Grassroots 4 event in Melkbosstrand a raging success

Patrick Ndomba eventually got the W following a hard-fought fight with Ezra Perrang in their Welterweight main event. Photo: Buntu Gotywa

Patrick Ndomba eventually got the W following a hard-fought fight with Ezra Perrang in their Welterweight main event. Photo: Buntu Gotywa

Published Feb 24, 2024


If the recent Grassroots 4 MMA event was anything to go by, it’s safe to say that mixed martial arts in the Western Cap is on an upward curve.

Just last week, in Melkbosstrand, twelve amateur athletes showed up and showed out at the Elite MMA facility on a platform designed to showcase the province’s upcoming talent and nurture the stars of the future.

Combat sports students from across the Cape hit the west coast road en route to the coastal town just outside the Mother City to represent their respective gyms as six MMASA-affiliated clubs (MECS, Fighterz Inc. Vector, Knockout Centre, Wrestling for MMA/TroubleMaker and SBG) rocked up to test their mettle and sharpen their skills in hopes of growing in their amateur and professional MMA careers.

The fourth Grassroots event also served as a fundraiser as Team Western Cape seeks funds to assist with flights and accommodation for this year’s Mixed Martial Arts South Africa Nationals event in KZN between the 18th and 21st of April.

Heinrich Jacobs showed why he is one of the brightest amateur MMA athletes when he practiced patience in adversity before getting the rear-naked choke against Zaakier Parker in their Featherweight fight. Photo: Buntu Gotywa

While Grassroots 4 caters to amateur athletes, one can excuse patrons for mistaking these upcomers for grizzled veterans as fighters went toe-to-toe in the arena, also known as Venter’s MMA.

Out of six fights, only two ran into the second round, with four submissions and two technical knockouts.

The athletes entertained and enthralled fight fans present and managed to impress a few MMA superstars, including former EFC Bantamweight champion Faeez Jacobs, current undisputed Middleweight champion Luke Michael, and EFC interim Bantamweight champ Terence Balelo.

The main event was the highlight as Patrick Ndomba and Ezra Perrang left it all in the cage in their Welterweight bout.

While Perrang seemed to be the more calm, composed, and technical striker, Ndomba’s power and perseverance eventually got him the win when he stopped his opponent in the second round via TKO.

In a Featherweight bout, one of Swellendam’s combat sports sons, Heinrich Jacobs, reminded the MMA community why he has a bright future ahead when he showed experience and patience to strike at the right moment and seize the opportunity.

Jacobs’ opponent, Zaakir Parker, practiced distance management and defense, pressuring Jacobs by cutting off angles before rocking Jacobs with a left power jab. Jacobs was the wiser and utilized the wrestling game taught by coach Hayden Abrahams.

While gathering himself, he was smart enough to find the perfect opening and get the takedown before transitioning to a rear-naked choke, which saw the end of the fight in the first round.

Speaking at the event, Mixed Martial Arts South Africa’s Provincial representative, Steven Olivier, was delighted at the successful event.

“We are setting the standard very high when it comes to Grassroots Western Cape,” says Olivier, who was present on the day along with a handful of officials to also help oversee an officials’ judges course.

There have been very few MMA events across the Western Cape recently. The EFC’s Cape Town leg was one of the most well-attended shows, however, it was not enough to keep Africa’s premier promotion in the Mother City after it decided to change its business model and run all shows from Paulshof, Johannesburg, after the Pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

With the introduction of the Grassroots MMA brand last year, including plans to launch a new and exciting promotion later this year, MMA in the province is slowly on the up once again, and Olivier is excited about the future and the backing received from all involved.

“I'm extremely happy to see the support for our Grassroots events. Thank you to all the clubs who have come out in support. The backing of these loyal clubs and their youth means so much to us, as MMA would be non-existent in Cape Town without them. We are also grateful for the support and backing given by our MMASA President, Ferdinand Basson," added Olivier, who played an imperative role in running Western Cape MMA for the last 13 years.

MMA Western Cape co-ordinator Lyndall Sandenbergh has given fight fans and athletes reason to get excited with the news of a new promotion in the pipeline.

“On June 15th, I will start my promotion ‘Barebones MMA Championships’ in honour of my partner and love, Mec Crain, who passed away three years ago,” says Sandendbergh.

The next Grassroots event set to take place is the Mossel Bay leg on the 9th of March before the brand returns to Cape Town on the 18th of May.

Full Fight results:

Youth Card

Fight 1 (Youth B - Under 57kg): Imaad Ebrahim beat Danny Weber via Armbar in the first round.

Fight 2 (Youth A - Welterweight - Under 77.1kg): Josh du Roubaix beat Benjamin Edwards via TKO in the second round.

Adult Card

Fight 1 (Lightweight 65.9kg - 70.3kg): Phillip Cronje beat Ameer Ghamza via guillotine choke in the first round.

Fight 2 (Featherweight 61.2kg - 65.8kg): Heinrich Jacobs beat Zaakir Parker via rear naked choke in the first round.

Fight 3 (Bantamweight 56.8 - 61.2kg): Gideon Devahasayam beat Joshua Jacobs via rear naked choke in the first round.

Fight 4 (Welterweight 70.4kg - 77.1kg): Patrick Ndomba beat Ezra Perrang via TKO in the second round.


IOL Sport

Related Topics:

combat sports