Mixed Martial Arts
has become the fastest growing sports in the world thanks to the rise in popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or otherwise referred to as, UFC. South African fighters have struggled to crack it in UFC however Don Madge
is looking to change all that by becoming South Africa’s first UFC champion.
Where once MMA was thought of as being a brutal novelty only enjoyed by a minority of society, it’s now considered one of the fastest growing sport in the world, valued at a staggering $7 billion dollars according to Forbes.
To be successful in what seems like a ruthless sport, you need to know pain, endure solitude and sacrifice almost everything. The sport demands so much: strength, stamina, discipline, resilience and heart, all in pursuit to become UFC champion.
While most South Africans have struggled to make an impact in the UFC, Don Madge has a enjoyed an unparalleled start to his UFC career after knocking out the American, Te Edwards, in the second-round with a head kick.
Don Madge’s obsession with martial arts started at the tender age of six. Although he enjoyed traditional sport, he excelled at combat sport. His father and grandfather were boxers and his mother did judo so he was almost destined to take up contact sport of this nature. He decided to move to Thailand after participating in his first Muay Thai fight and became one of the most talented fighters at the age of fifteen.
He soon became a star in Thailand winning most of his professional fights. When he returned to South Africa in 2011, MMA was fast becoming a popular sport due to the rise of the EFC. His stock rose after fighting the iconic Leon Mynhardt, beating him convincingly in a fight that most people still talk about today.
Now, Madge has his eyes on the ultimate prize that has eluded most South Africans to date, the UFC championship. In order to achieve this, he has teamed up with one of the best MMA coaches in the world, Richie Quan, and he trains with the highly rated female MMA fighter, Cris Cyborg.
He stepped into the fabled octagon for the first in October 2018 at the age of 28, carrying the hopes of the nation. He’ll continue on this journey until he reaches his goal.
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