Teen qualifies for World Champs

Toufeeq Khan is fundraising to attend the International MMA Federation’s Youth World Championship in Abu Dhabi that is expected to be held in August.  PHOTOs: supplied

Toufeeq Khan is fundraising to attend the International MMA Federation’s Youth World Championship in Abu Dhabi that is expected to be held in August. PHOTOs: supplied

A victim of bullying, teenager Toufeeq Khan from Pelican Park, started with karate classes at an early age, which later led to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes, and now the 14-year-old has won gold in the MMA National Competition in the u-14 category.

The teenager’s dream is to represent his country at the International MMA Federation’s Youth World Championship which is set to take place in Abu Dhabi next month (August). However, it will take around R40 000 to get him there.

His mother Muneebah Khan said the teen also qualified to represent South Africa in Abu Dhabi last year, but due to Covid-19 restriction he could not go.

“He started out at the age of five with karate at Samariu in Plumstead. At the time he learnt self-defence because he was being bullied. At the age of five he left karate, and joined an MMA gym.

“It’s so stressful for us, trying to raise funds for our kids, we don’t want their dreams to be shattered. We need to be in Abu Dhabi on (Friday) 12 August, the competition is from (Wednesday) 17 to (Saturday) 20 August. We have a month to raise the funds.”

She added that it would cost around R40 000 to cover the trip.

“He needs around R40 000 which will go towards accommodation, flights, SA colour kit, registration, visas and then also food. We have raised very little so far; we are only at around R6 000.”

Khan added that her son won gold in the MMA National competition that was held in Johannesburg on Friday 20 May.

“He won gold in June and he also competed in the ADCC competition for Brazilian jujitsu and again won gold.”

Toufeeq said it was his dream to represent SA in the upcoming MMA.

“I feel more self-confident since I started with Mixed Martial Arts. You learn self-defense and how to control yourself, also how to control your anger if you have anger issues. I love all sports including horse riding.”

The teenager added that he was very excited to represent South Africa in Abhu Dhabi.

“I am extremely excited. I was supposed to go last year but because of covid I could not. It will be my first time to represent my country and I am excited and a little nervous.”

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