South Africa

Smith replaces Du Plessis to face 'Rage' Roodman

2019-02-15 15:09
Smith v Roodman (Supplied)
Smith v Roodman (Supplied)

Cape Town - Undefeated prospect Justin ‘The Power’ Smith has stepped up to fight Gordon Roodman in the EFC 77 main card opener following the withdrawal of Neil du Plessis through illness.

Du Plessis (3-1) was ruled out of the middleweight contest with a staph infection, with DR Congo’s Smith (3-0) moving up from welterweight to face Roodman (3-6-1) in front of his home crowd at Pretoria’s Time Square on March 16.

Smith has three first-round finishes in his burgeoning professional career, and expects to continue his rise at 33-year-old Roodman’s expense.

“Gordon is just another one-dimensional relic of the old school. I’ll finish him like I been and will keep doing. I am coming straight for the top,” said the 21-year-old, who TKO’d Robo Ambamba (0-3) and Giovanni Pretorius (2-1) prior to submitting veteran Pietie Coxen (5-9) in December last year.

Roodman says he is relishing welcome the Renzo Gracie Cape Town product to “the big leagues”.

“This kid is an absolute beast and has a reputation for finishing his opponents, but I am super excited to welcome him to the big leagues,” said the Fight Evolution scrapper.

“I have been locked in there with some of the best and he will soon understand why I am a legend of the game. Justin put your man pants on, I just bought you a ticket to the big show! Thanks Pretoria, you get what you wanted.”

Asked for his thoughts on the match-up, EFC vice-president of talent Graeme Cartmell said: “When an undefeated MMA spark asks to test his mettle, even at the risk of giving up 15 pounds to a seasoned veteran who is regularly accustomed to the taste of his own crimson sauce, how do you say no?”

Roodman was meant to fight on the same card as Smith in December against former welterweight champion Dallas Jakobi (7-5-1), having had his previous bout with Mzwandile Hlongwa (4-0) ruled a no-contest in March 2018 after an unintentional foul.

However, ‘Rage’ fell ill, with his replacement Mark Kamba (2-3) going on to lose to Jakobi on a week’s notice as he failed to answer the bell for the third round.

EFC 77 is headlined by a lightweight title fight between ex-champ Martin van Staden (26-11) and England’s Joe Cummins (5-1).

Heavyweight king Jared Vanderaa (8-3) will also defend his belt for the first time against Ricky Misholas (7-7) in the co-main event next month.

Read more on:    efc


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