not as easy as some people may think it is.”
Also fighting on the main card is Evolution MMA’s Wayne Strydom, 38, who is stepping up a weight class to take on heavyweight Sipho Fodo.
“I finished my last fight at Chosen with a first-round submission. This time they have given me a much tougher opponent and I am looking forward to the new challenge,” he said.
“The organisers are putting a lot into this event, and I do not want to disappoint.
“I heard there could be some talent scouts in the crowd, so I want to put on a good show for them as well as the fans.”
The official weigh-in for Chosen 2 will take place on March 31 at Evolution MMA from 8pm, with fight night kicking off at 6pm in the Pieter Rademeyer Hall.