A new reality show called Last Fighter Standing will be hitting South African TV screens later this month. The show looks at the lives of fighters as they train for the championship, as well as what they do outside of the ring.
World Championship Last Fighter Standing (LFS) is part-competition and part-reality show spanning 12 episodes, building to the LFS Finals at the TicketPro Dome in Jozi on the 15th of October.
It is the first fighting platform/competition in the world to incorporate all fighting styles – where a boxer can be put up against a mixed martial artist. The series will follow fighters of various disciplines, going into their homes and seeing if they have what it takes to take home the title of Last Fighter Standing South African Champion 2016.
Professional boxer, Leo Gloss, (40), from Boksburg, is looking forward to the championship.
[dropcap]“[/dropcap]I was a professional boxer and just one day they said I must train for MMA fight. It was fight force at that time, I just went and I fought. I started liking it and I am one of the top EFC fighters since then. I took a year off now just to get my business up and running and now I’m back; where there’s a fight I’m there. I have been fighting since I was five years old, so you can say 35 years. As a professional fighter you must train three to four times a day. Including weekends, Sundays. It’s very, very hard work. The [LFS] victory that’s it, you know cash is also king. It’s a nice package but my focus now is the first guy that I am going to fight, that’s it.”
The package Gloss is referring to is the R1 million prize money that’s up for grabs. This is the biggest prize ever for a fighting tournament in South Africa.
LFS, supported by the Martial Arts South Africa Pro-Commission, is hosting qualifying tournaments across SA, where professional fighters can compete in different divisions. The competition is about developing the fighters and their brand and showcasing new talent. It’s also not just professionals taking part; amateurs that are registered with gyms can also compete.
All things being equal – in fighting too – there is no difference between male and female fighters when it comes to rules or prizes. This is something that professional fighter Chantelle Van Schalkwyk (30) from Pretoria is excited about, but she wants to see more women in the ring.
[dropcap]“[/dropcap]For me, it’s about the fight. We just competed now in the Arnold Classics, so I’m just excited about fighting. It’s awesome; it’s not about woman or male – we are all fighters. I train with the guys and we live in South Africa. I can walk down the street and defend myself in anything, so it’s more to my benefit. I would love for more female fighters. Even if we look at MMA, muay thai fighting, there is always more males. But the reality show, I’m nervous about it. I think it has a cool concept about it; it’s not just about fighting but actually getting to know your fighters, their background where they come from. People just look at me as a fighter but do not know how I got there.”
If this is a combination of all these different fighting styles, how are winners decided? They have to survive three rounds, each two minutes long. A 10-9 scoring system will be used, with five judges and one chief judge presiding over each fight.
Actor and martial artist, Michael Jai White will be hosting the show, along with South African presenter, K Naomi.
— Dana Da Silva (@MissLadyD2) June 1, 2016
Muay thai fighter, Ayanda Ngxamngxa, (25) from Pretoria is excited about White’s presence in SA, and participating in the competition.
[dropcap]“[/dropcap]I decided to become a professional fighter as the years went along and my trainer started urging me to keep fighting and told me that I was doing well. I trust them and I believe in them, so I said, yeah I’ll give it a try. I am looking forward to it [LFS] especially with Michael Jai White here. He’s like my idol and he’s coming here. I’m so excited. I am very passionate about martial arts, all martial arts in general. Muay thai is my staple, but I love the martial arts. I going to give it everything I have. The love [for martial arts] comes from building yourself up and then seeing what you’ve become.”
The show premieres on e.tv on Monday 25 July at 22:30.