The Long Way Back
Adam Speechly talks candidly on his journey back to the Hexagon
26 April 2013
Johannesburg (South Africa) - Today it was announced that Adam ‘The Prodigy’ Speechly will undergo surgery for a fractured cheekbone sustained in his EFC AFRICA 19 bout against Martin ‘The Punisher’ Van Staden. For Speechly the injury brings an unwelcome two month maximum no contact rest period, but also the chance to reflect on an incredible return to the Hexagon.
“Looking back on it now,” says Speechly, talking on how a late injury to team mate Michiel Opperman gave him the call-up to the EFC AFRICA 19 main card, “all I can honestly say is, wow! I love the big, challenging match ups that come with being on the main card. I am so grateful that I was given such a big opportunity and that I was able to capitalize on it wholeheartedly.”
With only a week to prepare Speechly’s performance was nothing short of exceptional with many now speaking of a fighter showing vast improvement from the five round decision war he gave the lightweight champion, Costa Ioannou, at EFC AFRICA 14. For Speechly himself, however, his latest fight was anything from routine. “I definitely didn't expect him [Van Staden] to be so technically sound and stubbornly evasive of my submission attempts,” he says. “He was also very patient and his ability to keep the fight standing was incredible. He punches like a freight train. He broke my cheek!”
Speechly, once the welterweight champion until his loss to Dallas Jakobi at EFC AFRICA 10, has made a stunning return to the division. His victory over Van Staden, himself at that point the official number one contender, has put him back within reaching distance of a title shot. Ever humble, Speechly has a more subdued take on the subject.
“One could say that I am back up there with Michiel and Dino,” he says, “but in the bigger picture there are still many challenges that I need to overcome in order to achieve the success that I am aspiring to. The work is just beginning and I’m looking forward to making it happen!”
Speechly admits that his loss to Ioannou had a huge effect on him personally, prompting a shift in his outlook as well as a much needed break in order to refocus.
“I visited India and went trekking in Nepal,” he says. “Over the last few years I think I just lost my way and fell out of touch with the real reasons behind why I compete. I needed to get away from all of the influences of life back home, take a look at myself and figure out who I really am and what it is I want from life. The experience taught me to start doing things for myself, that I am capable of far more than I had given myself credit for, and that all real change in this world begins with yourself, you just need to have the courage and commitment to believe in it.”
“This injury is a setback,” he continues, “but it’s also something else I’m going to learn from. I’ve realised that in life one can chose to look at the bad or look at the good, everything in life is an opportunity to change for the better.”
Adam Speechly would like to thank:
EFC AFRICA for providing me with this this great opportunity, my coaches Attila Barna and Peter Smith, all my teammates (you know who you are) for their help and support in getting me ready for this fight. A big thanks goes out to my sponsors GRRANA Energy and Gigawear, thank you for helping me share my message! To all my friends, family and supporters, thank you for your unwavering faith and belief in me, especially my parents, who have supported me, stood by me and allowed me to live my dream!
EFC AFRICA 20, presented by MusclePharm, takes place at the Carnival City Big Top Arena on 27 June 2013. Tickets on sale now at www.computicket.com. Tickets for the live broadcast to Nu Metro Cinemas available soon at www.numetro.com.
Broadcast information and full fight card available at efcafrica.com