EFC Legend JP Kruger and his student, Gift Walker. Photo: Supplied
EFC Legend JP Kruger and his student, Gift Walker. Photo: Supplied

Give me two years in the EFC, says Gift Walker ahead of debut

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Sep 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s professional mixed martial arts community will unveil one of the country’s most exciting prospects at EFC89 today.

Springs’ Gift Walker makes his much-anticipated walkout to the Extreme Fighting Championship hexagon at the EFC Performance Institute today in his debut fight against fellow countryman and debutant, Martin Gcinumkhondo in a Bantamweight bout on the prelim card in Johannesburg.

Gift was originally set to face Zwelibanzi Ngema, however, the latter was forced to pull out of his bout due to testing positive for the Covid-19 virus which saw Martin admirably step in as a replacement on weigh-in day.

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Gift has been under the tutelage of former EFC star, JP Kruger, honing his skills at the House of Tinkerbell.

The 21-year-old athlete steps into the professional arena with an impressive resume.

He has not only dominated the Mixed Martial Arts South Africa National Championships on a few occasions, but he too was set to compete at the World Championships prior to running into issues outside of his control with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

Gift has a solid foundation in the amateur scene, cutting his teeth against the likes of now-ranked EFC athletes - the perfect blueprint for an amateur in preparation for the big leagues.

His 8-4 record includes valuable experience gained against former amateurs including Cameron Saaiman (top ranked EFC bantamweight fighter) and Julio Plaatjies (EFC flyweight fighter).

Gift’s last second last fight in the amateur game saw him beat the very man he squares up with today. The only difference was, that fight was for the Alpha Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight title bout in February last year.

“I am still young, but I am bringing that experience. Don’t take my amateur experience for granted. The only difference between then and now is that I was not getting paid back then,” warns Gift.

“Give me two years in the EFC and I will wear gold around my waist. I will be the EFC champion. Two years from now, I will be getting paid in dollars, not rands anymore.”

The main event of the night will see African MMA stars Nkazimulo Zulu and Luthando Biko fight in what was set to be for the Flyweight championship.

Following a turn of events, only Luthando now stands a chance of wearing gold after Nkazimulo failed to make weight. Should Nkazimulo win, the title will remain vacant.

You can catch all the EFC 89 main card action on SuperSport, SABC Openview, EFCWORLDWIDE.TV (pay-per-view) and a host of African channels starting at 17:00. The prelims (14.30) are available on EFCWORLDWIDE.TV (pay-per-view).

Monthly membership to EFCWORLDWIDE.TV also offers access to the full fight library.

@JulianKiewietz

IOL Sport

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