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PRIDE ON THE LINE

United Kingdom set to invade South Africa at EFC 53

01 September 2016

PRIDE ON THE LINE

YANNICK BAHATI VS MICHIEL OPPERMAN

PLUS
BOYD ALLEN VS AZI THOMAS
WADE GROTH VS DANNY HENRY
ANDREW VAN ZYL VS TONY MUSTARD
MAMOUDOU TOURE VS TUMISANG MADIBA

AND

PUPANGA TRESOR VS KALEKA KABANDA
MARTIN DE BEER VS JASEN VAN DER MERWE
GEORGIE GEORGIEV VS JOHNNY FIELDS
PIERRE BOTHA VS BONEY BUKAKA
CONRAD SEABI VS SIZWE MNIKATHI
CLAUDE NTUMBA VS PIETER DE KLERK

Johannesburg, South Africa – Carnival City’s Mardi Gras Theatre played host to a heavily biased crowd for the EFC 53: UK vs RSA weigh-in this afternoon. Two of the world’s greatest sporting countries are set to collide inside the Hexagon, with national pride at stake.

Reigning middleweight champion and UK native Yannick ‘Black Mamba’ Bahati took to the scale to boos and jeers from the crowd, who made their support for Bahati’s local opponent known in no uncertain terms. He faces South African Michiel Opperman in the main event of the evening, Opperman himself a former welterweight champion. The man from Pretoria enters the Hexagon tomorrow night as the underdog, but seemed quietly confident as he stepped onto the scale. An intense stare-down and verbal exchange took place when the two athletes stood face-to-face.

Self-assured as ever, Bahati’s message was simple and blatant when interviewed, “I’m not just the best middleweight. I am the best athlete in EFC. Mr. Opperman is going to sleep.” Opperman ignored the verbal threat from Bahati and called for a rally of support from the fans. “Come out and support tomorrow night. It is going to be insane.”

Fan favourite Boyd Allen is set to face Wales’ Azi ’One Bomb’ Thomas in the penultimate bout of the evening. Allen is renowned amongst MMA fans for his cool, calm and collected boxing style. Similarly, Thomas has represented his country in the Commonwealth Games for boxing. Potentially two of the best boxers in MMA, are on an inevitable collision course. While Allen was his usual stoic self on stage, Thomas took to throwing verbal lashings at Allen.

In what is widely tipped as a favourite for ‘Fight of the Night’, former featherweight champion Danny Henry of Scotland faces the ever exciting Wade Groth from South Africa. These are two men are vying to return to the top of the division for another shot at EFC gold. Both have consistently delivered bonus-winning performances in the past with their slick striking and speed.

With two of the organisation’s biggest finishers set to go head-to-head, it’s hard to imagine the only heavyweight fight on the card going the distance. South Africa’s former champion Andrew ‘One Gear’ van Zyl and England’s undefeated Tony ‘Oosh’ Mustard are both known for their heavy hands and more than capable ground games. Will home ground advantage come into play for van Zyl or will Mustard’s KO power deliver a dream EFC debut?

The main card will be opened by the ever entertaining Tumisang ‘The President’ Madiba, who looks to continue his incredible form of late and win his third fight in three months when he faces the undefeated Mamoudou Toure from Senegal.

All athletes made weight.

The full EFC 53 weigh-in results were as follows:

Bout 1: Catchweight bout
Pieter de Klerk 71.85kg
Claude Ntumba 72.00kg

Bout 2 : Welterweight bout
Sizwe Mnikathi 75.70kg
Conrad Seabi 76.60g

Bout 3 : Featherweight bout
Boney Bukaka 63.70kg
Pierre Botha 65.90kg

Bout 4 : Middleweight bout
Johnny Fields 81.50kg
Georgie Georgiev 81.40kg

Bout 5: Bantamweight bout
Jasen van der Merwe 60.85kg
Martin de Beer 61.00kg

Bout 6 : Welterweight bout
Pupanga Tresor 76.90kg
Kaleka Kabanda 75.40kg

Bout 7 : Featherweight bout
Mamoudou Toure 66.00kg
Tumisang Madiba 65.55kg

Bout 8 : Heavyweight bout
Tony Mustard 111.30kg
Andrew van Zyl 118.60kg

Bout 9 : Featherweight bout
Danny Henry 66.00kg
Wade Groth 66.00kg

Bout 10 : Lightweight
Boyd Allen 68.80kg
Azi Thomas 68.50kg

Bout 11 : Catchweight bout
Michiel Opperman 89.10kg
Yannick Bahati 89.45kg

EFC 53: Bahati vs Opperman is presented by SUPABETS, and takes place on Friday 2 September 2016 at Carnival City, Johannesburg. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on http://kwesesports.com (Sub-Saharan Africa) and Kwesé Free Sports (Kenya) starting at 20:00 (CAT) and delayed live on e.tv (South Africa) after the 20:30 (CAT) movie.


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