Thursday, January 27, 2022

Top African Heavyweights Make US Debut At XFC 12/5

Scott Pinkster sent along the following:

Tampa, FL: The first fighter is a 27-year-old, 252-pound behemoth with the South African heavyweight title, ten gold medals from international wrestling tournaments, and a submission victory over fellow countryman and UFC veteran Trevor Prangley. The second fighter is a 26-year-old, 211-pound third-generation knockout artist from South Africa’s most prestigious fighting family — and the winner of five straight amateur boxing championships, has over 100 combined victories in kickboxing and boxing, and among his biggest fans is South African leader Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the Zulu President of the African National Congress.

Sports superstars and mainstream celebrities in their native continent of Africa, both men dream of global Mixed Martial Arts fame and glory… and realize that these dreams are only attainable by coming to the worldwide Mecca of MMA — the United States — and proving that the best of Africa can beat the best of America. The two visiting heavyweights will battle in front of the largest crowds of their careers against American opponents at Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC)’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents” on Friday, December 5 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. This will be XFC’s fifth fight card at the St. Pete Times Forum; the previous four fight cards drew a combined total of 43,700 fans.

“American fans are always skeptical of foreign fighters,” said South African heavyweight champion Rico “The White Lion” Hattingh from the MMA training academy he owns in Cape Town, South Africa. “And I’m glad they’re skeptical. It puts even more pressure on me to do something so dramatic in the XFC cage that they have no choice but to recognize my greatness. I really believe I’m the best-kept secret in the heavyweight division right now — and that the explosive growth of MMA in Africa is one of the most underreported stories in the entire MMA industry. Believe me, we Africans can fight.” Hattingh is 10 – 1 as a professional, with all ten victories coming by knockout or submission.

“This will be my first visit to the United States, and I’m so excited to finally set foot in the Land of Opportunity,” exclaimed fellow heavyweight Donavin Hawkey of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, a region primarily known to foreigners as the home of the Zulu Nation. “My grandfather and father were living legends here — my father was the KwaZulu-Natal boxing champion from 1969 to 1975, and my grandfather was a four-time military boxing champion and a famous trainer — and I’m the next generation of Hawkey champions. I fight to honor my family legacy, I fight for my beloved country… and I also fight for myself. MMA is the ultimate form of one-on-one competition, and I’ve worked since birth to become a champion — not just here in Africa, but a champion for the entire world. It is my destiny, and my time is now.”

After both fighters ran roughshod over the local competition, African MMA promoters matched Hattingh against Hawkey in December of 2007. Hattingh successfully defended his heavyweight title, winning by armbar submission 1:30 into the first round; this was the first and only loss of Hawkey’s eleven-fight MMA career.

Hawkey and Hattingh face stiff tests at XFC’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents”: Hawkey will fight 265-pound Scott “The Bear” Barrett of Atlanta, Georgia, and Hattingh is matched in the main event against undefeated Kentucky heavyweight Chad Corvin. XFC president John Prisco expressed excitement about both fights: “Donavin Hawkey is at a 55-pound weight disadvantage against Big Scott Barrett, and Ricco Hattingh is four inches shorter and ten pounds lighter than Chad Corvin — a very good prospect in his own right who’s won all his fights by knockout or submission, and hopes to build his rsum by humiliating the South African heavyweight champion. I’m convinced that someone on this fight card will eventually emerge as the next great fighter in the heavyweight division… but for the life of me, I honestly have no idea who it’ll be. And Lord, I can’t wait to find out!”

For interview requests with South African heavyweight champion Rico Hattingh, top-ranked South African contender Donavin Hawkey, or XFC President John Prisco, please contact Scott Pinsker at 727.871.3204, or [email protected]

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About Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC): Xtreme Fighting Championships — better known to MMA fight fans worldwide as XFC — is the Southeast’s leading independent MMA promotion. Recognized by MMA enthusiasts for staging the industry’s largest live events, XFC’s last four shows at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida all drew over ten thousand fans each, setting an international MMA attendance record. XFC’s next mega-event, “XFC’s Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents,” is scheduled for Friday, December 5, at the St. Pete Times Forum. Deeply appreciative of the courage and sacrifice of the U.S. military, XFC offers free admittance to all combat veterans. For more information about XFC, please visit www.mmaxfc.com.

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