SINDILE MANENGELA: Nerick Simoes (3-3-0)
Sindile Manengela made his Bantamweight debut this past weekend against Roevan De Beer. De Beer came into the fight riding a 3 fight win streak and was looking for a step up in competition to establish himself as a title contender for the Bantamweight strap. Manengela put on a solid performance controlling the fight both standing and on the ground which ended with a first round stoppage as a result of some vicious Ground n Pound.
Manengela indicated that he’s keen to get back in there as soon as possible and wanted a spot on the EFC 85 card in Cape Town. A true test at bantamweight would be a matchup with Nerick Simoes who is one of only two men to have defeated the current Bantamweight champion, Faeez Jacobs. Both fighters are coming off wins and this matchup could establish the next top 5 fighter at Bantamweight.
TSHILUMBA MUKISHI: Marcel Els (4-3-0)
Tshilumba Mukishi made his long awaited return to the EFC Hexagon after an injury saw him sidelined since October 2018. Mukishi came up against a rising star in August Kayambala who came into the fight with a lot of hype riding a two fight win streak. Kayambala seemed to be overwhelming Mukishi with big flurries and at one point Mukishi seemed to have injured his shoulder. Out of nowhere Mukishi landed a 2 piece combo that sent Kayambala crashing to the canvas and kept Mukishi’s undefeated record in tact.
Mukishi currently has one the longest active winning streaks in the EFC, however, his inactivity has resulted in his name being dropped from the title contender discussion. With another win or two he could find himself knocking on the door of a title shot, provided his team mate Anicet Kanyeba doesn’t hold the title. A good test for Mukishi would be a matchup with the always game Marcel Els who was riding a 3 fight win streak until he ran into the “One Minute Monster” in June last year. A win for either fighter would put their title aspirations back on track.
STEFAN PRETORIUS: Colin Hume (2-1-0)
Stefan Pretorius picked up a highly controversial win at EFC 84 against Neil Du Plessis. Pretorius had Du Plessis in a Kimura that most untrained individuals thought was going to break Du Plessis’ arm, this caused Brad Bloch to stop the fight without Du Plessis submitting. Brad Bloch indicated that he was acting in the best interest of the fighters safety. With that outcome there were rumblings of an immediate rematch which I think is unlikely to materialise. I would like to see both fighters have an interim fight before they have their potential rematch. With the Light Heavyweight title fight set between Zaakir Badat and Gideon Drotschie there aren’t many fighters (on a win streak) available to fight at Light Heavyweight except for Colin Hume who picked up a quick submission victory earlier in the night. Both fighters are looking to get their name in the mix at the top of the division and a win for either of these fighter should get them there.
ANICET KANYEBA: Alain Ilunga (12-5-0)
Anicet Kanyeba competed in his 22nd EFC fight making the most active athlete in EFC history. He put together a massive performance against arguably the number 1 contender at Featherweight, Pierre Botha, who was looking to become a contender at Lightweight. Anicet relied heavily on his boxing and wrestling defence in round 1 and 2 but we got to see his offensive wrestling in round 3 where he sealed the Unanimous Decision victory. This extends Anicet’s win streak to 5 fights and moves him to 7-1 in his past eight fights.
With Joe Cummins seemingly on the sideline while the EFC rebuild the business financially the most sensible fight would be an interim title bout between Anicet Kanyeba and Alain Ilunga. These two fighters have fought each other twice before with Alain being victorious on both occasions, however, Anicet is 7-1 since the last time they fought and has definitely earned himself another crack at Alain Ilunga as well as a shot for EFC gold.
THEMBA GORIMBO: Winner between Shaun De Lange (5-3-0) and Justin Smith (3-1-0)
The new Golden Boy of the EFC roster, Themba Gorimbo, put an exclamation mark on his title as EFC Welterweight Champion. He went up against an undefeated prospect in Lyle Karam who he defeated via submission (triangle choke) at 2:06 of round 2.
The Welterweight division currently lacks a definitive number 1 contender. A new contender needs to be established in the coming months and the two fighters at the top of the pile are Justin Smith and Shaun De Lange. Themba Gorimbo fractured his leg in the fight with Karam which gives the EFC time to line up a contender for his return.