CAPE TOWN – Some fighters manage or choose their battles carefully, some would say they’re business-minded, and some would say they’re fearful.
Then you get some fighters who don’t care who they fight – they just want to get into the hexagon and scrap, whether it’s money-motivation or “for the glory”, as Kanye West once said.
Fafa Dwama is cut from the latter cloth.
The flyweight dynamo has opted to move up a division for now (bantamweight) just to chase his dream.
You can ask any fighter, but dropping a division, or going up a division, and exiting your comfort zone is no easy feat.
What’s even more admirable (some would say it’s crazy) is the fact that Dwama has signed a contract to step into the hexagon with one of the toughest men in the EFC bantamweight division, Sylvester Chipfumbu.
“Fafa hasn’t fought since last year (EFC75 in November), he is hungry, and this is the only fight he could get now,” says coach Fidaah Edries ahead of the DRC fighter’s bout at EFC80 on Saturday night.
“Fafa (3-1) needs to be active, the EFC presented this opportunity, and I asked him if he is willing, and he said ‘Let’s go’.”
Dwama pulled off a split-decision victory over Themba Mkhize at Grand West, Cape Town last year. And it was also a particularly special day for him, as it was his child’s birthday.
Tonight, at Carnival City, he will be looking to celebrate another special moment should he overcome the tough and streetwise Chipfumbu (5-1).
“Sylvester is a good fight for him. He was previously a title contender, he fought former flyweight king ZuluBoy (Nkazimulo Zulu) and Fafa wants to get acknowledged,” Ederies said.
“He does not want to fight no-names anymore, he wants to fight athletes at the top of the division so that he can be a title contender, and prove why he is the best in his division.
“And that is what he will be doing and achieving with this fight. We don’t take anything away from Sylvester, but Fafa is fully prepared for this fight.
“We know how Sylvester fights, so we trained for him.
“Fafa is excited and can’t wait to stamp his authority as a contender in the flyweight division,” added Edries.
Dwama is a strong close-quarter athlete – his awkwardly small (1.71m) but tough and strong frame complements his judo – and is matched up against a taller (1.75m) long-reaching karate student of the game.
Chipfumbu loves keeping the fight at range as it speaks to his karate background, but his coaching team (Themba Gorimbo and Demarte Pena) are well-versed on the ground.
Edries, too, is an excellent striking coach, and Dwama would have polished up his standing game since joining Fighterz Inc.
Nkazimulo Zulu, the flyweight who reigned over the division for a long time, recently lost his belt to the brash and grafting Englishman, Jake Hadley.
Zulu’s long-standing undefeated streak (five wins with title) and the fact that his fight with Hadley went to a decision has almost guaranteed him a rematch.
Regardless of what happens there, today’s fight between Dwama and Chipfumbu could open up the new contender slot for the Fighterz Inc athlete.
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Tonight’s Main Card (8pm)
McLennan v Lesar (Interim Middleweight Championship)
Fiorot v Geugjes (The Fighter Finale)
Delafiedl v El (Lightweight bout)
Cronjé v Mongambi (Bantamweight bout)
Prelim Card (5pm)
Chipfumbu v Dwama (Bantamweight bout)
Djikasa v J Strydom (Heavyweight bout)
Sanchez v Kasanda (Lightweight bout)
T Strydom v Jones (Lightweight bout)
Mangala v Richards (Lightweight bout)
Prelim Card: 5pm, Delayed streams on the official EFC Facebook page.
Main card: 8pm, SuperSport 11 (Sub-Saharan Africa) Live
9pm: SABC 3, South Africa, delayed live