CAPE TOWN – Cheyanne Vlismas will take on a new venture this weekend when she fights for an interim strawweight belt in Canada’s BTC FIGHT promotion on Saturday.
The BTC6 Night of Champions event will see the girlfriend of EFC bantamweight champion JP Buys take on a tough opponent in the form of Lindsay Garbatt.
“My opponent is an experienced former world boxing champion. I have nothing but respect for her,” says Cheyanne, who flew up from Mzansi this week.
“I am feeling very excited about this fight. Never have I been more comfortable in my capabilities considering that I have been training for a five-round battle since January. But no fights were falling through,” says Cheyanne, referring to her recent battles with the Extreme Fighting Championship.
After failed negotiations with the African promotion, she was released from the organisation before protesting on social media, angling her disappointment and frustration toward the EFC, who tabled a “disgusting” purse payout for her second fight in the organisation against now EFC strawweight champion Karolina Wojcik.
In her EFC debut, Cheyanne (2-1) beat Karolina (4-1) in a closely-contested fight in 2018.
She was then set to take on Italy’s Chiara Penco (4-1) for the strawweight title.
In a late change, American Cheyanne withdrew due to medical complications which saw Karolina step in. Karolina then stole the hearts of the fans when she took Chiara’s belt back to Poland.
After their dramatic fight, Karolina and Cheyanne were always set to face-off once more, and when the EFC set it up, that is when things went awry.
In an exclusive interview with Independent Media, Cheyanne stated: “My first fight with them (EFC), I made $900 (about R13 000) to show, and $900 to win off of a third short-notice fight.
“Now they have offered me $1 060 (about R15 500) to show and $1 060 to win for a five-round main event title fight, against the girl whom I’ve beaten already.
“Fellow EFC owner Calvin Howarth said he would not negotiate my purse. He said this is the only offer, and that Karolina was the only fight I could take.
“They said that later down the road if I took another fight with them against a different girl, they would pay me less, and that what I made in my first fight with them, and they would put me on the prelims.
“That is when I asked them to release me because I was not asking for much from them, and they wouldn’t even negotiate with me.
“In my releasement letter, they stated that I would not be allowed to fight in any other Mixed Martial Arts promotion in Africa. I don’t understand how that is being ‘released’.
“The EFC is not in good hands, it’s sad, because they have a beautiful promotion.
“They should stop worrying about all the fancy things and focus on making their fighters happy.
“How is it that they have signed various television deals and just built a brand new EFC performance institute, yet they can’t give us the money we deserve. They want us to sell tickets from our purse money. I told them I am not a salesperson, I am a fighter.”
In response to Cheyanne’s concerns and complaints, EFC matchmaker Graeme Cartmell simply stated: “No comment. We would rather focus on currently signed EFC athletes. Best of luck to Cheyanne in all her future endeavours.”
View this post on Instagram
🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 . 1 week till I’m on my flight to 🇨🇦 Unfortunately found out last week the champ @rayanneamanda1 is out with a injury. Luckily @lindsaygarbatt was quick to jump on it🙏🏼 12 days till we meet and 13 days till we put on a show for you Canada! . #teamwarriorprincess #myopponenthasniceabs . Any sponsors that would like to get on board I do have spots available. Just send me a message. 🙏🏼 Thank you @btcfight for this opportunity. ✨
A post shared by Cheyanne Vlismas (@cheywarprincess) on
Inside sources from the EFC, however, stated: “Cheyanne agreed to fight for the title against Chiara for a certain purse. She then pulled out, and Karolina took her place on very short notice.
“Cheyanne then refused to compete for the same purse she agreed to compete for previously, and if any athlete pulls out of a bout, they will most likely not be offered more money the next time they compete.
“It is perfectly fair to be offered the same purse as previously agreed upon. Finances, objectives and opportunities were discussed openly with Cheyanne, we are surprised that she seems not to understand.
“Some of her teammates earn around R100 000 to compete at EFC. Some have been offered more.
“She was not offered this much, and she is clearly not happy about that.
“Athletes also value the earning potential that they can get from sponsors when they compete in the EFC. Often sponsorship income is more than what athletes receive in purse from the EFC.
“At her request, Cheyanne has been released to compete anywhere outside of Africa. Clearly, EFC did not threaten to not allow her to compete elsewhere.”
Cheyanne added: “I want to thank the EFC for giving me a platform to do what I love. I know my worth, and I will never settle for anything less. It’s a shame we didn’t work things out.
“To Cairo (Howarth, EFC president) and Graeme, you guys have been nothing but nice to me, and I appreciate that.
“I wish I got to speak to them before things went bad. I will still be supporting their shows, as I am a South African now.”
Earlier this year, EFC president Cairo Howarth stated that 2019 is the “year of growth” for the promotion.
The promotion has signed various deals with broadcasters such as SuperSport, SABC, TV Zimbo, UBC and STV.