CAPE TOWN – The EFC’s lightweight division will enter a new era on Saturday night as the division’s best square off in fights with massive implications.
After years of domination by Don Madge, Leon Mynhardt and more recently,Dave Mazany, the lightweight strap will find itself around the waist of a new owner by the time proceedings come to a close at Grandwest.
Former welterweight title challenger Martin van Staden can ensure the belt stays in South Africa by seeing off Liverpool’s Gavin Hughes in the main event, while Las Vegas-based former champion Mazany and South African MMA pioneer Chris Bright square off in a bout that could be considered a number one contender match.
Both match-ups were made official on Friday afternoon after all four athletes successfully made weight, and later faced off in front of a loud, excited crowd not too far from where the cage that will serve as their battleground on Saturday.
While Mazany and Bright were paragons of good sportsmanship at their face-off, greeting each other with a double high-five as they closed in, the tension was more palpable when Van Staden and Hughes stepped on stage, and the pair were eventually separated after coming just a little too close.
The main card will feature one other lightweight bout, with Roedie Roets and Regis Muyambo – two young fighters who could be the future of the division – also attempting to climb their way to title contention.
Before the start of the lightweight action, Gary Joshua and Martin de Beer kick off the main card, and one-man highlight reel Faeez Jacobs takes on England’s Cal Ellenor in the bantamweight division.
EFC68 Undercard (starts at 5.30pm):
Luke Michael vs Francois Cundari
Luthando Biko vs Kevin Richards
Bruno Mukulu vs Torbjorn Madsen
Caleb Ridley vs August Kayambala
Juan Bezuidenhout vs Matunga Djikasa;
Wade Kerspuy vs Hishaam Kamish
Robo Ambamba vs Justin Smith