Cape Town – Mischka Laubscher has bided her time, honing her skills, putting in the hours and sharpening her tools over the last few years.
All this done with the purpose of evolving as a mixed martial artist and stepping up to the big leagues, and on Thursday, will be the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice when she steps into the EFC Hexagon for her professional mixed martial arts debut.
Cape Town-based Laubscher takes on Nigeria’s Juliet Ukah (1-0) in a Women’s Flyweight bout at EFC 98 in Johannesburg.
Laubscher is a highly-respected combat sport athlete not only in South Africa, but also the greater Africa, after she was crowned the IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) Africa Bantamweight champion of 2022 after she beat Angola’s Moneza Neves via rear-naked choke in the first round of their final.
Prior to that she has picked up the 2020 MMASA (Mixed Martial Arts South Africa) National Bantamweight silver medal as well as the MMASA National gold medal the year before.
Now, she looks to carry that momentum over to the professional circuit.
“I’m very excited to put on a show for the fight fans, and I am ready to make a name for myself as a pro,” says Laubscher, who trains out of Pride Fighting Academy under the tutelage of Michael and Jessica Mouneimne.
“I was always planning on turning professional this year, that was the goal.”
The African Bantamweight champion seems to be playing it smart in terms of weight division management, making her debut at a lighter but reachable weight class. It would be wise for her to first find her feet and see how she feels at 125 pounds (56 kilograms) before testing the Bantamweight waters where she could face physically bigger or naturally heavier athletes.
“With regards to one weight class … I think I might focus on the one weight class for now, yes. Let’s first get the debut under the belt, then we think to the future,” added Laubscher.
Nigeria’s kickboxing star, Juliet Ukah – making her EFC debut with one successful fight behind her name – began training in Wushu at an early age before entering kickboxing and Taekwondo competitions. She then transitioned to grappling in a permanent move to MMA. Ukah believes that she’s better than her opponent and guaranteed “plenty of damage”.
However, Laubscher, too, has a stand-up background following her entry into many NMA-ISKA tournaments where she flourished in Tatami-styled points fighting, then mixing it up with Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu and Boxing before merging it all into mixed martial arts where she has shone beautifully so far, as she often has the ability to remain calm and calculated even during times of adversity.
Laubscher and Ukah will be on the prelim card of EFC98 headlined by the Heavyweight title fight between Matunga “HHH Power” Djikasa and fellow Congolese compatriot Vandam Mbuyi.
EFC 98 takes place at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg tomorrow afternoon.