28 September 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa - 10 of the best, undefeated middleweight prospects from around the world have been selected to live and train together, as well as compete against each other in a quest to win the ultimate prize - a six-figure contract and a guaranteed shot at EFC middleweight gold in the new mixed martial arts reality TV show, ‘TF1 – The Fighter’.
Brazil’s Gustavo Diaz and USA’s Mike Diorio during padwork.
Upon entering the TF1 house (when filming began), the chosen athletes were revealed. The 10 undefeated athletes have been split into two teams chosen by coaches Pena and Sayed respectively.
Coach Sayed and England’s Jenaid Ebanks.
Pena welcomes Brazil’s Gustavo Dias to the team.
Sayed welcomes South Africa’s Brendan Lesar to the team.
For the teams to be chosen, athletes went through their first day of intense training. In a grueling selection process with drastic consequences on the line, the 10 contestants were pushed to the edge. Team selection was full of dramatic highs and lows and ultimately the fate of the contenders was set. Don’t miss the first episode of TF1 to see the first matchups made and what went down.
Australia’s Shaw Dean and Germany’s Max Merten during technical sparring.
Representing the colours of Constantia Insurance, team Pena take orange and team Sayed take blue.
Coach Pena and EFC matchmaker Graeme Cartmell over look as athletes grapple.
Ahead of the TF1 global premiere scheduled for Saturday 14 October 2017, the teams chosen by the coaches have just been disclosed, and are as follows:
Ibrahima Mane – Gambia
Gustavo Dias – Brazil
Will Fleury – Ireland
Max Merten – Germany
Mzwandile Hlongwa – South Africa
Shaw Dean – Australia
Jenaid Ebanks – England
Brendon Lesar – South Africa
Abd El Driai – Algeria
Mike Diorio – USA
Keep a look out for the athletes making their way around Johannesburg and Pretoria during filming and in the lead up to the grand finale taking place on Saturday 16 December at the prestigious Time Square Sun Arena at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria.