Adrian Sanchez celebrates after defeating Christian Bobo at EFC 78 last year. Despite the national lockdown putting paid to his plans to enhance his ranking, Sanchez believes his goal to become a contender for the EFC lightweight title is still attainable.
Adrian Sanchez celebrates after defeating Christian Bobo at EFC 78 last year. Despite the national lockdown putting paid to his plans to enhance his ranking, Sanchez believes his goal to become a contender for the EFC lightweight title is still attainable.

Rayo: Way to the EFC top is pretty much there

By Julian Kieiwietz Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

Share this article:

CAPE TOWN – Despite having to shift his goal post a bit further back, the vision remains the same for mixed martial artist Adrian ‘Rayo’ Sanchez.

The Covid-19 pandemic has just about stalled many plans for millions this year with the world coming to a standstill. From businesses to sporting events, governments have implemented various lockdown measures to combat the spread of the virus.

But the man known as Rayo is prepared to bide his time until 2021 to complete his Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) mission, if necessary.

“My goal for 2020 was to get a lot of fights in, like four or five,” says Rayo (1-1) who last fought Serge Kasanda (4-4) at EFC80, losing in a split decision.

“I want to get enough fights in to be recognised as a contender for the lightweight title. Obviously half the year is gone, so that puts us all back a little bit. So I am pushing that goal for next year. I am not far from achieving that goal.

“I think a couple of fights will put me up there in the top ranks, I just need to pick the correct fights and then the way to the top is pretty much there,” he says.

The EFC lightweight division is pretty stagnant at the moment as champion Joe Cummins (6-1) and the promotion have yet to come to an agreement on when the Englishman can defend his title - if he ever will again with the current financial struggles the EFC are faced with.

There are some exciting players in the lightweight division.

There is the possibility of former champ Martin van Staden (26-11) returning, the dangerous Anicet Kanyeba (13-9) has been knocking long and hard for a title shot and Alain Ilunga (12-5) - easily the most dangerous man in the division.

And Rayo believes that he has what it takes to take on the division’s best and prove his stock value.

“I have already made a name for myself, I just need to beat the top guys (recognised names) and show them that I am obviously worth it.

“I know I am worth it, so I will put it up, for sure,” he says.

Rayo was set to face Elvis Ngwalangwala prior to the lockdown being implemented. He has confirmed that nothing new has been offered to him and that he is still keen on fighting Ngwalangwala (2-3).

“My fight with Elvis is still on the card according to Graeme (Cartmell, EFC vice president and matchmaker). We are supposed to be on the next card (prior to lockdown). I am sure they still have us there on the white board. I am looking forward to fighting Elvis, a good next step for me.”

Sanchez says that although the new Fight to Fame concept might not be on his radar right now, it still complements the combat sport climate.

“The idea of giving guys a chance to become stuntmen/actors for movies is pretty cool, I guess if that is what your goal is or what you will consider - to be a stuntman in movies and so forth,” he says of the reality show concept that aims to create Hollywood movie stars out of real-life combat sports athletes in South Africa and other countries across the globe.

Subscribe to the IOL Sport Newsletter!

Combat sport athletes enter a reality show where they will be subjected to several assessments including stunt work, acting training etc. The thriving contestants - with the help of voting fans - will get the chance to play roles in movies.

“For me, personally, it’s not really something I would consider doing for myself, because my goal and vision is a bit different. The idea is cool. I know a few peeps that are ‘stunties’, I have seen the choreography of the fighting, the jumping and action is pretty exciting.

Every fighter would love to get as much opportunity from the sport as possible, with the least amount of damage, so that they can live a long and comfortable life thereafter. But it’s not always like that, for some. So I guess, having another opportunity, another avenue (like Fight to Fame), then by all means, that is also good. There are many ways, it’s all in what you feel.

“Any chance to act in Hollywood for anybody in the world, is a big opportunity - if that is what your goal is then go for it.”

For information go to: www.fighttofame.com.

@juliankiewietz

 

IOL Sport

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Share this article:

Related Articles