Johannesburg - Say what you like about the Extreme Fighting Championship, but the African-based promotion has been a feeder system for some of the world’s most exciting and talented mixed martial artists.
It has recently been announced that former EFC light heavyweight champion, Simon Biyong (7-2) will face former EFC light heavyweight and heavy top contender, Stuart Austin’s (15-7) teammate and friend, Luke Trainer (5-0) in Bellator.
While still an amateur, Trainer travelled with Austin to Pretoria to help prepare and corner him for a fight against one of Africa’s mixed martial arts pioneers and former EFC Heavyweight champion, Andrew van Zyl (16-5) in 2018.
One day before that fight, Independent Media and MzansiMMA interviewed Trainer who could not wait to introduce himself to the professional MMA world.
Despite hinting that he would not be opposed to the idea of stepping into the EFC hexagon, it did not come to fruition, nonetheless, the man navigated his way and made his pro debut three months later in the Rise of Champions promotion up in Romford, England.
Fast forward to seven unbeaten fights later, Trainer is now making a name for himself in one of the world’s most popular promotions, Bellator.
His latest win came over former EFC Middleweight champion, Yannick Bahati (9-6) via elbows in the second round at Bellator 267.
Come May 13, the 198cm and 93 kilogram Trainer will be up against another tank-of-a-man in the form of Francis Ngannou’s countryman, Biyong - who shares the same height, but slightly heavier than Trainer.
With England’s Trainer having the homeground advantage at the OVO Arena Wembley in London, Cameroon’s Biyong, currently based in Genova, Italy, will look to silence the home-town fans and curb Trainer’s fast-rising star in the promotion.
A win over Trainer will also bode well for Biyong especially after losing to Christian Edwards (4-0) at Bellator 261 in June last year.
The card which takes place on May 13, 2022, will be headlined by Welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov (26-0) who defends his title against the hometown hero, Michael Page (20-1).