Double division champs, Vacated belts and rising prospects seem to be the buzz words surrounding Africa’s premier MMA promotion. EFC is now host to 3 double division champions spread across a multiple amount of weight divisions. With no immediate certainty as to a course of action , we take a look at 5 prospects on the rise and in hunt of gold in the wake of all the madness.
Obviously there are a multitude of athletes to consider when it comes to considering prospects of the future, but as this is an opinion piece , these are 5 massive prospects for the future in the opinion of the writer. Many factors have been considered and specifically those who haven’t yet had a title shot and might soon get one.
5. Luthando Biko
“Shorty” made his debut against the Flyweight Talisman BK Masunyane and was judged the loser after 3 hard fought rounds back at EFC57. Biko put on a massive performance at Bantamweight on Debut when seemingly his biggest hurdle was competing at altitude. He then went on a tear at a weight class above his own beating 3 opponents at Featherweight and another highly touted prospect at bantamweight. The latest of which was the high flying undefeated Steven Goncalves, who looked to be a seemingly unbeatable opponent for Biko. However Biko notched up his 4th in a row and adding himself to the title conversation at Bantamweight where he naturally belongs. Biko is a tough customer for any opponent with extremely high level Judo and an ever evolving MMA game, with an immense amount of strength to back it all up.
4. Roedie Roets
“Relentless” has never lost an MMA fight in his entire career spanning 10 amateur bouts and 4 professional bouts. He claimed the lightweight world championship in Las Vegas as an amateur in the biggest fight week on the combat sports calendar. Since signing with the EFC he has gone 3-0 and has looked unstoppable in the process. Roets has been wrestling his entire life and the transition to MMA haoopened at a very young age, and was a seemingly easy transition. He is young, extremely talented and is now training with the biggest camp on the African continent. As the saying goes “The world is your oyster” and for Roets that Oyster could very well be a Featherweight belt held by another highly acclaimed wrestler.
3. Luke Michael
“Young gun” made the transition to MMA via the very familiar discipline of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although his current record doesn’t scream title contender, he is in the process of becoming a future star. He seemingly hit a bumpy patch and made a move to Johannesburg to join the mighty Fight Fit Militia. It is under the tutelage of the MMA mega team that we seen a resurgence of Luke inside the Cage. He knows how to train , he knows how to market a fight and what is becoming increasingly evident lately is that he is starting to know how to “put it all together” as a mixed martial artist. He has won 2 in a row and it would seem his next opponent will be the biggest test of his career, where a win will absolutely start to throw him in the conversation as a title contender.
2. Gary Joshua
Joshua has been building quite the CV with an array of finishes that speak volumes about his ability as an MMA athlete with 4 wins in a row namely a Heel Hook, a split decision, a guillotine choke and a KO. The noe SBG brown belt made a very interesting decision to drop to Flyweight this year in pursuit of claiming the Scalp of flyweight king Nkazimulo Zulu. The Cape Town based Joshua has never tasted defeat in MMA and looks impressive at flyweight, a division where contenders are few and far between. Joshua has stuck his hand and it would seem the Flyweight destroyer “Zuluboy” will oblige him with a crack at his strap ion Cape Town hopefully this year. With so many opponents gone a stray at flyweight it would seem that the next stop for Joshua could the the Flyweight Gold.
- Cal Ellenor
Ellenor has been involved with combat sports since the tender age of 12, a long history which has moulded him into one of the most exciting prospects in the EFC. On his EFC debut it is well documented on how he was robbed by a terrible judges decision. He then went on to absolutely dismantle high flying prospect Faeez Jacobs in his own back yard. Ellenor has a record of 7-1 when realistically it should read 8-0 with a 100% finish rate for his 7 wins. Although he “lost” on his EFC debut , the Bantamweight Phenom became a household name in the wake of controversy , winning over the South African fans. He as since developed a huge fan following in SA, from both fighters and fans alike, perhaps rivaled by only Dave Mazany when it comes to the amount of South african fans as an overseas based fighter. All of that aside Ellenor a highly skilled Mixed martial artist with immense ability, and is in the conversation for a title shot , if not he is definitely in the conversation for a fight that could make it’s winner the number one contender for the Bantamweight division .