Johannesburg, South Africa – Carnival City played host to the EFC 71 weigh-in today, an event headlined by the gigantic inter-weight encounter between celebrated light heavyweight champion Champion Dalcha (8 – 1), and legendary EFC heavyweight champion, Andrew Van Zyl (19 – 3). Co-headlining is the flyweight title fight between the lethal champion, Nkazimulo Zulu (8-2-1), and Brazil’s Magno Alves (4-7), who steps in on just a week’s notice.
Dalcha’s incredible victory against England’s Stuart Austin has painted him as the hero capable of the impossible. Against the organisation’s heavyweight King, he is attempting the same feat once again.
Dalcha hit the scales today at a modest 97,6kg, in contrast to the monstrous 116,9kg Van Zyl brings to the fight. Carnival City’s Mardi Gras theatre hit fever pitch when the two faced-off for the final time. The normally mild mannered Van Zyl revealed the truth of what it takes to exist at the top of the heavyweigth pile, with a sneering march forward into the challenger’s face. Dalcha, pumped up high with the intensity of the chanting of his Congolese fans, stood his ground.
In the weight and experience stakes the fight seems a foregone conclusion in Van Zyl’s favour. But Dalcha has faced similar circumstances before, and shocked the world. The world waits for the first buzzer of Van Zyl vs Dalcha tomorrow night.
EFC flyweight champion Nkazimulo Zulu is lucky to have an opponent for tomorrow. After initial opponent BK Masunyane withdrew none would face him, but Brazil’s fearless ‘Popeye’, Magno Alves.
Alves sent his EFC fans a heartfelt message of thanks for the opportunity and the welcome, before staring down a truly terrifying champion. “I love you South Africa, but I came to get my belt,” Alves bellowed over the mic.
Alves is known for his all-round skill and plucky go-forward style, and, backed by a parade of tough battles fought across the globe, is undaunted by the champion’s reputation for sending opponents to hospital.
Both hit their flyweight mark, and are primed to deliver what could easily be tomorrow’s fight of the night.
Former multiple title contender Cedric Doyle returns after a two year layoff, stepping in against the Congo’s Trezegeut Kanyinda, ready to re-establish his title legitimacy. Both qualified for the 66kg featherweight mark, setting up a solid test for both men tomorrow.
Judo blackbelt Luthando Biko faces the undefeated Muay Thai stylist Steven Goncalves, in a bout that will put the winner in the division’s top five. Both hit the featherweight mark.
Apart from the heat of the heavyweight face-off, welterweights Pietie Coxen and Conrad Seabi stole the show. Seabi got right in the face of Coxen at Wednesday’s press conference, and security was on hand to defuse what was expected to be raucos meeting today.
As Seabi steamed in after his stint on the scale, Coxen stepped aside with a smile. Coxen laughed with the crowd while Seabi paced in fury. Expect bitter fire from these two tomorrow.
Three athletes failed to make weight. Debutant Pavier was 2kgs over, Jasen Van Der Merwe 1,9kg over his limit, and Marcel Els missed weight by 1,3kgs. All will compete under a financial penalty.
The official EFC 71 weigh-in results are as follows:
Fight 1: Welterweight
Hein Pavier 79.00kg
Mutuale Basambombo 76.20kg
Fight 2: Flyweight
Asiashu Tshitumbu 57.00kg
Fafa Dwama 56,70kg
Fight 3: Middleweight
Elvis Ngwalangwala 78,50kg
Mark Kamba 83,40kg
Fight 4: Featherweight
Rocky Ilunga 65,80kg
Marcel Els 67,5kg
Fight 5: Bantamweight
Warren King 63,90kg
TC Khusu 64.00kg
Fight 6: Bantamweight
Jasen van der Merwe 62,70kg
Billy Oosthuizen 61.00kg
Fight 7: Featherweight
Sindile Manenegela 65,70kg
Anicet Kanyeba 65,80kg
Fight 8: Welterweight
Pietie Coxen 76,70kg
Conrad Seabi 77.00kg
Fight 9: Featherweight
Trezegeut Kanyinda 64,9kg
Cedric Doyle 64,40kg
Fight 10: Featherweight
Luthando Biko 65,80kg
Steven Goncalves 65,70kg
Fight 11: Flyweight Title Fight
Magno Alves 57,00kg
Nkazimulo Zulu 56,90kg
Fight 12: Heavyweight Title Fight
Champion Dalcha 97,60kg
Andrew van Zyl 116,90kg
EFC 71 Van Zyl vs Dalcha, Zulu vs Alves is presented by Betxchange.com and takes place on Saturday 23 June live from Carnival City, Johannesburg. Tickets are on sale soon at computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on Kwesé Free Sports 1 (Kenya & Rwanda), Kwese TV (Sub-Saharan Africa) and live in South Africa on SABC 3 starting at 21:30 (CAT). Full broadcast details available on efcworldwide.com. Prelim fights will be available for free on the official EFC Facebook page.