One of the most anticipated fights at EFC AFRICA 10 features Tyron Rightford, who made his EFC AFRICA debut at EFC AFRICA 09. With just one fight behind him, he’s come under the spotlight thanks to the genuine tension between him and his next opponent, Paul Terblanche. When Rightford dropped into the office with training partner Clinton Nel, we asked for his thoughts on the impending encounter on 1 September.
How is fight preparation going?
Very well, I’ve been putting a lot of time into boxing, jits and strength work lately, although it’s a similar training camp to the one I had for my last fight, just with a lot more boxing and more intensity. My coaches have really been pushing me.
How was your first EFC AFRICA fight against Tez Makuebo?
My first EFC was an interesting experience! The crowd freaked me out and as I walked to the cage I was nervous because I was so eager to win and impress everyone. Me and Tez had a good fight, it was awesome! Well not the first round so much because I got stuck in that scarf hold. It was a bad position to be in even though I wasn’t getting hurt. I knew that if I panicked I could have been in trouble, so I stayed calm and got through it to bang in the later rounds. I was happy to win but I wasn’t too proud of my performance. I felt I could have knocked him out, but he had great judo which made his ground work better than I expected.
You and your next opponent, Paul Terblanche, have been exchanging words online, how did it all start?
In a previous EFC interview Paul said that I had ‘no strength and some karate,’ and that hit a nerve. After watching my last fight I think it’s clear that I’ve got strength, and after 18 years and 3 world titles I think I have more than some karate.
How does it feel to be the centre of attention after just one fight?
Well my aim was always to get noticed at EFC, but I admit it’s happened quicker than I thought it would.
What advantages do you have over Paul?
I have a lot of advantages over Paul the bodybuilder. My stamina, speed and experience give me an edge in this fight. I’ve also got skill; he’s a brawler, I’m a fighter. Finally, I’ve got heart. I’m not the type of guy to give up to foot stomps.
What have you been up to outside of training lately?
Nolan, Clint and I went down to Cape Town for Clint’s fight a few weeks ago. It was great, Clint won and we did some training at Dragon Power with Quentin Chong and his team. While we were in town we even had supper with a few of Paul’s mates, which was interesting.