Cape Town — With EFC Cameron Saaiman set to fight for a UFC contract later this month, Brazil’s Gian ‘Patolino’ Souza and Zimbabwe’s Nicholas Hwende will square-off for the EFC interim Bantamweight title on Thursday at EFC 96.
After his win over Sindile Manengela, Saaiman was offered the chance to fight in the Dana White Contender Series where he will face US Josh Wang-Kim for a lucrative Ultimate Fighting Championship title.
In steps Souza and Hwende.
Souza was set to fight Nkazimulo Zulu in a much-anticipated rematch after their draw at EFC Fight Night 2. Zulu then sustained an injury on his left hand during training, opening the door for Hwende who will face the Brazilian in the co-main event of the evening.
The main event sees South Africa’s Luthando Biko’s first defence of his EFC Flyweight belt. Standing across from him will be another Brazilian in the shape of Magno Alves, who secured a Fight of the Night performance bonus for an electrifying KO over Julio Plaatjies at EFC 94.
The main card also includes an interesting fight between South Africa’s Jessica Mouneimne and Egypt’s Haidy Ahmed who makes her EFC debut. Mouneimne opened up her professional account with an impressive win over Crystal van Wyk at EFC 92 and will be keen on building on “welcoming” the debutant in the strawweight division.
EFC 96 will mark the return to Thursday Fight Nights for the first time since EFC 4 in 2010. Following that, event days were rotated. Saturday nights eventually became the “home for African MMA” prior to it returning to its roots, a Thursday night.
Speaking on this move, EFC President, Cairo Howarth, had this to say: “We are excited to be back live on Thursdays! When EFC started almost 13 years ago, all shows were held on Thursdays. Regarding the live TV audience, Thursdays are a positive move for EFC as no other big live sport takes place on Thursdays, so EFC will ‘own the airwaves’.
“If you attend the live Thursday shows at the EFC Performance Institute, it’s a great night out; and if you are watching live on TV, then it’s a great night in.”
The Prelim card kicks off at 3.30 (CAT) with the main event starting at 7pm the evening. All the bouts will be available live on www.efcworldwide.tv.
EFC 96 MAIN CARD
Luthando Biko versus Magno Alves (Flyweight Championship Main Event)
Gian Souza versus Nicholas Hwende (Interim Bantamweight Championship Co-Main Event)
Jessica Mouneimne versus Haidy Ahmed (Women’s Strawweight Fight)
Matunga Djikasa versus Ivan Strydom (Heavyweight Fight)
Bradley Swanepoel versus Guide Moyo (Featherweight Fight)
EFC 96 PRELIM CARD
Stephan de la Rey versus Demba Seck (Featherweight Fight)
Fafa Dwama versus Dansheel Moodley (Flyweight Fight)
Dylan Swanepoel versus Tshepo Majuba (Featherweight Fight)
Tapiwa Katikati versus Glody Kanzeko (Lightweight Fight)
Musa Sethwape versus Nathanial Komana (Bantamweight Fight)
Mpumelelo Mngoma versus Teboho Ntene (Flyweight Fight)