EFC AFRICA Welterweight Championship
Johannesburg (South Africa) – Fight fans converged on Johannesburg’s Carnival City for the weigh-in event of EFC AFRICA 29 today, taking place at the same venue tomorrow night.
EFC AFRICA 29 features a tightly stacked card of 11 bouts between 22 of Africa’s most skilled mixed martial artists, all of whom faced-off today.
The crowd roared for Johannesburg local and welterweight champion Dino Bagattin, who defends his belt against the Nigerian Henry Fadipe tomorrow night – Fadipe living and training in Ireland.
The stare down between the two men was ominous, the mood of the room growing perceptively colder as the two locked eyes. Fadipe had been baiting the champion by any means over the last weeks, the champ taking it all good naturedly, until today.
“Fadipe came to my country, to my gym, to take my belt. It’s showtime!” Shouted the champion afterward.
Fadipe appeared in a full length lion costume, a final dig at the champion’s fight name ‘The Lion’, but despite his confidence missed the welterweight cutoff by 200g. He had two hours to cut the weight, which he did with ease.
Brendon Katz and Barend Nienaber battle for the featherweight number one contender spot tomorrow night, and drew the crowd in with an intense promo video before their appearance.
“He gets to choose where he’s going to lose this fight,” said Katz. “Standing or on the ground, it’s all the same to me.”
“I’m coming with aggression,” countered Nienaber. “I will be taking this fight.”
Former middleweight champion Jeremy Smith, who begins a return campaign to the belt tomorrow when he faces former welterweight champion Michiel Opperman, revealed a new breed of beast with a tightly shredded physique.
“I’m fit, and I’m ready,” said Smith after. “I want my rematch with the champ [Garreth McLellan].”
Standout moments further down the card were the brutal intent shown by Mark Hulme who battles Morne Prinsloo tomorrow, local favourite Gordon Roodman making his EFC AFRICA debut, and the sensational return of Dewald Botes. Botes last fought at super heavyweight and has cut a phenomenal 34kg to hit the 120kg heavyweight mark for his battle with the DRC’s Ricky Misholas.
“The last time I weighed this was in matric,” said a grinning Botes after. Botes expects to put 10kg’s back on before his bout tomorrow, meaning he will have a massive advantage over the lighter Misholas.
Three athletes failed to make weight. Henry Fadipe was 200g’s over, and has subsequently cut the weight. Alex Cheboub was 850g over at 70.85kg, and will compete with a purse deduction instead of cutting further weight. Pietie Coxen was also 850g over, and will also compete with a purse deduction instead of cutting further weight.
EFC AFRICA 29 Weigh-in results were as follows:
Bout 1 : Featherweight bout
Mbulelo Swekile 65.50kg
Tyson Chelin 65.75kg
Bout 2 : Lightweight bout
Pietie Coxen 70.85kg (Coxen will compete with a purse deduction)
Saxon Delafield 70.00kg
Bout 3 : Welterweight bout
Pupanga Tresor 76.80kg
Gordon Roodman 77.00kg
Bout 4 : Heavyweight bout
Dewald Botes 119.50kg
Ricky Misholas 109.80kg
Bout 5 : Welterweight bout
Mark Hulme 76.90kg
Morne Prinsloo 76.85kg
Bout 6 : Featherweight bout
Francois Groenewald 62.85kg
Leo Gloss 63.95kg
Bout 7 : Featherweight bout
Peter Nyide 65.05kg
Gareth Buirski 65.80kg
Bout 8 : Lightweight bout
Alexander Cheboub 70.85kg (Cheboub will compete with a purse deduction.)
Wade Groth 68.80kg
Bout 9 : Middleweight bout
Jeremy Smith 82.95kg
Michiel Opperman 83.30kg
Bout 10 : Featherweight bout
Brendon Katz 66.00kg
Barend Nienaber 65.60kg
Bout 11 : Welterweight championship bout
Dino Bagattin 76.90kg
Henry Fadipe 77.00kg
EFC AFRICA 29, presented by BetXchange.com, takes place on Thursday, 01 May 2014 at the Carnival City Big Top Arena, Johannesburg. Tickets are on sale now at www.computicket.com. Book your cinema ticket at www.sterkinekor.com. Watch the entire event live, from anywhere on the globe, via online streaming at efcafrica.tv.