CAPE TOWN - Regis Muyambo received his ‘tough’ stripes at an early age in his professional fighting career.
From living up to the hype in his amateur days, he got thrown in at the deep end when he stepped into the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) Hexagon.
“I’ve been testing myself against the best, people might criticise me for my record, but it’s not about your record, but about who you fought,” he says.
Truer words could not have been spoken. Like in any sport, it’s about the enjoyment, the thrill and competing against the best that makes the heart beat with joy. The concept of testing your ability and the potential of learning and growing and sending endorphins through fans and spectators that is what it’s all about.
And when it comes to pitting your skills against the toughest names in your business, Regis has that box ticked. Names such as Don Madge - now in the world-famous Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion, Igeu Kabesa, and Armand Scheepers, all fights that can only stand a fighter in good stead in the MMA and EFC business, win or lose.
“Im glad I faced adversity at such a young age, you start appreciating the sport and people around you,” says Regis ahead of his lightweight bout with Roedie Roets at EFC 68 at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Saturday.
“I had a lot of hype in my amateur career, coming up as professional, those two wins at the beginning to facing top athletes at the start, I don’t think I was mature enough and truly ready to face all those things, it’s not just fighting that you have to worry about, it’s life too that comes into play. Now I feel like I’m more rounded, I can balance things out a lot better,” he says.
For some reason, Muyambo’s path to where he is now seems to be one that Roets could journey upon too.
The man who is still fairly new in the EFC, has also been tipped for greatness having entered the Hexagon with an impressive amateur career, just like Regis.
Roets carries a 100% finish rate in his pro career and is a world-renowned wrestler who has represented South Africa on the international stage. He trains and fights out of the FFM gym in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.
He overcame Ewaldt Botha and Keagan Wroots in the Fightstar promotion before making his EFC debut with a win over Warren Richards at EFC 64 on the Prelim card.
He now faces a man who says he is in great shape considering all the challenges he has overcome - which includes being ill ahead of his last three fights.
“People have given this guy lots of respect and a lot of hype, he is a great athlete and wrestler, but not true MMA fighter yet,” says Muyambo.
“I feel I have a lot more tools and skills and things that I can use and show him that he hasn’t seen before,” says the wiser, more grizzled and mature Silverback MMA fighter who is known for his slick kickboxing and aggressive wrestling.
Muyambo has amassed an impressive eleven fights in the Hexagon at the age of only 23 and he is looking for his third straight victory after overcoming Sindile Manengela at EFC 65.
“I’ve been able to push through adversity of training camps and illness and I still fought my heart out, now imagine when I fight fit, healthy and strong," he said. “I am excited that they have given me a shot on the main card and I’m looking forward to giving the Cape Town fans a good show.
“With no disrespect to anybody, I am coming fully focused on the task at hand which is beating Roedie. Lots of respect to his FFM camp, they come with good gameplans and try and make the fight clean and easy, but I’m here to make it dirty and mess up their plans, so Roedie, regardless of what division, he is leaving with a loss.”