South Africa

'The Punisher' makes it personal at EFC 50

2016-06-16 17:04
Dricus du Plessis v Martin van Staden (Supplied)

Sun City - Long known as one of the premiere fight venues on the planet, Sun City played host to the official weigh-in of the landmark EFC 50 event, taking place at the Sun Park arena on Friday night.

The event is headlined by the notoriously heavy-handed Martin ‘The Punisher’ van Staden taking on the trailblazing Dricus ‘Stillknocks’ du Plessis for the vacant welterweight title. The two faced-off with controlled aggression, Du Plessis bouncing on the balls of his feet in anticipation of a crack at the MMA icon, a man a full 11 years older.

“Dricus is fighting for a belt, I’m fighting for my life,” said Van Staden afterward. “I am going to end his career.”

“I always come out fast and hard,” responded Du Plessis. “I will finish this fight.”

Shadowing the night’s main event is the clash between South African rising superstar Shana ‘Titanium’ Power, and Italy’s global sensation Micol Di Segni. Both women have recorded blistering wins in the EFC Hexagon, and the winner of this bout will challenge for the inaugural female flyweight title.

Power kicked-off by getting straight in the face of Di Segni, who laughed and casually waved her off.

Pretoria’s Gordon ‘Rage’ Roodman stepped in on 11 days’ notice to face the bruising Rafal ‘The Polish Tank’ Haratyk, a bout now trailing enormous interest. The ‘Rage’ faithful were vocal, letting the Pole know that he is far from home. Haratyk has two wins on South African soil, however, and calmly absorbed the pressure.

Former EFC champion and UFC heavyweight Ruan ‘Fangzz’ Potts returns to the biggest division after a sortie down to light heavy. He is welcomed by the massive frame of the Congo’s Vandam Mbuyi. Both men are coming off of losses and focused on re-igniting their once red-hot title hopes. Their intent showed in a thrilling staredown.

Barring the main event, perhaps tomorrow night’s biggest draw is the light heavyweight main card opener between Johannesburg’s Chad ‘Superman’ Hanekom and Ireland’s Cian ‘Kong’ Erraught.

Both Hanekom and Erraught are former provincial rugby players in their respective countries, and both exhibit an almost freakish athleticism. EFC security worked to keep them separate in an intense staredown, and the event had to be momentarily halted as they were shepherded away from each other.

When asked for his flash prediction for fight of the night, EFC matchmaker Graeme Cartmell pointed to the light heavies immediately. Their bout has taken on the pride of both South Africa and Ireland, currently being played out in a three Test rugby series, and will be settled on Friday night.

On the prelim card, the fight to look out for is undoubtedly the heavyweight showdown between former all Africa boxing champion Elvis ‘The Bomber’ Moyo and the Congo’s Ricky ‘Apocalypse’ Misholas. Few words have been said between them, but the chilling focus shown when they eyeballed each other had the crowd sit up and take notice. Behemoths will truly collide on Friday night.

Mthobisi Buthelezi failed to make the lightweight limit and opted for a financial penalty.

“Tomorrow night is going to be epic! It’s fitting that our 50th event is taking place at a venue as legendary as Sun City,” said EFC president Cairo Howarth.

The full EFC 50 weigh-in results are as follows:

Bout 1 : Lightweight bout

Sindile Manengela  68.80kg

Sifiso Ngcobo 69.90kg

Bout 2 : Flyweight bout

Guy Mongambi 56.85kg

Dansheel Moodley 56.25kg

Bout 3 : Bantamweight bout

Bill Thusi 60.25kg

Tjaart Henning 61.00kg

Bout 4 : Welterweight bout

Sydney Mokgolo 76.45kg

Niel Du Plessis 76.45kg

Bout 5: Lightweight bout

Mthobisi Buthelezi 70.70kg

Luke Michael 69.80kg

Bout 6 : Middleweight bout

Cameron Meintjes 83.40kg

Wade Henderson 83.30kg

Bout 7 : Heavyweight bout

Elvis Moyo 120.00kg

Ricky Misholas 110.00kg

Bout 8 : Light Heavyweight bout

Cian Erraught 92.55kg

Chad Hanekom 92.55kg

Bout 9 : Heavyweight bout

Ruan Potts 116.80kg

Vandam Mbuyi 107.55kg

Bout 10 : Catchweight bout

Gordon Roodman 89.25kg

Rafal Haratyk 89.95kg

Bout 11 : Women’s Flyweight bout

Shana Power 57.00kg

Micol Di Segni 57.00kg

Bout 12 : Welterweight Title bout

Dricus du Plessis 77.00kg

Martin van Staden 77.00kg

EFC 50: Du Plessis v van Staden, presented by SUPABETS takes place on Friday, June 17 at the ultimate destination, Sun City. Tickets are sold out for the event. All the main card bouts will be broadcast live on starting 20:00 (CAT) and delayed live on after the 20:30 (CAT) movie.

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