As an EFC contract and two title fights hang in the balance, the EFC held the official weigh-in’s Friday, prior to EFC 66 at the Sun Arena on December 16th.
Headlined by the grudge match between bantamweight champion Demarte Pena and interim bantamweight champion Irshaad Sayed, as well as the co-main event for the heavyweight title as champion Andrew Van Zyl and US challenger Jared Vanderaa, and the finale of EFC’s ‘TF1 –The Fighter’ reality series between South Africa’s Brendan Lesar and France’s Ibrahima Mané, the weigh-in featured tension in the air.
The fury between Pena and Sayed was palpable. Both have run a grueling course alongside each other this year, from their first bout in June, through controversy and rival coaching duties on ‘TF1 – The Fighter’, to preparing for tomorrow night’s fight. Their mutual contempt was made well known on Friday.
“I’m going to do what I always do, win,” said the undefeated Pena.
“I’m going to be much more aggressive, I will be looking for the finish,” stated Sayed.
Heavyweights Van Zyl and Vanderaa were far more congenial, showcasing mutual respect and willingness to give it all for the fans on Saturday.
“He’s a tough guy,” said the champion Van Zyl. “I’m looking forward to a hard fight.”
For both Lesar and Mané the last three months have been a whirlwind, one that reaches its conclusion tomorrow night.
Two athletes failed to make weight; Rizlen Zouak and Tresor Boluwa. Both opted for a financial penalty. The bantamweight number one contender fight between Gareth Buirski and France’s Phillipe Rouch was rescheduled as a catchweight bout at 62kg earlier in the week.
The official EFC 66 weights are as follows:
Fight 1: Light Heavyweight
Khulekani Hlongwa (86.42kg) vs.Colin Hume (92.80kg)
Fight 2: Welterweight
Tresor Boluwa (77.85kg) vs. Stefan Pretorius (77.00kg)
Fight 3: Bantamweight
Martin de Beer (60.55kg) vs.TC Khusu (61.00kg)
Fight 4: Middleweight
Mark Kamba (83.45kg) vs. Quaid Openshaw (84.00kg)
Fight 5: Featherweight
Steven Goncalves (65.85kg) vs. Nerik Simoes (66.00kg)
Fight 6: Heavyweight
Kevin Koekemoer (119.90kg) vs. Ricky Misholas (111.00kg)
Fight 7: Welterweight
Gunther Kalunda (77.00kg) vs. Conrad Seabi (76.85kg)
Fight 8: Women’s Bantamweight
Rizlen Zouak (62.00kg) vs. Jacqualine Trosee (60.90kg)
Fight 9: Middleweight
Will Fleury (84.00kg) vs. Gordon Roodman (83.65kg)
Fight 10: Catchweight
Phillipe Rouch (61.85kg) vs.Gareth Buirski (62.00kg)
Fight 11: Welterweight
Pupanga Tresor (76.35kg) vs.Jose Da Rocha (76.95kg)
Fight 12: Middleweight TF1 Finale
Ibrahima Mane (83.50kg) vs. Brendan Lesar (83.65kg)
Fight 13: Heavyweight Championship
Jared Vanderaa (117.50kg) vs.Andrew van Zyl (117.60kg)
Fight 14: Bantamweight Championship
Irshaad Sayed (60.85kg) vs. Demarte Pena (60.85kg)