Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Darren Daniel says he is fit and ready for a tough bout against Jeremy Smith for the middleweight title at the 17th edition of Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) Africa.

“The way I look at it, Jeremy is standing in the way of my dream and on Friday [today] I will be achieving my dream of being the middleweight champion,” Daniel said during the weigh-in at Carnival City yesterday.

“I have been training for this moment since I was 12 years old and I am just happy to be here and give it my all.”

Daniel, who defeated Tyron Rightford at EFC 15, heads into the fight having won his last two bouts, while title holder Smith is on a dominant nine-fight winning streak.

“I am in the best shape I’ve ever been. Every fighter has a style and I will be having a look at what he has been doing,” Daniel said.

“Let’s see what happens, but I want this more than him and I cannot wait to get out there and do the job.”

Daniel, considered the continent’s most explosive MMA fighter, felt confident he would walk away with the title and was expecting a stiff challenge from Smith, who would be eager to retain the belt.

In the night’s other title fight, undisputed lightweight champion Costa Ioannou would look to defend his belt, when he takes on Leon Mynhardt.

“I’ve worked on everything like I always do,” Ioannou said

“Leon’s a tough guy, but it’ll not happen for him. I’ve trained the best that I can and I will go there to impose my game.”

Ioannou said he was looking to pick up where he left off after he defeated Adam Speechly in five gruelling rounds at EFC 14.

“Leon has never faced anyone like me for five rounds,” Ioannou said.

“I don’t think it will last that long. I was the first person to defend my title successfully, the first person to defend it twice and I will be the first to defend it three times.” – Sapa