CAPE TOWN – People of Wakanda! It’s time to stand up and get behind your warrior, Dalcha Lungiambula.
That was the message emanating across all social media platforms for the last couple of weeks as the Light Heavyweight champion prepares to step into the Hexagon with the alpha male of the EFC, Andrew van Zyl.
The theme of Wakanda, originates from Marvel Comics. It is written as a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa (The same geographical area which is home to Dalcha’s beloved DRC). In the Marvel Comics world, it is the most prominent of several African nations and home to the
world-renowned superhero, Black Panther.
Dalcha and his media team have been very vocal and proactive in getting his fellow Wakandans behind him when he faces off with Andrew, another superhero of the MMA world and the Extreme Fighting Championship.
In what has been dubbed the biggest super fight in the South African promotion’s history, MMA fans will get their tickets and TV licence’ worth (if you pay yours, that is!) when these two giants of the game go toe-to-toe at EFC71 at Carnival City tomorrow night.
“I want to do my country, Africa and my fans proud,” says Dalcha ahead of his battle for the Heavyweight belt and a chance to own two titles.
But Dalcha says it’s not about owning two belts that drives him.
“It’s more about the challenge of a worthy opponent. It is also good for Martial Arts development as fighters from different backgrounds come together. Two champions facing each other is a draw card and good for the game and for the fans.
“I always push myself to be a true champion and winning this fight will prove that I’m the True Champion,” says Dalcha as he pays respect to the three-time heavyweight champion, Andrew.
It is clear that Dalcha understands the value of going up a weight division and overcoming an MMA icon such as Andrew.
The man’s record speaks for itself, with 19 wins (two of which have gone the distance) and only 3 losses.
Van Zyl’s rock-hard jaw, stamina and technical acumen is something to be desired. He is called ‘One Gear’, truthfully, I don’t know the real reason for this, but I can only deduce it’s because of his constant endurance and his ability to maintain composure and the same level of fight throughout, be it five or three rounds.
And Dalcha knows that he will have to muster up all the fight he can in this five-round championship fight.
Just yesterday (today for online), at the weigh-in, Dalcha weighed in at 97.6kg, while Andrew stated that Dalcha will need to come up to at least 105 to handle the weight, aside from everything else the ‘One Gear’ will bring.
But the secret about Dalcha Lungiambula, is his unpredictability. He has been the underdog on a few betting cards before upsetting a number of gamblers when he flipped the script against names such as Bahati, Baudot and Austin. And up till today, he only has one blemish on his fight history.
So don’t be surprised if causes a few upsets on the Keith Ho BetXchange cards tomorrow night.
“There is no pressure, this is the same as any fight,” says Dalcha who actually has less to lose as it’s only Andrew’s belt on the line.
“One Gear is slow, it will be good to finish the fight early, but I am prepared to go all the way too.”
Dalcha’s explosive power could stand him in good stead if he utilises it accurately and sparingly in this heavyweight bout. His high-class Judo too should have a strong presence if he aims to prevent Andrew from landing those heavy hands and points.
This fight will be a display of various dynamics at play, and if Dalcha passes the guard of Andrew in an explosive attack, I do believe we will a new Black Panther arise and script befitting of new Marvel Comic blockbuster.
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Main Card bouts – 21:30 CAT (live on SABC3)
Andrew van Zyl vs Dalcha Lungiambula
Nkazimulo Zulu vs Magno Alves
Steven Goncalves vs Luthando Biko
Cedric Doyle vs Trezegeut Kanyinda
Pietie Coxen vs Conrad Seabi
Prelim Bouts – 17:30 CAT (Live broadcast on the EFC Facebook Page)
Anicet Kanyinda vs Sindile Manengela
Billy Oosthuizen vs Jasen van der Merwe
TC Khusu vs Warren King
Marcel Els vs Rocky Ilunga
Mark Kamba vs Elvis Ngwalangwala
Fafa Dwama vs Asiashu Tshitamba
Mutuale Basambamba vs Hein Pavier