Polokwane Observer

Liam fights for his MMA dreams

- Herbert Rachuene

Local kickboxer Liam van Staden believes the province has the potential to produce top class mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes.

He feels these athletes will be able to represent Limpopo well in the popular Extreme Fighting Championsh­ip (EFC) and Ultimate Fighting Championsh­ip (UFC).

Liam is one of the rising kickboxers in Polokwane and has won major titles since he embarked on his kickboxing career five years ago.

In 2018, at the age of 17, he won the

South Africa Martial Arts Championsh­ips for kickboxing for the first year. A feat he managed again the following year.

He says with world-class coaches like Jan Roets from Ion Baciu Wrestling Academy and Dewet de Bruyn from Quan Jiu Jitsu at the helm, the province has no choice but to produce good athletes.

“We have good facilities and training partners such as HP van Staden, Steyn de Lange and Roedie Roets. I would like to see more athletes participat­e in MMA and for the sport to grow in Polokwane.”

Liam started his kickboxing career in 2017 with the intention to improve his mental health and unearth his martial arts talent.

“I wanted to reduce stress and to prove to myself that I can become better than what others say or think of me. The sport has also helped me to improve my physical and mental health.”

He says his short-term goal is to fight in the EFC as soon as possible. “I had the opportunit­y to showcase everything I have been working for at Versus Fight Night in 2021. I won the lightweigh­t division and aim to win more fights so that I can compete in big competitio­ns.”

 ?? ?? Liam van Staden in action.
Liam van Staden in action.

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