Cape Town - EFC featherweight prospect Roedie Roets is approaching his showdown with Sindile Manengela with an open mind as he looks to regain momentum and continue his rise in the division.
The undefeated Roets (4-0) will face Manengela (4-5) on the preliminary card of EFC 76 at Time Square in Pretoria on Saturday, having seen previous bookings with Sizwe Mnikathi (6-9) and Pierre Botha (9-7) fall by the wayside through injury.
Roets, who hails from Polokwane and trains at Coach Quan University in Johannesburg, is therefore itching to return to the hexagon after beating Regis Muyambo (6-8) by unanimous decision last time out in March.
“I’m super eager, I can’t wait to fight again,” Roets tells mmaengage.com.
“You know life happens, things happen, but it’s fine. I’m moving forward and I take things one fight at a time now. So ja, I am happy and I’m just super excited to go fight.”
Roets, a strong wrestler, has three TKOs on his record, and says he’s happy to trade strikes with judo black belt Manengela should their contest predominantly unfold on the feet.
“Yes, I do think it might go that way,” he says when asked if a stand-up battle is on the cards given their respective backgrounds.
“You never know how the fight may go, but if that turns out to be the case, then ja, we will throw down.”
The 21-year-old adds: “I believe in my wrestling abilities 100 percent and I do believe my wrestling abilities are better. But ja, it’s one thing we will have to see on the night.”
With a concussion in training sabotaging his main-card slot against former title challenger Botha a week out from EFC 74 in September, Roets is wary of over-thinking what another win could mean for his career.
He also points out 34-year-old Manengela showed why he can’t be overlooked by swiftly submitting experienced veteran Anicet Kanyeba (9-9) in June for a third victory from his last four outings.
“You know I’m not sure yet,” Roets says.
“I think it’s going to raise my chances for a title fight a bit better. Manengela is good, he fought very well in his previous fight. So I think a win over him will push me a bit up in the division.
“But as far as that goes I just need to fight him first. So ja, I’m just excited to go fight.”