South Africa

Vanderaa: I’m champion for a reason

2019-03-11 12:51
Jared Vanderaa (Supplied)
Jared Vanderaa (Supplied)

Cape Town - EFC heavyweight king Jared Vanderaa says he will take requests from fans on how to dispatch veteran Ricky Misholas at Pretoria’s Time Square on Saturday.

Vanderaa (8-3) will make his maiden title defence against the DRC’s Misholas (7-7) in the co-main event of EFC 77, just before Martin van Staden (26-11) battles Englishman Joe Cummins (5-1) for the vacant lightweight belt.

READ: Van Staden reveals UFC interest

America’s Vanderaa became undisputed champion when Dalcha Lungiambula (9-1) swapped the EFC for the UFC in the new year, having claimed interim honours with a third-round TKO of ex-champ Ruan Potts (11-7) in December 2018.

Misholas earned a crack at the strap after winning four of his last five fights, which includes finishes of Kevin Koekemoer (1-2) and Juan Bezuidenhout (1-1) in his previous two outings.

READ: Ricky – Jared’s belt belongs in Africa

“Everyone at this level is competent; Ricky is no different,” Vanderaa tells

“He has good power and an improving game, but I’m just different than these guys. I am a fully devoted mixed martial artist that will fight anyone, anywhere. I am the champ for a reason. I train with the very best the game has to offer right now.

“I feel I am the most well-rounded fighter in all of the heavyweight division in the EFC and that type of versatility will really frustrate Ricky. I’m coming in dangerous; a man on a mission. We’ll ask the fans during fight week how they want to see this one end … I am open to suggestions.”

The 26-year-old Team Quest product is winding down an eight-week camp and insists he is “nastier than before”.

EFC matchmaker Graeme Cartmell has indicated the winner of the bout could next face England’s Stuart Austin (13-5), who sensationally knocked out South African MMA legend Andrew van Zyl (19-5) a round into their contest in December.

READ: Cartmell talks up Austin

Asked about Austin, Vanderaa says: “I like Stuart, but Ricky’s the test right now. Control what I can control. I’m trusting the process.”

Meanwhile, Vanderaa expects to soon follow Lungiambula into the UFC and feels he is more than ready to compete in the octagon.

“Without a doubt. Truthfully, I feel I am already there. I need to control what I can control and let the rest play out, however it may. They know my name. One hundred percent finish rate; mix of subs and KOs; young; somewhat handsome - I check a lot of boxes.”

Read more on:    jared vanderaa  |  efc


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.