Cape Town, South Africa – EFC lightweight champion Martin Van Staden (26-10) (SA) and former champ, the USA’s Dave Mazany (16-6), hit the scales at the EFC 72 weigh-in today, ahead of their championship bout at GrandWest tomorrow night. Both men were cleared to fight.
Van Staden is at the apex of his abilities, one of the most experienced athletes in the EFC organisation, as well as one of the world’s most brutal finishers. Mazany is his near mirror image, a veteran who, apart from his loss of the title two years previously, has been on a savage tear.
For both the coming bout is not personal, rather a career milestone with their opponent playing a necessary role. Van Staden seeks to solidify his champion status with a succesful defense, while Mazany is obsessed with reclaiming his former belt, and champion status.
“Tomorrow I am going to go out there, do my job, and raise my hand with the strap,” stated an ultra-cool Van Staden.
“I am thinking about redemption and getting what is mine. This is a point of no return,” roared Mazany in response. “Burn the boats, baby, the ‘Pain Train’ is coming for what’s his!”
Tomorrow’s penultimate battle features former light heavyweight champion and Cape Town’s own Gideon Drotschie (6-3), facing the UK’s Jenaid Ebanks (2-1). Drotschie is making his first cut to middleweight, and the pressure is on for him to make a statement in his new division, in front of his home crowd.
“It’s time to beat up another Pommie,” the former champion stated, referring to his previous win over the UK’s Frasier Opie. “I am going to take the middleweight division by storm.”
Ebanks, on the back of a week of searing banter between himself and Drotschie was to the point in response. “This boy is going to sleep in the first,” he said, with a wink to Drotschie’s fans.
Tumisang Madiba makes his return after a two year layoff, and tomorrow faces Cape Town’s own Faeez Jacobs. Both are highlight reel machines, each having banked numerous performance bonuses in the past. Their face-off was intense, with Faeez the younger playing the energy of the standing crowd, while Madiba absorbed the chaos with an experienced calm.
Cape Town’s Justin Smith burst onto stage with a roar from the crowd, revealing a massive fan base that has been waiting for the young athlete’s ascension to the main card. Fellow Capetonian Giovanni Pretorius meets him tomorrow night. Both are undefeated.
Controversy dogs Cape Town born and now Johannesburg based athlete Luke Michaels’ bout. He faces Capetonian Armand Scheepers, who came in a staggering 9kg over the scheduled welterweight limit. At the time of writing negotiations were still underway to secure acceptable terms for the bout to continue.
Apart from Scheepers, Anthony Mailer was 2,15kg over his 66kg limit.
The official weigh in results are as follows:
The official EFC 72 weigh-in results:
Fight 1: Lightweight
Chris Dove 69.95kg
Serge Kasanda 69.80kg
Fight 2: Welterweight
Hermie Drotschie 72.80kg
Francois Cundari 72.90kg
Fight 3: Featherweight
Anthony Mailer 68.15kg
Duane Jones 65.4kg
Fight 4: Welterweight
Bruno Mukulu 71.25kg
Regis Muyambo 70.80kg
Fight 5: Heavyweight
Matunga Djikasa 107.40kg
Willem Smith 102.00kg
Fight 6: Middleweight
Luke Michael 76.80kg
Fight 7: Welterweight
Giovanni Pretorius 76.65kg
Justin Smith 77.00kg
Fight 8: Bantamweight
Tumisang Madiba 60.98
Faeez Jacobs 61.00kg
Fight 9: Middleweight
Jenaid Ebanks 83.95kg
Gideon Drotschie 82.55kg
Fight 10: Lightweight Title Fight
Dave Mazany 69.95kg
Martin van Staden 69.75kg
EFC 72 Van Staden vs Mazany is presented by Betxchange.com and takes place on Saturday 11 August live from GrandWest, Cape Town. Tickets are on sale at computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live, starting at 21:30 CAT/19:30 GMT on Kwesé Free Sports 1 (Kenya & Rwanda), Kwese TV (Sub-Saharan Africa), SABC 3 (South Africa), FIGHT SPORTS (Where available) and EFCworldwide.tv (Where available). Prelim bouts available live on the official EFC Facebook page from 17:30 CAT/15:30 GMT. More information at efcworldwide.com.