EFC 63 Preview: Mazany Seeks Redemption

In the headlining bout of EFC 63, a former champion will enter the cage seeking redemption.

Following his only loss in the EFC, former lightweight champion Dave Mazany (14-7) will look to get back on the title track in a catchweight bout against the dangerous Themba Gorimbo (6-1).

In an exclusive interview with FIGHT SPORTS, Mazany spoke about the changes he’s made in his preparation for this fight as he looks to put on the performance of his career. Namely, being afforded an extra few pounds on the scale has given Mazany that extra energy he needs to be at his best.

“Usually I fight at 70 kg but this fight is set for 74 kg,” Mazany said. “I feel fantastic this week before the fight. I’m not starving myself and I’m able to sleep for 8 to 10 hours every night. I’m curious to see how that will play a factor in the fight. Also I’ve done a lot more restorative work physically and mentally throughout my camp. I’ve added more yen and yoga to balance my body and mind.”

As EFC is a South-African based promotion, Mazany as an American fighter has been no stranger to hostile crowds. But through his captivating performances he feels he has earned the respect of the EFC crowd.

“Throughout my whole career I have been fighting in somebody else’s backyard. I have built a winning record for promotions that wanted me to lose against their hometown guy.”

Mazany credits EFC for having him fight in front of the Cape Town crowd several times, as he has developed a strong fanbase there even as an outsider. “I like having a fanbase because I feel like I’m more than a journeyman fighter. I feel like I am a champion and I try to be a role model for youngsters…It’s nice to have people appreciate what you do and I feel that EFC’s fans appreciate what we do.”

Mazany has no easy task on Saturday night, however, as Gorimbo is a dangerous opponent with five of his six wins coming by submission. Ultimately, Mazany believes that experience will play a massive factor in the fight, and that’s an area where he holds the advantage.

“Experience plays a huge role in the fight game,” he said. “I have fought main events all over the world, in different weight classes and for different titles. I have fought world-class strikers and grapplers…I have broken bones and got my bones broken. I’ve seen almost everything inside the cage and with every fight you gain experience and become a better fighter. I believe I’m at my best right now and I plan to showcase that September 9 at the Grand West Casino.

Mazany vs. Gorimbo is not the only highlight on the EFC 63 card. The event also features the return of undefeated South African fighter Cameron Pritchard, who faces the Brazilian phenom Jose Da Rocha.

Pritchard has shown it all in his undefeated EFC career so far, his four victories all coming by way of stoppage (three submissions and one knockout). But this matchup is an intriguing one, as Da Rocha is a bit of a mystery to the EFC audience. His only EFC fight so far was taken ten days’ notice against the division’s champion Dricus du Plessis. Though he lost that fight, he showed little of his game and now with a full training camp he will undoubtedly be a tough puzzle for Pritchard to figure out.

The South African is determined to keep one thing, however: the zero in his loss column.

“MMA is the sport of the highest highs and the lowest lows,” Pritchard said. “I just want to keep experience the highs. I’ve never felt a high like winning an MMA fight in my life.”

EFC 63 goes down on September 9 at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town, South Africa. Click here to see the rest of the card.

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