BRAVE Combat Federation’s number-five ranked Bantamweight Nkosi “The Future” Ndebele will compete in the biggest professional fight of his life in the co-main event of BRAVE CF 70 next month. After a five-fight win streak dating back to 2019, South Africa’s Ndebele is only a few weeks away from facing Jose “Shorty” Torres in a potential number-one contender bout in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on April 23.
Fighting for a world title is one of the toughest challenges and the pinnacle of most fighters’ careers, but “The Future” is no stranger to adversity. He was born a fighter and faced far worse life-or-death situations growing up on the streets of Diepsloot, South Africa.
Born in the central traveling hub of Germiston, Ndebele and his siblings were forced to move to Diepsloot – a densely populated township rife with poverty, crime, inadequate housing, and high levels of unemployment. It was a very rough place, and Ndebele often found himself in trouble. Born with an intrinsic fighting spirit, Ndebele grew tired of life constantly beating him down and not being able to stand up to the elements around him. The street-smart Nkosi started educating himself on the art of Karate which helped him protect himself and his friends.
His first taste of controlled fighting was in Karate competitions which quickly broadened his horizons as he fought in places across South Africa. During this time, the MMA wave had already hit the shores of South Africa, and Ndebele was intrigued by what mixed martial arts had to offer and signed up with the renowned Nova MMA gym training under the tutelage of the respected JD Du Plessis. Ndebele quickly latched onto the sport and was a natural-born combatant.
“The Future” fully embraced his potential y becoming a two-division amateur champion fighting on the local circuits. He was entered into national amateur tournaments where his talent earned him a place in the South African national team before becoming the IMMAF Africa Open champion in 2017. Later that year, the kid from crime-ridden Diepsloot took his first-ever flight abroad to the birthplace of BRAVE Combat Federation – The Kingdom of Bahrain.
There, Ndebele competed in the IMMAF World Championships, a huge experience that helped Nkosi on his way to becoming Africa’s number-one ranked amateur. At that stage, BRAVE CF had endeavored to build a scouting program committed to developing MMA in Africa, and Ndebele was the perfect candidate. He then transitioned onto the professional circuit and flourished under the BRAVE Combat Federation banner.
Ndebele made his professional MMA debut at the BRAVE CF 19 event in South Africa against Ahmed Faress – who had a record of 14 and 2 at the time. Ndebele showed glimpses of his greatness as he overcame his much-more experienced opponent in round one, and that was the moment “The Future” realized he wanted to build a career in MMA.
In seven fights, his only loss came in his second professional fight when he went up a weight class to face a more experienced opponent and a black belt jiu-jitsu practitioner with a record of 6-3. Ndebele has been untouchable since dominating with four knockouts and two decision victories, with his only loss remaining the one at Featherweight. Under BRAVE CF, Ndebele has fought in his native South Africa, as well as Brazil, Bahrain, and Indonesia.
At BRAVE CF 70, ”The Future” will represent Africa on European soil for the first time. In Slovenia, he has the biggest opportunity of his life. But no matter the outcome of his co-main event bout against ”Shorty” Torres, it’s safe to say Nkosi Ndebele is already a winner.