As the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) World Championships draw near, Namibia’s MMA team head coach Carlos de Sousa yesterday expressed great confidence in his fighters’ ability and competence to bring home gold medals from the much-anticipated competition.
The 2023 MMA World Championships is slated for Belgrade in the Balkan state of Serbia, from 11 to 18 February and will see five fighters representing Namibia in the various categories. The five fighters are Ronaldo Feris (welterweight junior), Stefan Gilge (lightweight junior), Veja Hinda (featherweight senior), Arno Jacob (strawweight) and Geraldo Bok (bantamweight)
De Sousa said the team has been training rigorously for the competition since last year and is mentally and physically ready to put up a great show at the international competition. “Our aim is clear; that is to win gold medals and the fighters are in high spirits as they understand the assignment very well. We’ve done what we needed to do and I have full confidence in our fighters’ abilities,” he said during yesterday’s official send-off ceremony in the capital.
Namibia’s MMA team is currently ranked 33rd out of 77 nations on the world rankings and is third on the continent behind the likes of South Africa and Angola.
One of the country’s top-ranked fighters, Veja Hinda, who is the 2022 African Championships gold medallist, also shared his mentor’s sentiments.
He said they have trained hard for the upcoming event and the world should expect nothing but fierce competition from Team Namibia.
“We trained hard for this competition and are ready to represent our country in the cage. I believe the team is in great shape, and we are all hoping to put on outstanding performances in order to bring home some medals. I have faith in my teammates and believe that we will all prevail and bring medals from our respective categories,” said a confident Hinda. Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) chief administrator Freddy Mwiya, who also attended yesterday’s send-off ceremony, threw his weight behind the team by encouraging them to go out there and put their best foot forward and make the country proud.
“I’m confident that the team will make Namibia proud and I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring back from the competition. I think their past record says much about what they are capable of doing, and I am still self-assured that the team will come back home with medals and make us all proud,” said Mwiya.
The team departs for Serbia today and is expected to arrive tomorrow. They are expected to return home from the competition around the 20th of this month.