12th September 2017 – TF1 Filming at the EFC GYM, Sandton, Johannesburg (Photo by Roarke Bouffe / EFC Worldwide) Team Pena in and Team Sayed in Blue ready for ‘The Fighter’ showdown
12th September 2017 – TF1 Filming at the EFC GYM, Sandton, Johannesburg (Photo by Roarke Bouffe / EFC Worldwide)
Coach Irshaad Sayed and England’s Jenaid Ebanks
12th September 2017 – TF1 Filming at the EFC GYM, Sandton, Johannesburg (Photo by Roarke Bouffe / EFC Worldwide) Coach Demarte Pena welcomes Brazil’s Gustavo Dias to the team

Johannesburg. — Ten 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”.

Coached by undefeated reigning bantamweight champion, Demarte “The Wolf” Pena, and interim bantamweight champion Irshaad “White Tiger” Sayed, the ten athletes are split into two teams, Team Pena and Team Sayed. The two coaches will face each other at the grand finale on 16 December to be aired live, globally.

Following the massive success of MMA reality programmes worldwide, The Fighter will be the first show of its kind produced in Africa, as well as the first to be broadcast to African audiences on free-to-air TV networks.

As athletes entered the TF1 house when filming began, the top ten competing athletes were revealed and split into two teams — one coached by Pena and the other by Sayed.

For the teams to be chosen, athletes went through their first day of intense training. In a gruelling selection process with drastic consequences, the ten contestants were pushed to their limit. Team selection was full of dramatic highs and lows and ultimately the fate of the contenders was set.

Team Pena: Ibrahima Mane – Gambia; Gustavo Dias – Brazil; Will Fleury – Ireland; Max Merten – Germany; and Mzwandile Hlongwa – South Africa.

Team Sayed: Shaw Dean – Australia; JenaidEbanks – England; Brendon Lesar – South Africa; Abd El Driai – Algeria; and 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 16 December at the prestigious Time Square Sun Arena at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria.