Top South African MMA coach Richard Quan believes Don Madge’s successful UFC debut did wonders for the growth of the sport in this country.
Madge, who trains under Quan in Johannesburg, garnered global attention by knocking out America’s Te Edwards with a second-round head kick at the Avenir Center in Moncton, Canada in October.
The former EFC lightweight champion earned a $50 000 performance bonus for his efforts, as he notably joined compatriots Garreth McLellan and Trevor Prangley in registering victories in the octagon.
Quan feels Madge’s highlight-reel finish “put everyone on the map” in 2018.
Speaking to Alastair Bishop on the BigAl MMA Podcast, Quan said: “Listen the biggest thing for the growth of MMA this year was definitely Don Madge getting that knockout. No one can contend with that, in terms of that just put everyone on the map. Everyone’s talking about it; having that head kick KO, his performance, domination from round one to the end, it was unbelievable.”
He also gave credit to EFC middleweight and welterweight king Dricus du Plessis for his exploits in Poland-based promotion KSW, as well as his fighters JP Buys and Chad Hanekom.
Du Plessis, of Team CIT MMA in Pretoria, added the KSW 77kg belt to his collection in April before losing it in a rematch with Roberto Soldic in London last month.
EFC bantamweight champ Buys and Hanekom are flying the flag in Bahrain-based organisation Brave Combat Federation, with the former recently winning his bow, albeit by disqualification, against Dagestani Gamzat Magomedov in Lahore, Pakistan.
“Obviously in terms of my view you know, Dricus as well, being in KSW. You know his loss was a loss, but it is still having that international exposure. Then moving to Chad, Chad being now a top contender for Brave, that’s massive. Same as JP going out and beating a massive name, a Dagestani name, that’s massive.
“In terms of everything else, like I think every year is a good year. Look, you can’t look at it as a bad year, there’s always growth. As long as the guys are performing and winning fights, and putting on fights, I think there’s always growth. People will stand up and look as long as there’s a good fight.”