Pretoria, South Africa – Weigh-ins for EFC 76 took place at Sun Arena, Time Square, Pretoria today. Italy’s Chiara Penco (4-0) takes on Poland’s Karolina Wójcik (3-1) in her first defense of her EFC women’s strawweight title, and South Africa’s two-time former EFC heavyweight champion Ruan Potts (11-6), returns to face American standout Jared Vanderaa (7-3), for the interim heavyweight title.
Penco hit social media early in the day suffering the effects of a brutal weight cut, but hit her 115lbs mark also, and rallied magnificently to take the stage at 14H00 Central African Time. Her opponent Wójcik steps into the bout via short notice entry, after former opponent Cheyanne Vlismas had to withdraw due to illness.
“Look, this should be happening, because I won my last fight,” said Wójcik, referring to her controversial split decision loss in a bout that is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest women’s encounters the EFC organisation has yet seen. “I will show everyone who I am. I hope she is ready for that,” Wójcik continued.
Penco, riding a massive publicity wave on the news that her bout will be broadcast live in Italy for the first time, replied with the confidence of a champion.
“Tomorrow you can expect to watch a great fight, and a new Chiara in the cage,” said Penco.
In the co-main slot, legendary two-time former EFC heavyweight champion Ruan Potts returns for a shot at his belt, in the wake of champion Dalcha Lungiambula preparing for a super fight. Potts has been sidelined for over a year due to injury, and addressed the issue.
“Everyone talks about the ring rust, I enjoy that,” said Potts. “We are in South Africa, my terriroty. The belt is coming home, where it deserves to be.”
American Vanderaa was his usual entertaining self, sporting a bow-tie and more interested in the health of commentator Cyrus Fees than answering questions on the fight.
“I don’t care for titles,” boomed the smiling American to laughs from the crowd. “I’m here to fight, what more do you want from me?”
On Potts’ home ground advantage, Vanderaa had something to add, however.
“He says this is his home town but I think we can both agree, I’m at home here too.” After his unforgettable title fight with former champ Van Zyl in the same venue, Vanderaa is indeed growing a rapport with EFC fans.
Chasing the heavyweight interim title is a second heavyweight encounter, and almost certainly the proving ground for the division’s next contender.
Three time champion Andrew van Zyl returns to face England’s Stuart Austin. Both have suffered defeats to wily heavy and light heavyweight champion Dalcha, and in their combined loss have a personal point to prove. Their bout is a standout on the card, especially considering that chances are high it will be Van Zyl’s swansong before retirement.
Another former champion returns at EFC 76, this time Durban’s Dallas Jakobi, former EFC welterweight champion, will enter the Hexagon after a five year hiatus. He faces the dangerous Mark Kamba at midddleweight.
Opening the main card, the blistering knock out artist Conrad Seabi meets Brazil’s José Da Rocha. Da Rocha took the bout on short notice and poses a massive threat to Seabi, who has been ultra-confident throughout the fight week build up.
As befitting the final event of the year, the full EFC 76 card boasts exceptional bouts from beginning to end.
Johannesburg’s Roedie Roets takes on Port Elizabeth’s Sindile Manengela in a massively anticipated bout. Both men have electrified their division, and their paths finally cross in Pretoria.
Cape Town’s Justin Smith makes his third Hexagon appearance after two blistering bouts earlier this year, and he clashes with the experienced Pietie Coxen. Fan favourite Tumisang Madiba returns against the undefeated Billy Oostheuizen, and former title contender Marino Cutendana takes on Durban’s Martin De Beer.
The official EFC 76 weigh-in results are as follows:
Fight 1: Featherweight
Amisi Kabeya 144.6lbs
Marcel Els 145lbs
Fight 2: Bantamweight
Orlando Machaba 135lbs
Devon Cronjé 134.8lbs
Fight 3: Bantamweight
Takunda Gorimbo 132lbs
Asiashu Tshitamba 132lbs
Fight 4: Middleweight
Roger Griffin 183.7lbs
Neil Du Plessis 183.8lbs
Fight 5: Bantamweight
Martin De Beer 132.9lbs
Marino Cutendana 134.5lbs
Fight 6: Bantamweight
Tumisang Madiba 135lbs
Billy Oosthuizen 133.4lbs
Fight 7: Welterweight
Justin Smith 168.8lbs
Pietie Coxen 170lbs
Fight 8: Featherweight
Roedie Roets 144.8lbs
Sindile Manengela 144.7lbs
Fight 9: Welterweight
Jose Da Rocha 170lbs
Conrad Seabi 170lbs
Fight 10: Middleweight
Dallas Jakobi 182.5lbs
Mark Kamba 184.1lbs
Fight 11: Heavyweight Fight
Stuart Austin 241lbs
Andrew Van Zyl 262.7lbs
Fight 12: Heavyweight Interim Title Fight
Jared Vanderaa 256lbs
Ruan Potts 264.3lbs
Fight 13: Women’s Strawweight Title Fight
Chiara Penco 114.9lbs
EFC 76 Time Square is presented by Betxchange.com, and takes place on Saturday 8 December live from Time Square, Menlyn Maine, Pretoria. Tickets are on sale at computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on DAZN (USA & Italy), TV 2 – Sports 1 (Norway), Sports Eleven (Poland), FIGHT SPORTS (Where available) & EFCworldwide.tv (Where available) starting at 20:30 (CAT) and delayed live on SABC 3 (South Africa) at 23:00. Full broadcast details available on efcworldwide.com.