EFC 84: A Zimbabwean’s legacy vs an Australian’s ambition

A new decade has just begun and with that new opportunities present themselves for EFC athletes. These opportunities will give the fighters a chance to write their name in the history books and to be immortalised amongst some of the best that have ever stepped in the Hexagon.

A starting point for some, the culmination of years of hard work for others. But specifically, for the champion, Themba Gorimbo, it’s about cementing his legacy as the first and only ever Zimbabwean MMA world champion as he puts his title at steak against the undefeated threat of Lyle Karam. A man possessed to travel around the world to claim gold.

Gorimbo made history when he became the first ever Zimbabwean MMA world champion. Since winning the title, Garimbo hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal as he continued career campaigning since he wrapped the coveted EFC belt around his waist. With over a decade of pushing through adversity, constantly visualizing his hand being raised against the greatest and the most threatening.

In the EFC Welterweight Grand Prix finale, he dismantled his opponent to claim gold and named himself the king of the division, yet he is still to defend his crown, the mark of a tried and tested champion. He is a man with singular focus, eyes firmly set on becoming one of the greatest to ever have fought in the Hexagon. He intends to propel himself to the MMA hall of fame, through systematic challenging, visualizing and dispatching of any athlete blocking that proposed reality. 

Based out of Melbourne, Australia, Lyle Karam is the definition of endurance, persistence, and commitment. Karam, a young phenomenon that tore through EFC like a storm achieving the title of the next with an impressive 6-fight win streak. He has been arduously working on breaking down the doors to the MMA main stage after a 3-year hiatus from competition but amassing an internationally forged MMA skill set. Karam returned to action in the EFC Hexagon in October last year. Picking up a fight of the night performance and having his hand raised in victory, Karam had truly announced himself as a top contender in the stacked welterweight division.

Preceding the main event, two crowd favourites collide! The most experienced active EFC athlete on the roster, with 22 EFC bouts, Anicet Kanyeba continues his hunt for an elusive title shot, while the champ Cummins is away. Currently riding an impressive 4-fight win streak and 83% finish rate, another win could see him overtake the No.1 contender Alain Ilunga. But a newly re-invented machine of an athlete stands in his way in Pierre Botha. A man that knows how to drag his opponent into deep waters, Botha has recently found his KO power having knocked out 2 of his last three opponents in devastating fashion.

The older of the famous Du Plessis brothers steps out of his brother’s shadow as he moves up to the light heavyweight division in search of his own accolades in the sport and promotion. While Dricus currently holds the middleweight belt, Niel Du Plessis wants to hold his own belt in the near future, especially in front of his home crowd of Pretoria. His opponent, the more experienced Stefan Pretorius, is actually a bigger threat on the mat in contrast to his alias, with his submission skills being pertinent threat to any who face him.

THE DRC is renowned for producing some of the world’s best fighters, evident in the ranks held in EFC and other major promotions. Two mega prospects from the region have been climbing the ranks and claiming accolades and scalps along the way are now set to clash and make their main card debuts. Undefeated Tshilumba Mikixi steps up to challenge the incredibly explosive August Kayambala. A bout that has Fight of the Night written all over it.

Poetchestroom’s own, Roevan de Beer has been on a hot tear in the EFC in recent months. After a touchy start to his career, he now rides high on a 3-fight win streak. None of which have gone the distance. A 4th straight win will elevate him amongst the top of the division, including top contenders like Sylvester Chipfumbu, Devon Cronje and Nkazimulo Zulu, who are all vying for a shot at the champ Faeez Jacobs. However, Port Elizabeth’s 2nd degree Judo blackbelt, Sindile Manengela stands in his way. Having had mixed success at featherweight, the aggressive submission artist looks now at the fast-paced bantamweight division with a renewed vigour.

EFC 84 Gorimbo vs Karam takes place on Saturday 14th March, live from Time Square, Pretoria, South Africa. Full broadcast details are available on the EFC website.

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