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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UFC boss Dana White dubs SA MMA star Cameron Saaiman ‘The Future’

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Johannesburg – Africans may know him as “MSP”, but to UFC president Dana White, Cameron Saaiman’s new nickname is “The Future”.

This was confirmed after the young Pretoria fighter secured his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contract in devastating fashion when he knocked out USA’s Josh Wang-Kim during their Dana White Contender Series – Season 6 Bantamweight fight early this morning in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex.

After dropping the opening round of his clash with Wang-Kim, the 21-year-old South African started to find his rhythm in the second, turning up the pressure and testing the gas tank of his American opponent.

In the third, with each man needing to make a statement in order to secure the victory and potentially earn a contract, Saaiman kept his foot on the pedal, and after backing Wang-Kim into the fence, he connected with a left hand that sent the American crashing face down into the canvas leaving White both stunned and impressed.

The CIT-athlete’s performance proved how technically-sound he is for his age while also showcasing that highly-valuable “entertainment factor” that could book him a call-out to the Octagon sooner than expected.

“Dude you are impressive,” White told Saaiman during the contract hand-out ceremony.

“For 21-years-old, the way you kept your composure in there … absolutely a professional man. Your new nickname is ‘The Future’.”

Saaiman – training partner and protege of UFC Middleweight and top-14 fighter, Dricus du Plessis – is now officially the youngest male fighter on the active UFC roster.

The former Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) Bantamweight champion is now  also the second South African to earn a UFC contract through the Contender Series after JP Buys secured one in 2020.

Each of last night’s five victors earned deals, with White singing the praises of Denise Gomes, Saaiman, Jesus Aguilar, Darrius Flowers and Mick Parkin.

20 Contracts have now been handed out in five weeks since the beginning of Season Six of the DWCS.

Just last week it was also announced that South African-based Zimbabwean star and former EFC Welterweight champion, Themba Gorimbo signed with the UFC.

Tuesday’s results:

Mick Parkin defeats Eduardo Neves by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:57 of Round 1

Darrius Flowers defeats Amiran Gogoladze by TKO (injury) at 1:13 of Round 1

Jesus Aguilar defeats Erisson Ferreira by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:56 of Round 3

Cameron Saaiman defeats Joshua Wang-Kim by KO (left hook) at 2:52 of Round 3

Denise Gomes defeats Rayanne Amanda by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

@juliankiewietz

Sport

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