(R-L) Adrian Sanchez punches Serge Kasanda during EFC 80 Fight Night at Carnival City on June 29, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Anton Geyser/EFC
(R-L) Adrian Sanchez punches Serge Kasanda during EFC 80 Fight Night at Carnival City on June 29, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Anton Geyser/EFC

EFC85 postponed amid Covid-19 lockdown measures

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – EFC85 has now officially been postponed until further notice.

This has come after South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa last night announced a countrywide 21-day lockdown - starting on Thursday midnight, March 26 until April 16 - in an effort to curb and control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The virus - which is a disease causing respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing, has had devastating effects on the world thus far killing more than 16 000 people across the globe, leaving President Ramaphosa with no choice but to make only essential services available across the country.

In a bid to battle the virus, the Extreme Fighting Championship - who had initially planned a return to the Grand Arena, Cape Town for EFC85 after being away for more than a year - then moved the event to their Performance Institute in Paulshof, Gauteng, set to take place on April 4th.

These efforts were in support of President Ramaphosa’s first orders that gatherings of more than 100 people will be “prohibited”.

After thousands of events across the globe - including sporting events - were called off or postponed, EFC85 is one of the latest to get in line. 

“In these extraordinary circumstances, everyone needs to adapt and play their part. This unfortunately means the postponement of EFC 85 until further notice,” says EFC President, Cairo Howarth.

“MMA athletes are the most resilient in the world, and EFC will host live events again as soon as it is safe and possible. All the best to everyone during this time, and we look forward to more of the best MMA again soon,” added Howarth.

For firecracker-fighter, Adrian Sanchez, health and safety is all that matters right now.

“Look, I am disappointed, as I was looking forward to getting into the cage,” says Adrian (1-1) who was set to fight Elvis Ngwalangwala in a lightweight bout at EFC85.  

“At the end of the day, our health and safety is first priority, and that is what we should be focusing on right now. Once this is over, all will go back to normal,” says the lightweight prospect who's been tipped as a future star of on the EFC roster and beyond.

Adrian says that the climate has been a challenging one considering the closure of various places including gyms etc., but that he has improvised in the meantime.

“For me personally, I have set up my own training facility at home, so I've got all I need to continue training. It takes getting used to obviously, but what can you do? I am sure every fighter is going through some sort of difficulty or change.

In terms of salary in the fight game, it has not been too much of a burden on Sanchez, however, he understands the difficulty ahead for some of his fighting-colleagues.

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“I am working from home, so I am very grateful for my situation”, says the social media and online specialist.

“The lack of fighting is not going to impact my salary too much ... I am fortunate enough to say that.

“I know that there are less-fortunate guys who are going to feel it, those who rely on sponsors and fights, and those who are bouncers (with all clubs and places being closed down).

“But the EFC will come back, there is nothing to worry about, the card for EFC85 is almost full, and the event will just be pushed back by a month. We hope the best for everybody, we keep our heads down, and we keep praying, and God will see us through,” added Sanchez.

According to the Department of Health’s Twitter post, as of this morning, there were 554 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 153 new cases. 

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