As the final addition to the EFC AFRICA 08 fight card, Ruan ‘Fangzz’ Potts’ inclusion sent ripples through the heavyweight pool. Potts made quite an impression at EFC AFRICA 07, scoring a swift technical knockout victory and sending an undeniable message to those in his way but, with only a few weeks to prepare for EFC AFRICA 08, will Potts be able to keep his momentum going?
“Good old EFC AFRICA seems to like giving me time to prepare for my fights! Last time it was 2,5 weeks, this time it’s 3 weeks. At least I get a few more days each time. When I got the call for EFC AFRICA 08 I was preparing for the Abu Dhabi championship, essentially the Olympics of BJJ. It’s a very prestigious competition, so I had to make a difficult choice before pulling out. EFC AFRICA wanted me to fight again and in terms of the sport of MMA and my career moving forward, EFC AFRICA was the best choice. However, going from pure BJJ to MMA meant I had to change my focus and training completely. Fortunately I have great support at Dragon Power so I’m confident I’ll be ready, and I’ll be in better condition than I was at EFC AFRICA 07.”
Potts headlined an EFC AFRICA show and made his EFC AFRICA debut on the same night, a remarkable feat and testament to his incredible record (now 11 wins, 0 losses). Even more remarkable is that he’s able to keep a level head despite the hype surrounding his EFC AFRICA future. “I haven’t had anyone recognise me in the street and run up for autographs so I’m pretty much taking the attention I do get in stride. People are starting to realise that I’m more than just a martial arts coach though. My students knew I was good, but they didn’t fully realise the level I was at. Still, I’m a believer that you’re only as good as your last fight, so we’ll have to wait and see how the next one goes before getting too excited.”
At EFC AFRICA 08, Potts will take on DRC’s Baygon Obutobe, a fighter who makes his EFC AFRICA debut and is relatively unknown outside of his home country. “I’ve heard a couple of stories from people that have googled him and tried to find out, although the stories change a lot! I’m not sure how much MMA experience he has but apparently he’s got a background in kyokushin karate, judo, amateur boxing and maybe even wrestling. I don’t know anything about his fighting style and there’s nothing on youtube, so I’m going into this fight knowing only that he’s about the same height and weight as me.”
Even though he faces the unknown, Potts will have a lot of support going into this fight, both from his students and from fans flocking to their nearest Nu Metro cinema. “Many of my students have indicated that they will watch the event at Nu Metro Canal Walk or Grandwest, I know I’d go if I didn’t have to fight at the event! There’s a lot of interest in the Nu Metro shows and I’m sure it’s going to be great seeing all the action on the big screen.”
EFC Africa 08 takes place at the Carnival City Big Top Arena on 14 April 2011. Tickets are on sale now at Computicket. Book Nu Metro tickets at www.numetro.co.za