15 December 2017
DEMARTE PENA VS IRSHAAD SAYED
ANDREW VAN ZYL VS JARED VANDERAA
TF1 – THE FIGHTER FINALÉ
BRENDAN LESAR VS IBRAHIMA MANÉ
JOSÉ DA ROCHA VS PUPANGA TRESOR
GARETH BUIRSKI VS PHILLIPE ROUCH
GORDON ROODMAN VS WILL FLEURY
JACQUALINE TROSEE VS RIZLEN ZOUAK
CONRAD SEABI VS GUNTHER KALUNDA
KEVIN KOEKEMOER VS RICKY MISHOLAS
STEVEN GONCALVES VS NERICK SIMOES
MARK KAMBA VS QUAID OPENSHAW
MARTIN DE BEER VS TC KHUSU
TRESOR BULUWA VS STEFAN PRETORIOUS
COLIN HUME VS KHULEKANI HLONGWA
Pretoria, South Africa - The biggest and final EFC event of the year kicked into gear today when a monster tally of 28 athletes hit the scale for the
EFC 66 weigh-in at the Sun Arena, Time Square, Pretoria, ahead of the EFC 66 event tomorrow night.
Headlined by the unprecedented grudge match between bantamweight champion Demarte Pena and interim bantamweight champion Irshaad Sayed, plus the heavyweight title showdown between champion Andrew Van Zyl and US challenger Jared Vanderaa, and the finale of the groundbreaking ‘TF1 –The Fighter’ reality series between South Africa’s Brendan Lesar and France’s Ibrahima Mané, weigh-in was a spectacle full of intrigue and surprise.
The fury between Pena and Sayed was palpable. Both have run a grueling course alongside each other this year, from their first bout in June, through controversy and rival coaching duties on ‘TF1 – The Fighter’, to preparing for tomorrow night’s fight. Their mutual contempt as they faced off was clear, as is their desire to settle the score permanently.
“I’m going to do what I always do, win,” said the undefeated Pena.
“I’m going to be much more aggressive, I will be looking for the finish,” stated Sayed.
Heavyweights Van Zyl and Vanderaa were far more congenial, putting dislike aside in favour of shared respect and a desire to put on a hard, clean fight for the fans.
“He’s a tough guy,” said the champion Van Zyl. “I’m looking forward to a hard fight.”
For both South Africa’s Lesar and France’s Mané the last three months have been a whirlwind, one that reaches its conclusion tomorrow night.
While neither man was tipped as a favourite at the start of the competition, both have shown incredible skill and determination to reveal themselves as rightful finalists, with only one obstacle remaining. An six- figure EFC contract and a guaranteed shot at middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis hangs in the balance.
Brazil’s José Da Rocha returns after his incredible 26 second knock out of Cameron Pritchard, this time against the Congo’s Pupanga Tresor. Tresor chose a surprising tactic, ducking straight off the stage instead of meeting the Brazilian for the traditional stare down, leaving a smiling Da Rocha to fill in for both as cameras flashed.
While the true bantamweight belt holder is decided in the main event, tomorrow’s main card opener is the fight to reveal the next challenger to the title.
France’s tough-as-nails Philippe Rouch takes on the powerful South African Gareth Buirski, and Buirski brought the rage with a stream of insults when he faced the Frenchman.
Buirski has been campaigning for a title shot for years. Tomorrow night he faces the final hurdle in front of his home crowd, against a man with only one EFC appearance. Buirski is certainly primed for violence, while Rouch has proven he has more than a stomach for it.
The EFC 66 prelim card features a record nine bouts, packed with EFC stars such as Roodman, Trosee, Zouak, Seabi, Misholas, and the Irishman Will Fleury, who sealed his notoriety during the ‘TF1 – The Fighter’ show. Expect intense action when these men and women perform tomorrow night.
Two athletes failed to make weight; Rizlen Zouak and Tresor Boluwa. Both opted for a financial penalty. The bantamweight number one contender fight between Gareth Buirski and France's Phillipe Rouch was rescheduled as a catchweight bout at 62kg earlier in the week.
The official EFC 66 weights are as follows:
Fight 1: Light Heavyweight
Khulekani Hlongwa 86.42kg
Colin Hume 92.80kg
Fight 2: Welterweight
Tresor Boluwa 77.85kg
Stefan Pretorius 77.00kg
Fight 3: Bantamweight
Martin de Beer 60.55kg
TC Khusu 61.00kg
Fight 4: Middleweight
Mark Kamba 83.45kg
Quaid Openshaw 84.00kg
Fight 5: Featherweight
Steven Goncalves 65.85kg
Nerik Simoes 66.00kg
Fight 6: Heavyweight
Kevin Koekemoer 119.90kg
Ricky Misholas 111.00kg
Fight 7: Welterweight
Gunther Kalunda 77.00kg
Conrad Seabi 76.85kg
Fight 8: Women’s Bantamweight
Rizlen Zouak 62.00kg
Jacqualine Trosee 60.90kg
Fight 9: Middleweight
Will Fleury 84.00kg
Gordon Roodman 83.65kg
Fight 10: Catchweight
Phillipe Rouch 61.85kg
Gareth Buirski 62.00kg
Fight 11: Welterweight
Pupanga Tresor 76.35kg
Jose Da Rocha 76.95kg
Fight 12: Middleweight TF1 Finale
Ibrahima Mane 83.50kg
Brendan Lesar 83.65kg
Fight 13: Heavyweight Championship
Jared Vanderaa 117.50kg
Andrew van Zyl 117.60kg
Fight 14: Bantamweight Championship
Irshaad Sayed 60.85kg
Demarte Pena 60.85kg
EFC 66 Pena vs Sayed 2, the TF1 Finale, is presented by Constantia Insurance and takes place on Saturday 16 December live from Time Square, Pretoria. Tickets are on sale computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on kwesesports.com (Sub-Saharan Africa), Kwesé Free Sports 1 (Kenya & Rwanda) and live in South Africa on SABC 3 starting at 21:00 (CAT). Full broadcast details available on efcworldwide.com.