Mixed Martial Arts South Africa are preparing for the arrival of UFC referee Marc Goddard in two weeks time ahead of their highly sought after officials course.
MMASA Technical Director, Ferdi Basson, had originally planned for 10 participants but due to the immense interest in the course is now bracing himself for a group of about 55.
Masson admits that the incredible surge in numbers is partly down to the fact that IMMAF Regulatory Affairs consultant Goddard will be leading the course.
“You cannot compete with the amount of experience Marc Goddard has,” he said.
“I can deliver the nitty gritty of the course but I can’t deliver it with the amount of experience or the wealth of knowledge that he can.
"I can't even respond to all the emails we've been getting about the course!"
Mr Basson was himself trained as a referee by Mr Goddard and cannot speak highly enough about the Englishman and was delighted to secure his services for the course.
“Aside from being an official he’s a great human being.”
“I think he’s a great guy, he is so passionate about the sport and everybody is vying for his time.”
Mr Basson believes the interest in the course demonstrates the growth that MMA has experienced in Africa over the last few years.
“The sport has grown dramatically and there is now a very big amateur base,” he added.
He also thinks that the growth can be spurred on by the widespread implementation of software tool MyNextMatch, a IMMAF partner.
“I think it’s a brilliant system.
“The thought process and the way it was put together, there is nothing like it.
“Everything you need is there.”
The MMASA Officials Course will take place at Johannesburg’s Brakpan Indoor Sports Centre on 30 and 31 January.