Cape Town - EFC women’s strawweight champion Chiara Penco labelled Karolina
Wójcik a warrior for agreeing to face her on two week’s notice.
Penco (4-0) was initially set to defend her belt for the first
time against Cheyanne Vlismas (2-1) in the EFC 76 headliner at Time Square in
Pretoria on December 8.
However, Vlismas withdrew due to health complications, according
to an EFC press release sent out on Monday afternoon.
Part of the statement read: ‘Vlismas has been withdrawn due to
medical complications in the lead-up to fight night. While it is unclear as to
her diagnosis currently, her blood samples have been sent for testing. Doctors
have advised that it would not be safe for her to continue training, cutting
weight and fight while still recovering.’
Poland’s Wójcik (3-1) consequently stepped up as a late
replacement - much to the relief of undefeated Italian Penco.
“Honour to you and to your
decision of taking the fight on such short notice,” Penco told mmaengage.com.
“You are a warrior and I appreciate this. Talk the talk and walk
“See you in the cage!”
Penco brushed off the adjustment she’s had to make to her
preparations and will naturally look to test Wójcik’s cardio given her
truncated training camp.
“Fights go in many different ways, and each fight has its story ... that is the beauty of the fight game.
“But I’m ready for a five-round fight ... we’ll see how hard she
England-based Wójcik (3-1) lost a split decision to Vlismas in
their respective promotional debuts in October, a showdown which earned
Before Penco clashes with Wójcik, ex-UFC fighter Ruan Potts
(11-6) will battle America’s Jared Vanderaa (7-3) for the interim
heavyweight belt in the co-main event next month.
The main card also
features former heavyweight champ Andrew van Zyl (19-4) against Stuart Austin
(12-5), welterweight contender Conrad Seabi (6-4) versus late
replacement Jose da Rocha (9-5), and
Dallas Jakobi (6-5-1) against Gordon Roodman (3-6-1).
The prelims include: Marino
Cutendana vs Martin de Beer, Niel du Plessis (2-1) vs Roger Griffin (3-6),
Pietie Coxen (5-8) vs Justin Smith (2-0), Billy Oosthuizen (3-0) vs Tumisang
Madiba (7-6), Asiashu Tshitamba (1-1) vs Takunda Gorimbo (1-0),
Devon Cronje (2-1) vs Orlando Machaba (0-0), and Marcel Els (2-2) vs
Jean-Marie Kabeya (0-1).