Andrew van Zyl (left) and Dalcha Lungiambula stare each other down in the weigh-in ahead of their much anticipated EFC fight. Photo: @EFCWorldwide via Twitter
People of Wakanda, it’s time to stand up and get behind your warrior, Dalcha Lungiambula. That was the message emanating from across social media platforms for the last couple of weeks as the EFC light-heavyweight champion prepares to step into the hexagon with the alpha male of the EFC, heavyweight champ Andrew van Zyl, at Carnival City east of Joburg tonight.

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 Lungiambula's beloved DR Congo). In the Marvel Comics world, it is the most prominent of several African nations and home to the world-renowned superhero, Black Panther.

Lungiambula and his media team have been very vocal and proactive in getting his fellow Wakandans behind him when he faces off with Van Zyl, 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 money's worth when these two giants go toe-to-toe.

“I want to do my country, Africa and my fans proud,” says Lungiambula ahead of his battle for the heavyweight belt and a chance to own two titles. But he 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. I always push myself to be a true champion and winning this fight will prove that I’m the True Champion,” he adds, at the same paying respect to the three-time heavyweight champion, Van Zyl.

It is clear Lungiambula understands the value of going up a weight division and overcoming an MMA icon such as Van Zyl. The man’s record speaks for itself, with 19 wins (two of which have gone the distance) and only three 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 throughout a fight.

And Lungiambula knows that he will have to muster up all he can in this five-round match-up. 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 up until today, he only has one blemish on his fight history.

“There is no pressure, this is the same as any fight,” says Lungiambula who actually has less to lose as it’s only Van Zyl'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.”

Lungiambula's explosive power could stand him in good stead if he utilises it accurately and sparingly in this heavyweight bout.

This fight will be a display of various dynamics at play, and if Lungiambula passes the guard of Van Zyl in an explosive attack, I do believe we will see a new Black Panther arise and a script befitting of a new Marvel Comic blockbuster.

Saturday Star

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter