Battle for the continent

Johannesburg - At EFC AFRICA 24, for the first time in the organisation’s history, a title fight not featuring a South African will take place.

Angolan Demarte ‘The Wolf’ Pena (7-0), EFC AFRICA’s most dominant champion, defends his featherweight belt against the most feared striker in the division, DRC national Alain ‘Commander Boy’ Ilunga (5-1).

“Ever since EFC AFRICA 01 began we’ve been waiting for this,” said EFC AFRICA president Cairo Howarth.

“For us it’s proof that the idea of having an Africa only MMA championship is not only working, but thriving.”

Pena is as yet undefeated in the Hexagon. Having taken his first EFC AFRICA bout on only two days’ notice, he has evolved into a brutally tough competitor with a highly accomplished, all round skill set. In the challenger, though, he may finally have met his match.

Alain Ilunga has TKO’d no less than two opponents with a single leg kick and delivered body kicks to Markus Taljaard that reduced the man to shuffling defiance. He has added a submission finish to top featherweight contender Wesley Hawkey also, making him an athlete with a devastating, comprehensive game. 

“Alain is bigger, stronger and more confident,” said Ilunga’s camp in a recent interview. “Demarte is a lucky champion. If he thinks he’s better on the ground than Alain he’s lying to himself.”

“We’re not concerned with Demarte,” Ilunga’s camp added. “We’re looking past him, he’s stepping stone... In reality this fight is about taking the belt and preparing for a rematch with Boyd Allen. He will be the real test.”

Boyd Allen, a team-mate of Demarte Pena and a fighter that many contend is the best in the division, is the only athlete to have beaten Ilunga.

At EFC AFRICA 15 he stood toe to toe with the ‘Commander Boy’ throughout the first round, and in the second dropped him with a straight right hand, afterward earning a verbal submission victory with strong ground and pound.

“Allen is our only loss,” said Ilunga’s camp. “Alain went into that fight injured. We’re not saying Allen didn’t win fair and square, but we do want a rematch.”

Meanwhile African fight fans have been rallying around the event, supporters from both nations making themselves heard on social media.

“All Congola is behind you, Ilunga,” wrote Maitre Tramontina on Facebook on Wednesday.

“Borá Angola!” added Henry Deiby Lima, adding his voice to Pena’s camp.

“On the 10th Of October there'll be a new champion and that will be Ilunga, proudly D.R.C!” said Abdoul Mabika Kanyinda.

On October 10 the world’s fastest growing sport hits another milestone, and all of Africa will be watching.

“When you know where you come from, that’s when you are able to pave a way to where you want to go,” he said. “I am blessed to be called a warrior for the people of Angola.”

“I am from the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Ilunga has said. “My country is in my heart and it will always be. When I fight, I fight for the DRC.”

EFC AFRICA 24, presented by MusclePharm, takes place at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena on October 10, 2013. Tickets on sale now at www.computicket.com. Tickets for the live broadcast to Nu Metro Cinemas available soon at www.numetro.com.

Broadcast information and full fight card available at efcafrica.com


 
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