EFC’s biggest night of 2019: Titles and reputations on the line
We look at the four fighters involved in two very special bouts ... and who'll prevail.
Dricus du Plessis (RSA) during EFC 62 at Carnival City Casino on August 18, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Anton Geyser/EFC Worldwide/Gallo Images)
The Extreme Fight Championship (EFC) will end off a bumper year with possibly the biggest card of 2019 as two of the biggest names in South African mixed martial arts put their titles and reputations on the line.
We take a look at the four athletes and why they could walk away with EFC gold at EFC83 at Time Square Arena in Pretoria on December 14.
Dricus du Plessis (Middleweight champion)
Pound for pound the best
At only 25-years-old Du Plessis is the first two-weight division champion in the EFC. The former welterweight king cleaned out the division and always up for a challenge, moved up a weight class to middleweight where he dispatched then champion Yannick Bahati in the second round.
Has a wealth of experience
Despite not fighting in the EFC for over two years, Du Plessis has been plying his trade at the very tough Polish organisation KSW where he captured their welterweight title on debut. He boasts a fight record of 13 wins and only two defeats.
The man affectionately known as Stillknocks (loosely based on a very strong sleeping tablet) has never stepped away from a fight and is capable of taking on his opponent standing up or on the ground.
Brendan Lesar (Interim middleweight champion)
The winner of the first season of The Fighter reality TV series has yet to be beaten in the hexagon in three fights.
Nicknamed the Descendant, Lesar has never stepped into a bout as the favourite, but has proven he cannot be underestimated. He possesses incredible cardio and has punching power that is capable of knocking his opponent out at any time.
Has done something Dricus could not do
At EFC80 at Carnival City earlier this year he knocked out former EFC middleweight champion and UFC fighter Garreth McLellan in probably the biggest upset in EFC history. Du Plessis’ only loss in the hexagon came at the hands of McLellan.
Amanda Lino (Women’s bantamweight and flyweight champion)
An ambassador for women’s MMA in South Africa, nicknamed Mad Dog, Lino is the first female two-division champion.
The dog in the fight
Enjoying a good scrap, Lino prefers to stand and trade blows with her opponent. It is going to take a serious blow to knock her out.
Manon Fiorot (No 1 flyweight contender)
The woman from France is the winner of the second season of The Fighter, but she only has two professional fights to her name and earned this title shot thanks to coming out on top in the reality show.
Kicking up a storm
She has a background in Thai boxing and kick boxing and has the ability to knock her opponent out cold with just one kick. Her debut in the EFC went the full three rounds so cardio will not be an issue.