This Thursday one of the most fearsome 170lb warriors to emerge from African combat sports will defend his welterweight championship against one of the continent’s finest proponents of unarmed combat. BIA’s Congolese crusher, Ziko ‘The Gorilla’ Makengele is determined to fight to the bitter end to keep his golden buckle notched around his waist after facing the returning veteran from CIT, Mark ‘Frankenstein’ Hulme, on 13th April in the main event of EFC 102 at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a testament to the razor-sharp skills and devastating power of both athletes, World Sports Betting have pegged the champion as a favourite to win by the thinnest of margins with Makengele at 1.85 and Hulme at 1.95. With the odds relatively even going into this title fight, a smart wager on either fighter could boost the value of parlays across the entire action-packed EFC 102 fight card!
Dricus du Plessis’s and Hulme’s teammate JC Lamprecht (1.33) is the overwhelming pick over his opponent, Durbans power-puncher, Khulekani Hlongwa (3.40) but the KZN lad is an excellent outside flutter considering the quality of his first-round knockouts and ability to wrestle his way out of submissions. Furthermore, as the first real test for Lamprecht following a nine-year hiatus from the sport, Hlongwa is a dangerous opponent against whom to stake a claim for the upper-ranking spots of the 205lb division.
The heavyweight fight between Vandam Mbuyi (1.50) and Ivan Strydom (2.65) definitely promises a first-round visit from the Sandman but the WSB odds definitely lean toward the former championship contender Mbuyi, even though the recent forms of both giants are remarkably similar. Strydom is great value at 2.65 considering all of his wins are in the first round and will always come forward looking for the knock-out. They say that in the heavyweight division, anything can happen, but the inviting betting-line on Strydom is certainly tempting that fate!
A mouthwatering clash between Shannon van Tonder (1.25) and Ashley Calvert (3.90) also throws up some fascinating chances with Calvert particularly a great value wager. With three wins over solid opponents in his last five outings, the ‘Padre’ has the grappling tools and experience to handle the submission star from Springs on the canvas, even though it is Van Tonder coming in as a heavy favourite to have his hand raised.
Nigeria’s Juliet Ukah (1.33) finally gets her date in the Hex with Cape Town’s Crystal ‘The Lovely’ van Wyk (3.25) and is rewarded with firm favourite status, achieved no doubt when she turned the WSB in-play odds on their heads in her last bout by beating the favourite, Mischka Laubscher. But even though both fighters here have elite Muay Thai and kickboxing experience, it may be Van Wyk who has the jiu-jitsu chops to find a submission if she can hit the takedown. Coming in at 3.25, Van Wyk is certainly a ‘lovely’ wager opportunity with several pundits probably having the odds closer than they are at the time of writing.
The top-value line’s continue throughout the fight card as we round-up the preliminary bouts, with Angolan amateur champion Osvaldo Benedito (1.50) making his professional debut as a firm fave over veteran Robert Swanepoel (2.60), flyweights Luke Hendrikz (1.95) and Christian Mulamba (1.85) split-hairs by 0.10 in what should be a lightning-fast and highly-competitive war, whilst Given Majuba (3.10) is a stunning outside opportunity against the bookies pick, Peace ‘X’ Nguphane (1.36) considering the Mamelodi Bonecracker’s first-round finishes. The entire EFC 102 fight card is full of favourites and underdogs with several outside lines available for top-value accumulators which could land big for any fight fan wanting to add a little more fun to an already action-packed evening of combat!
*The current odds for EFC 102 are:
EFC 102 MAIN CARD
Ziko Makengele 1.85 vs. Mark Hulme 1.95 [Welterweight Championship Fight]
JC Lamprecht 1.33 vs Khulekani Hlongwa 3.40 [Light Heavyweight Fight]
Shannon van Tonder 1.25 vs Ashley Calvert 3.90 [Featherweight Fight]
Ivan Strydom 2.65 vs Vandam Mbuyi 1.50 [Heavyweight Fight]
Crystal van Wyk 3.25 vs Juliet Ukah 1.33 [Womens Strawweight Fight]
EFC 102 PRELIM CARD
Peace Nguphane 1.36 vs Given Majuba 3.10 [Welterweight Fight]
Luke Hendrikz 1.95 vs Christian Mulamba 1.85 [Flyweight Fight]
Robert Swanepoel 2.60 vs Osvaldo Benedito 1.50 [Lightweight Fight]
Place your bets with World Sports Betting now!
*Odds subject to change
EFC 102, Makengele vs Hulme for the Welterweight Championship is presented by World Sports Betting and takes place on Thursday, 13th April 2023, live from the EFC Performance Institute in JHB, South Africa.