PRETORIA – “Champion Dalcha is scared of me, and he will never fight me again.” These are the words of England’s Stuart Austin (12-5).
I am sure none of you forgot that controversial night when everybody thought Stuart had the light heavyweight champion’s number.
In what ended in one of the biggest comeback victories for Dalcha in the history of MMA, Stuart had Dalcha trapped on the canvas, as he laid into him with a ground and pound for an extended period of time without referee Ferdi Basson calling a stop to the fight in round one.
Following Dalcha’s miraculous comeback in round two which saw the fight end in exactly the same manner it played out in round one (only this time it was Stuart eating leather), thousands of fans and critics across the globe spoke out in disbelief which led to Basson releasing a statement explaining his decision.
Basson’s explained that various factors such as time left in the round and Stuart’s accuracy played a role in him not calling the bout in round one in favour of Stuart.
Fast forward to EFC76, and now all that Stuart is focused on is one Andrew van Zyl.
“I am not really not bothered what happens after this fight, AVZ (Van Zyl) is the toughest fight for me at the moment and it’s my only concern,” says the dangerous judo specialist.
“He has a strong skill set and is a tough old warhorse, but I can see the holes in his game and I am hoping to take advantage of them,” adds Stuart who must have taken close note of the former heavyweight champion’s last two fights particularly, which saw him struggle against Jared Vanderaa before losing his title to Stuart’s former rival Dalcha.
“I don’t care whether Andrew (19-4) wants to retire or get his title back, he is coming for victory He seems like a nice guy, but nice guys finish last. And I do think I can beat Andrew from any position. That said, I think he thinks the same. It is safe to say this one will be a banger.”
This heavyweight bout will be boosted by another big matchup between Jared and the EFC legend Ruan Potts who both fight it out for the interim heavyweight title.
A win for Stuart will most certainly get him into title conversations for the near future. The fight will take place on the main card of EFC76.
EFC76 takes place on Saturday live from Time Square, Menlyn Maine, Pretoria.
Tickets are on sale at computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast delayed live on SABC 3.
This copy is co-sponsored by Capital Hotels and Apartments.