Van Staden Embraces Role Of Champion At EFC 72
After coming up short in two prior title challenges, Martin van Staden, finally reached the top of the lightweight division at EFC 68, when he would drop Gavin Hughes.
Now, heading into his first title defense against former champion Dave Mazany at EFC 72, the native son of Johannesburg knows he has a target on his back.
“I feel like a champion! This is my time,” the champ told FIGHT SPORTS prior to his first title defense on August 11th.
“I have worked hard for this and to remain the champion I’m working harder than before! I really feel that no one can stop me at this weight, I am the best in the division and nobody has my knockout power! Having a target on my back fuels me even more!”
While he’s known to stand and bang against opponents, with 19 of his 26 victories coming by way of a KO or TKO, van Staden knows that Mazany is going to try to make the champion fight his fight.
“I am known for my striking for sure but I don’t mind going to the ground,” van Staden claimed.
“I can’t guarantee that Dave won’t take me down, but I will do everything to stuff his attempt… I have a pretty good wrestling and BJJ game myself and who knows, I might surprise the fans with a slick submission of my own, this is MMA.”
While Mazany has been inside the EFC cage as a champion and van Staden has only experienced title fights up to this point as a challenger, the South African feels that his “championship mentality” will surpass Mazany’s “championship experience.”
“I have championship mentality and have worked for this my entire career, it really has no effect on the night, my experience, talent and mindset will show and I will get my hand raised. I will win by any means necessary!”