Amidst ongoing talks of a future UFC event on the continent, two African countries have taken significant steps in order to grow martial arts within their own borders.
In Namibia, the country’s capital of Windhoek hosted its first ever MMA event last weekend that included over 20 fighters from a number of African countries.
The event, dubbed African Fight League, had an excellent turnout of competitors and fighters according to organizer Carlos de Soussa, who shared his thoughts in an interview with Namibian media outlet New Era.
“Definitely, the event went on as we anticipated,” de Soussa said. “I would as well add that having seen the number of participants at the weekend event opened our eyes that the sport can grow massively in the country if good attention is given.”
Veja Hinda, Namibia’s top amateur bantamweight fighter, scored a first-round win in the card’s top bout. The success of the event was encouraging for de Soussa and the other organizers, who are hoping to expand the sport to other parts of the country.
“We are going to go back and sit and plan on the way forward. We would like to have more of these events in the future. We want to at least host three of these events per year. We are hoping we can have one at the coast, Windhoek, and northern part of the country,”
Ghana Establishes Wushu Association
In the northwestern part of the continent, Ghana has been making its own efforts to grow martial arts.
The country just recently established The Wushu Martial Arts Association of Ghana and held a ceremony to formally swear in its executives and officials.
Speaking to the newly elected executives at the ceremony in Accra, deputy director of the Youth and Sports Ministry Horen Quashigah outlined his support for the new organization.
“We are going to work closely with you to make the sport known across the length and breadth of the country,” Quashigah said.
Africa has recently become one of the main targets of expansion for the UFC, which currently has a pair of African-born champions in Francis Ngannou and Israel Adesanya, as well as former champion Kamaru Usman. The promotion has actively discussed plans to host an event on the continent as soon as possible.
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