by Jayson du Toit
So the question was asked: What is it like to go into a MMA fight for the very first time? Well… KNUXX SA went through to NOVA MMA to find out.
We spoke to 20 year old Pieter Marais an 18 year old Douw Eksteen who is preparing to fight for the first time at Cage Wars Evolution. Both fighters are in the featherweight division and train for NOVA MMA in Kempton Park under Coach JD du Plessis.
KNUXX: How long have you been training in MMA?
Pieter/Douw: We have been doing MMA for about a year now.
KNUXX: How has the weight cut been going so far considering you are three days away from the weigh in?
Pieter: I still have 4kg to lose but I will get there.
Douw: I have had an easy cut and I only have 2kg to go before weigh ins.
KNUXX: How long have the two of you been training for this specific fight?
Pieter/Douw: We have both been training for approximately four or five weeks for this fight.
KNUXX: What do you consider your strong points to be in a fight?
Pieter: I like to grapple but I also don’t mind to stand and trade.
Douw: I am a strong grappler and I like to fight off my back.
KNUXX: How much do you know about your opponents?
Pieter: Not much really.
Douw: My opponent is apparently a wrestler but I am ready for him!
KNUXX: What emotions have you been going through leading up to the fight?
Pieter: Confidence because training has been going really well!
Douw: I am also confident and I am NOT going to lose this fight?
KNUXX: When you think about the upcoming fight what goes through your mind?
Pieter: I have been playing over different techniques like what to do if my opponent stands up or if it goes to the ground, basically I go through different game plans.
Douw: Excitement!! I want to get in there a feel the rush and adrenalin! I am just looking forward to the experience.
KNUXX: How are you dealing with the nerves coming up to the fight?
Pieter: My couch gives us a lot of reassurance and self-confidence. A soon as we feel a bit of doubt we train harder and that helps us tremendously.
Douw: My nerves were there, but from all the support I get from my team I am feeling fine now and just want to get in there and fight.
KNUXX: What are your game plans when the cage door closes behind you on fight night?
Pieter: Firstly I am going to stand to see how he deals with that and then it’s going to the ground that’s my game plan.
Douw: I don’t want to be too tense I want to be loose and ready for anything. I want to stand but if it goes to the ground I am ready.
Words from Coach JD du Plessis: The boys have been training hard for this fight for eight weeks. The boys have been knocked really hard that’s why they think it has been four weeks and a few days! Ha-ha!! They have been doing early morning 5 am training sessions as well as evening sessions. The weight cut has been quite touch and it gets to a stage where you feel down and discouraged. I know this as I am a pro fighter and I have been through this, but they support each other and the team backs them up. They have been on top of their game and very seldomly down. As soon as one had doubt the other would encourage them and pick them up to train and push harder. I expect big things in the future for the two of them, but this is their debut fight, so for now it is a fight at a time.
The fans can expect some new and exciting things coming out of Nova MMA
Pieter Marais won his fight in the second round VIA TKO GnP and Douw Eksteen won in the third round via TKO so well done boys!! You have made a success of your debut fights.
NOVA MMA: 212 Monument Rd The Junction Centre first floor shop 11.
Contact coach JD Du Plessis on 0737773687