SBG’s Peter Queally (5-1) was forced to withdraw from his high profile number one contender fight with Martin van Staden (14-7) citing an undisclosed injury.
In a surprising move, Team Ryano’s Ayo Daly (1-0) is stepping up to the plate. Daly recently made his pro debut travelling to Lithuania, also a late replacement, beating local fighter and dangerous striker Matas Stebuliauskas (3-3) via decision.
“I have been watching Ayo Daly for a long time,” said EFC Matchmaker Graeme Cartmell via the EFC Facebook page. “He has travelled with and been part of nearly every one of [Henry] Fadipe’s EFC fights, plus he cornered and trained Fadipe ahead of his devastating victory over van Staden, which saw van Staden out of competition for over a year.” He added, “I called him this morning. He said he knows Martin’s style, and he accepted the fight immediately. I believe this makes him a very serious threat.”
“Daly has some massive shoes to fill,” stated EFC president Cairo Howarth. “The whole country of Ireland was behind Queally for his bout and I know they will rally in support of Daly as he now takes on van Staden in front of his home crowd. This is a huge test for him, but the last two Irishman that competed in EFC conquered the best that the division had to offer.”
EFC 38 takes place next weekend from Durban, South Africa.
Alan’s Angle: Daly is a good solid fighter and could possibly be a very tough challenge for Martin van Staden, perhaps might even beat him, but from a promotion’s perspective it does not look good pitting a 1-0 fighter against someone with 21 professional fights, some of which were against UFC level opposition. Big opportunity for Daly but also a big risk to derailing his current momentum.
(title image via Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors)