EFC 93: Martin van Staden VS Ziko Makengele

Saturday, April 9 – EFC Performance Institute (Johannesburg)

  • Martin van Staden – 6/10
  • Ziko Makengele – 12/10
  1. Igeu Kabesa – 1/5
  2. Ashley Calvert – 3/1

The second EFC event of 2022 takes place this Saturday at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg. The main event is a bout for the currently vacant welterweight championship, with Martin van Staden and Ziko Makengele set to vie for the 70KG-77KG strap.

The main event should be an exciting clash of both styles and experiences. Martin van Staden has been there and done it all before. The 36-year-old Johannesburg native has a career record of 20-11-0. He has been in this game at the professional level for over a decade now and he is known as a heavy striker with a solid chin. He has 15 wins by TKO/KO, but he struggles in the submission game. He has won just five bouts that way (only a quarter of his wins) while over half of his defeats (six of 11) have come via submission.

Ziko “The Gorilla” Makengele is only three years younger than van Staden but has been fighting in the EFC for a much shorter period of time. The fighter from the DRC is a former judoka, so his throws and takedowns are certainly to be watched for here. He has just three fights to his name, with all three being wins and two coming by TKO/KO. Makengele has been on a tear since his debut back in May 2021 and he will fancy his chances here.

This will come down to the question of id Makengele can get van Staden off of his feet. If he can, and his judo background is huge here, then the veteran South African could be in trouble. Van Staden, however, does have size on his side. He is almost 10cm taller than his opponent and also has a longer reach. I think van Staden will find a way to keep Makengele off of his body, using those heavy hands to create space. One mistake from Makengele will be all it takes as he hasn’t yet faced an opponent with the striking power of van Staden. Take the favorite here.

The co-main is another where I like the favorite, and this time even more strongly. Igeu Kabesa is as good as it gets in Africa when it comes to wrestling and his mat skills will be far more than Ashley Calvert can handle. The records are mismatches – Kabesa is 12-2 while Calvert is 2-6 – and that difference in class will become obvious on Saturday night.

A blink and you will miss it match is also on the card. HP van Staden is 2-2 in the EFC, yet he has yet to have a fight last more than a single round. Van Staden is going to throw hands immediately, be it for good or bad on the day for him. His opponent is Given Majuba, another athlete that you don’t really know what you are going to see from each trip into the octagon. This is a fight for those who love striking and I think Majuba will have a slight reach in range that will allow him to strike hardest and win inside the first round.


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