Cape Town - Ahead of his scheduled title defence in Cape Town, EFC lightweight champion Don Madge (7-3) has been offered a shot in the Las Vegas based promotion, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and has no choice but to relinquish his EFC title and take the once in a life-time opportunity.
Madge has had to vacate the EFC lightweight title, but in doing so it has left an opening for his team-mate, Martin van Staden (18-9) to face No 1 contender, England’s undefeated Gavin Hughes (9-0), for the now vacant championship.
Madge was recently hired as the prime training and sparring partner for legendary UFC women’s featherweight champion Christiana ‘Cyborg’, assisting her in her victorious title defence at UFC 219.
While there, UFC showed an interest in the EFC champion and on Tuesday offered him a contract with the promotion.
Van Staden is a legend of African MMA. He has fought for the welterweight title twice and since his move to lightweight, has seemed unstoppable with three TKO victories in a row. Now, he steps up to the challenge of undefeated Hughes.
Hughes is a man who in nine fights, all around the globe, has amassed an incredible undefeated finish rate of 89% and has only heard the final bell once. Based out of Blackledge MMA in Liverpool, ‘Big Tasty’ is undoubtedly one of England’s most promising and revered MMA athletes.
Hughes entered the EFC Hexagon for the first time as a potential No 1 contender, his test for legitimacy was the highly regarded and then unbeaten Deon Bruning. Over three rounds Hughes displayed a warrior physicality and an onslaught of striking to assert his dominance over the South African, and claim his spot as the man to challenge for the belt.
“We are delighted with Don’s success and wish him all the best in his UFC endeavours,” stated Cairo Howarth, EFC President.
“I am really looking forward to seeing his successes in the UFC and I can’t wait to see who takes his place.”
EFC 68 Van Staden vs Hughes
is presented by Betxchange.com and takes place on Saturday, March 31 live from GrandWest,
Since I started my MMA career, this has been my dream to sign with the @ufc - today I realized that dream!! I’m very proud to say that I am officially a UFC athlete. Thank you to everyone that has supported me from day one. This has been a crazy ride so far, can’t wait to show off my skills in this next venture ?? ??? Thank you to @efcworldwide for all the years of support and promotion. You’ve given many guys just like me the opportunity to showcase their skills. ??? #MMA #UFC #MagicMan #KnowYourWhy #QuanDeathSquad #CoachQuan #YoungSavage