EFC 56 to set Carnival City alight
Johannesburg, South Africa – Today 22 of the world’s toughest athletes faced off when Carnival City’s Mardi Gras Arena hosted the EFC 56 weigh-in, ahead of the organisation’s massive year-end event tomorrow night.
Headed by a phenomenal three champions entering the Hexagon, two to defend titles and one to take on the might of a higher division, EFC has crafted a fight card packed with iconic athletes from start to finish.
Welterweight champion Dricus ‘Stillknocks’ du Plessis (RSA) travels up to middleweight to take on the undefeated power of Rafael ‘Polish Tank’ Haratyk (Poland). Du Plessis is taking a gamble pitting himself against the bigger man, as well as making a calculated move. Should he win he takes another step toward total EFC domination, with two divisions becoming his playground.
“I come out to fight, and I come out to finish,” he said.
Champion Yannick ‘Black Mamba’ Bahati (UK) faces David Buirski (RSA) for the middleweight title. This fight already has a war of words behind it, and the animosity showed. Bahati and Buirski pushed their fists into each other’s faces and later the tension erupted backstage. As Du Plessis and Buirski fight out of the same camp the champion was drawn in, creating a massive knot of tension in the top two fights.
“I see myself putting him away early, then I’m coming for the rest of South Africa,” stated Bahati to the crowd.
“Bet you he’s gonna shoot, and catch an uppercut in the process,” replied a quietly grinning Buirski.
It was Haratyk that stayed cool and calm outside of the action, saying, “I respect him (Du Plessis), but he has not yet felt my power. The Polish tank is fully loaded.”
The animosity that runs through tomorrow night’s top two bouts is as real as it gets, expect thundering finishes.
Featherweight champion Igeu ‘Smiley’ Kabesa (DRC) defends his title against Hanru ‘The Bully’ Botha (RSA). Between them they are the most decorated wrestlers in the organisation, with Botha preparing to compete at Olympic level. Tomorrow the king of the wrestlers will be revealed, baring in mind both have the frightening ability to knock their opponents out cold.
“I’m going to defend my belt, and then go home and hug it,” said the champion Kabesa, giving the crowd his trademark smile.
“It’s going to be an interesting fight,” agreed Botha.
Boxing comes to the forefront when Wesley ‘The Young Assassin’ Hawkey (RSA) takes on Azi ‘One Bomb’ Thomas (Wales). They are brutal craftsmen with their fists and footwork, and they loved the chance to stand face-to-face and start their war with words.
Martin ‘The Punisher’ van Staden (RSA) returns to the Hexagon in the evening’s main card opener. After forging his notoriously heavy hands in the welterweight ranks he has dropped to lightweight for the first time, where he meets Kaleka “Block’ Kabanda (DRC). Van Staden was fired up, bringing huge size after what seemed an easy weight cut.
Big names fill tomorrow’s prelim card:
The dark force that is Mark Hulme takes on crowd teasing showman Gordon ‘Rage’ Roodman, the meticulously violent Shana ‘Titanium’ Power meets wrecking ball ‘Demolition’ Jacqualine Trosee, wild man Gareth Buirski returns to face a rampaging Baldwin Mdlalose, and powerful grappler Danella Eliasov welcomes Spain’s devastating Irene ‘La Nina’ Rivera to the women’s strawweight division.
Two athletes failed to make weight, Gareth Buirski and TC Khusu. Both opted for a financial penalty.
The official EFC 56 weigh-in results are as follows:
Fight 1: Flyweight
Musaddiq Alli Hassan 56.90kg
Bokang Masuyane 56.90kg
Fight 2: Flyeight
TC Khusu 57.90kg
Dansheel Moodley 56.40kg
Fight 3: Women’s Strawweight
Irene Rivera 51.95kg
Danella Eliasov 52.50kg
Fight 4: Bantamweight
Gareth Buirski 61.450kg
Baldwin Mdlalose 60.80kg
Fight 5: Women’s Catchweight
Jacqualine Trosee 59.80kg
Shana Power 60.00kg
Fight 6: Middleweight
Gordon Roodman 83.45kg
Mark Hulme 83.60kg
Fight 7: Catchweight
Kaleka Kabanda 71.95kg
Martin van Staden 71.95kg
Fight 8: Featherweight
Azi Thomas 66.00kg
Wesley Hawkey 66.00kg
Fight 9: Featherweight Title Fight
Hanru Botha 65.80kg
Igeu Kabesa 66.00kg
Fight 10: Middleweight Title Fight
David Buirski 83.65kg
Yannick Bahati 84.00kg
Fight 11: Middleweight Fight
Rafal Haratyk 83.85kg
Dricus du Plessis 84.00kg
EFC 56: Du Plessis vs Haratyk, Bahati vs Buirski, Kabesa vs Botha presented by SUPABETS, takes place on Friday 9 December 2016 at Carnival City, Johannesburg. Tickets are on sale now at www.computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on kwesesports.com (Sub-Saharan Africa) and Kwesé Free Sports (Kenya & Rwanda) starting at 20:00 (CAT) and delayed-live on e.tv (South Africa) after the 20:30 (CAT) movie. Full broadcast details available on www.efcworldwide.com.