South Africa

Joshua all business for Zulu showdown

2018-11-01 14:45
Gary Joshua (File)
Gary Joshua (File)

Cape Town - Hometown fighter Gary ‘Relentless’ Joshua is in no mood for talking heading into his showdown with EFC flyweight king Nkazimulo Zulu in Cape Town on Saturday.

Joshua (4-0) aims to end Zulu’s (9-2-1) three-year reign at 57kg at GrandWest Arena, with his opponent especially fired up for his third title defence.

‘Zulu Boy’ - the first South African to compete in the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Series in 2016 - has taken issue with comments Joshua made in the EFC Countdown Show.

The former EFC bantamweight champion insists their contest is now a personal matter.

“I’m just picturing myself moering this guy so bad because he said something on the Countdown Show, swearing at me,” Zulu said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“I didn’t like that. I thought he was a nice guy. I’m really angry now. I just want to cut him so bad. I just want to hurt him. I didn’t like that.”

Joshua, who trains under Steve Bazzea at Straight Blast Gym CT in Fish Hoek, felt little need to explain his attempts to hype the main event of EFC 75.

“He is the champion, he should know how the media works and how hype works and everything like that,” Joshua responded.

“If he wants to believe that he can believe that. I’m a marital artist at the end of the day, but whatever I say doesn’t matter. At the end of the day we are going to go into the cage and we are going to handle business.”

With Zulu pressing the matter, Joshua added: “There’s no use me sitting here working myself, saying ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that’. So we’ll handle business come Saturday, simple.

“I’m here, I’m the guy that accepted the fight. All the other flyweights didn’t want to accept the fight to fight you. I’m right here, I’m not running away, I showed up. We’ll see.”

Both athletes are on four-fight win streaks.

Zulu, a Muay Thai specialist with an underrated ground game, registered a third straight TKO of Brazilian Magno Alves (4-8) last time out in June.

Joshua, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt with solid stand-up, previously got his third finish in the hexagon by submitting Martin de Beer (7-4) with a heel-hook in March.

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