MARTIN VAN STADEN VS. JEREMY SMITH
DONAVIN HAWKEY vs. BERNARDO MIKIXI
WESLEY HAWKEY vs. BRENDON KATZ
STER-KINEKOR PRELIM CARDTYSON CHELIN vs. MATTHEW BUIRSKI
JASON CULVERWELL vs. GARETH SAWYER
ABDUL HASSAN vs. GARETH BUIRSKI
SAXON DELAFIELD vs. DAVID VAN SCHALKWYK
CRAIG NINOW vs. BALDWIN MDLALOSE
TEXIER KABESA vs. LUKE MICHEAL
SIZWE MNIKATHI vs. BILL THUSI
Johannesburg (South Africa) – The home of African MMA got its first taste of EFC today, as hundreds of fans raised the roof when 22 of the continent’s greatest athletes converged on the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) for the official weigh-in of EFC 33.
The event is headlined by the massively anticipated middleweight title fight between Durban’s born and bred champion, Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan, and the undefeated 20 year old sensation Dricus du Plessis, haliing from Pretoria.
“No other fight matters, nothing else matters, but this one,” said the challenger in a pre-fight interview. He backed his words by pressuring the champion in their face-off, touching foreheads and flashing a trademark grin.
McLellan, showing all the experience that losing and regaining the title has taught him, remained ice cold, finally breaking off when he was ready, a clear message to the young challenger.
“He’s going to come out hard and aggressive, but we’ve prepared for that,” said McLellan in an interview with EFC commentator Dirk Steenekamp after. “…on fight night I’m going to be the monster in his head that he has to fight.”
Co-headlining the event is the equally massive bad blood rematch between Durban and African MMA legendMartin ‘The Punisher’ van Staden, and the notorious Jeremy ‘Pitbull’ Smith, hailing from Johannesburg.
This bout is Smith’s first drop down to welterweight and he had no problem with the cut, hitting the scale ripped and ready. The men were cordial when finally facing off, no doubt the calm before a tropical storm.
Legendary Duban brothers Wesley and Donavin drew massive cheers from their home crowd. They hit the scale for their bouts with Brendon Katz and Bernardo Mikixi respectively. Mikixi, making his first cut down to light heavyweight, stunned all with a perfect drop, looking supremely conditioned and ready to fight.
Tomorrow night’s card is packed with the cream of Durban’s talent, a Durban native featuring in every bout but one. All athletes made weight. A perfect score and a reflection of the enthusiasm that all are feeling ahead of tomorrow’s historical night.
EFC 33 weigh-in results were as follows:
Bout 1 : Featherweight bout
Bill Thusi 63.90kg
Sizwe Mnikathi 66.00kg
Bout 2 : Lightweight bout
Luke Michael 69.70kg
Texier Kabesa 70.00kg
Bout 3 : Bantamweight bout
Baldwin Mdlalose 60.90kg
Craig Ninow 60.50kg
Bout 4 : Lightweight bout
David van Schalkwyk 70.00kg
Saxon Delafield 70.00kg
Bout 5 : Bantamweight bout – Cancelled
Bout 6 : Middleweight bout
Gareth Sawyer 83.75
Jason Culverwell 83.95kg
Bout 7 : Featherweight bout
Mathew Buirski 65.90kg
Tyson Chelin 65.50kg
Bout 8 : Featherweight bout
Brendon Katz 65.75kg
Wesley Hawkey 66.00kg
Bout 9 : Middleweight bout
Armand de Bruyn 83.55kg
Michiel Opperman 83.60kg
Bout 10 : Light heavyweight bout
Bernardo Mikixi 91.25kg
Donavin Hawkey 92.75
Bout 11 : Welterweight bout
Jeremy Smith 76.50kg
Martin van Staden 76.60kg
Bout 12 : Middleweight title bout
Dricus du Plessis 83.70kg
Garreth McLellan 83.65