Cape Town – Not too long ago, Independent Media interviewed Qaasim Coetzee.
Our article was angled around the fact that this talented young man is so schooled in all forms of combat sports, always training with the best athletes, yet missing from the pro leagues.
At that time, when asked if turning professional was not a priority for him, he quickly dispelled that notion, and this week, during another exclusive with IOL Sport and MzansiMMA, Qaasim again confirmed that becoming a professional fighter is exactly what he wants.
“I couldn't wait for the opportunity to come, that is why I even took this fight on such short notice,” says Qaasim who got a last-minute call from the Extreme Fighting Championship to take on Given Majuba (0-2) in a Welterweight bout tomorrow at EFC90.
“I've always wanted this in my life. I went through some rough patches that, coupled with licensing and promotion issues, prolonged my debut coming to fruition, especially when the pandemic hit,” says the 24-year-old.
The Lentegeur, Cape Town-bred athlete is a fourth-stripe blue belt Jiu Jitsu practitioner who has also fought in an array of combat tournaments including Boxing, Muay Thai, K-1 and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). However, mixed martial arts remains number one for him.
“It's what I put first in my life. I have had over 20 fights, but MMA was always my main focus,” says the man who – according to the Tapology page – has three wins and one loss in the MMA cage, with a total of 12 wins and two losses in combat sport.
Qaasim has taken a long time to master his craft, sharpening his tools with the most lethal and hard-working students in the game, including Don Madge and Faeez Jacobs. He too has a good relationship with EFC hot-shot Justin Smith.
And tomorrow, he will finally be able to express himself against Given who is still looking for his first win in the pro leagues.
“I'll be competing at welterweight for now due to short notice, but going forward, I will definitely fight in a lighter division.
“My ultimate goal is to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the near future and show the world that dreams are never ever impossible,” adds Qaasim.
Qaasim and Given form part of the preliminary card of EFC90 which will be headlined by former bantamweight champion, Faeez Jacobs (7-3) and Sindile Manengela (7-6) fighting for the vacant title after former champion Sylvester Chipfumbu (7-4) signed with UAE Warriors.
EFC90 takes place on Saturday at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A small portion of MMA fans will be allowed in the arena (Covid-19 protocols observed).
For those who can’t make it to the event, you can catch all the main card action on SuperSport, SABC Openview, EFCWORLDWIDE.TV (pay-per-view) and a host of African channels starting at 5pm (CAT).
The prelims (1pm, CAT) are available on EFCWORLDWIDE.TV (pay-per-view).
For more information, visit www.efcworldwide.com.
FULL FIGHT CARD
Sindile Manengela (RSA) vs (RSA) Faeez Jacobs - Bantamweight championship
Tumisang Madiba (RSA) vs (SCT) Keir Harvie - Featherweight bout
Nicholas Hwende (ZIM) vs (IRL) Taka Mhandu - Bantamweight bout
Ibrahima Ndour (SEN) vs (CAM) Nico Yamdjie - Heavyweight bout
Boule Godogo (DRC) vs (CD) Masefi Ngoma - Lightweight bout
Peace Nguphane (RSA) vs (DRC) Wallace Okosso - Welterweight bout
Robo Ambamba (RSA) vs (RSA) Jaco du Plessis - Middleweight bout
Guelor Sondi (DRC) vs (RSA) Warren Richards - Lightweight bout
Simon Harle (RSA) vs (RSA) Sholto Luiters - Heavyweight bout
Qaasim Coetzee (RSA) vs (RSA) Given Majuba - Welterweight bout
Tshepo Majuba (RSA) vs (RSA) Guide Moyo - Lightweight bout