South Africa

'Soldier Boy' makes UFC switch

2014-12-05 13:47
Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan (Supplied)

Johannesburg - EFC, a world leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation, has brokered a deal for EFC middleweight champion Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan to fight at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the Las Vegas based MMA promotion.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Garreth to compete against some of the UFC’s best combatants and continue to show just how good he really is,” said EFC president Cairo Howarth. “Soldierboy is a great athlete and ambassador for the EFC and we look forward to seeing him in action in the UFC soon.”

"Soldierboy" has been with EFC since inception, fighting at the very first event in November 2009. He rose to fame and was crowned the first EFC middleweight champion, lost the title, then became the first athlete to regain an EFC title. McLellan has contested in 12 EFC bouts, winning all but one, and is currently on a 6 fight winning streak.

This is the second EFC athlete to be signed to the UFC this year, testament to the high calibre of athletes in the organisation. “We have many exceptional athletes fighting in EFC, some of the best in the world, and look forward to signing more to the UFC in the future,” said Howarth.

McLellan’s contract is a 6 fight deal, with his first UFC bout expected to be in March 2015, and will see him representing EFC against middleweights from across the globe.

“I am extremely humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” said McLellan. “My purpose is very clear; I am going there to win and make South Africa proud.”

McLellan will relinquish his EFC middleweight title. The division is ready for a new era with a new champion.

The now vacant EFC middleweight belt will be contested in 2015 between former welterweight champion Michiel Opperman and grappling king Liam Clelland. Both Opperman and Clelland were set to face ‘Soldierboy’ in epic encounters. An injury removed Clelland from their previous clash and the former welterweight champion was promised a shot at middleweight gold. The two top contenders will now battle it out for the vacant EFC middleweight championship.

“I never got the opportunity to fight Opperman or Clelland, and I look forward to crossing paths with either of them in future”, said McLellan.

Middleweights Warren Allison and Gareth Sawyer go head-to-head this Thursday, and with the recent announcement of Darren Daniel taking on JP Kruger early next year, the spotlight now shines brightly on the EFC middleweight division.

Follow McLellan’s UFC journey on Twitter and Facebook


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