Penco, Wójcik, Potts, Vanderaa on weight for title bouts at EFC 76

Pretoria, South Africa – Weigh-ins for EFC 76 took place at Sun Arena, Time Square, Pretoria today. Italy’s Chiara Penco (4-0) takes on Poland’s Karolina Wójcik (3-1) in her first defense of her EFC women’s strawweight title, and South Africa’s two-time former EFC heavyweight champion Ruan Potts (11-6), returns to face American standout Jared Vanderaa (7-3), for the interim heavyweight title.


Penco hit social media early in the day suffering the effects of a brutal weight cut, but hit her 115lbs mark also, and rallied magnificently to take the stage at 14H00 Central African Time. Her opponent Wójcik steps into the bout via short notice entry, after former opponent Cheyanne Vlismas had to withdraw due to illness.


“Look, this should be happening, because I won my last fight,” said Wójcik, referring to her controversial split decision loss in a bout that is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest women’s encounters the EFC organisation has yet seen. “I will show everyone who I am. I hope she is ready for that,” Wójcik continued.


Penco, riding a massive publicity wave on the news that her bout will be broadcast live in Italy for the first time, replied with the confidence of a champion.


“Tomorrow you can expect to watch a great fight, and a new Chiara in the cage,” said Penco.


In the co-main slot, legendary two-time former EFC heavyweight champion Ruan Potts returns for a shot at his belt, in the wake of champion Dalcha Lungiambula preparing for a super fight. Potts has been sidelined for over a year due to injury, and addressed the issue.


“Everyone talks about the ring rust, I enjoy that,” said Potts. “We are in South Africa, my terriroty. The belt is coming home, where it deserves to be.”


American Vanderaa was his usual entertaining self, sporting a bow-tie and more interested in the health of commentator Cyrus Fees than answering questions on the fight.


“I don’t care for titles,” boomed the smiling American to laughs from the crowd. “I’m here to fight, what more do you want from me?”


On Potts’ home ground advantage, Vanderaa had something to add, however.


“He says this is his home town but I think we can both agree, I’m at home here too.” After his unforgettable title fight with former champ Van Zyl in the same venue, Vanderaa is indeed growing a rapport with EFC fans.


Chasing the heavyweight interim title is a second heavyweight encounter, and almost certainly the proving ground for the division’s next contender.


Three time champion Andrew van Zyl returns to face England’s Stuart Austin. Both have suffered defeats to wily heavy and light heavyweight champion Dalcha, and in their combined loss have a personal point to prove. Their bout is a standout on the card, especially considering that chances are high it will be Van Zyl’s swansong before retirement.


Another former champion returns at EFC 76, this time Durban’s Dallas Jakobi, former EFC welterweight champion, will enter the Hexagon after a five year hiatus. He faces the dangerous Mark Kamba at midddleweight.


Opening the main card, the blistering knock out artist Conrad Seabi meets Brazil’s José Da Rocha. Da Rocha took the bout on short notice and poses a massive threat to Seabi, who has been ultra-confident throughout the fight week build up.


As befitting the final event of the year, the full EFC 76 card boasts exceptional bouts from beginning to end.


Johannesburg’s Roedie Roets takes on Port Elizabeth’s Sindile Manengela in a massively anticipated bout. Both men have electrified their division, and their paths finally cross in Pretoria.


Cape Town’s Justin Smith makes his third Hexagon appearance after two blistering bouts earlier this year, and he clashes with the experienced Pietie Coxen. Fan favourite Tumisang Madiba returns against the undefeated Billy Oostheuizen, and former title contender Marino Cutendana takes on Durban’s Martin De Beer.


The official EFC 76 weigh-in results are as follows:


Fight 1: Featherweight

Amisi Kabeya 144.6lbs

Marcel Els 145lbs


Fight 2: Bantamweight

Orlando Machaba 135lbs

Devon Cronjé 134.8lbs


Fight 3: Bantamweight

Takunda Gorimbo 132lbs

Asiashu Tshitamba 132lbs


Fight 4: Middleweight

Roger Griffin 183.7lbs

Neil Du Plessis 183.8lbs


Fight 5: Bantamweight

Martin De Beer 132.9lbs

Marino Cutendana 134.5lbs


Fight 6: Bantamweight

Tumisang Madiba 135lbs

Billy Oosthuizen 133.4lbs


Fight 7: Welterweight

Justin Smith 168.8lbs

Pietie Coxen 170lbs


Fight 8: Featherweight

Roedie Roets 144.8lbs

Sindile Manengela 144.7lbs


Fight 9: Welterweight

Jose Da Rocha 170lbs

Conrad Seabi 170lbs


Fight 10: Middleweight

Dallas Jakobi 182.5lbs

Mark Kamba 184.1lbs


Fight 11: Heavyweight Fight

Stuart Austin 241lbs

Andrew Van Zyl 262.7lbs


Fight 12: Heavyweight Interim Title Fight

Jared Vanderaa 256lbs

Ruan Potts 264.3lbs


Fight 13: Women’s Strawweight Title Fight

Koarlin 114.6lbs

Chiara Penco 114.9lbs


EFC 76 Time Square is presented by Betxchange.com, and takes place on Saturday 8 December live from Time Square, Menlyn Maine, Pretoria. Tickets are on sale at computicket.com, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on DAZN (USA & Italy), TV 2 – Sports 1 (Norway), Sports Eleven (Poland), FIGHT SPORTS (Where available) & EFCworldwide.tv (Where available) starting at 20:30 (CAT) and delayed live on SABC 3 (South Africa) at 23:00. Full broadcast details available on efcworldwide.com.