Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski in war of words ahead of Milan-San Remo

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) have engaged in a war of words ahead of this weekend’s Milan-San Remo.

Last year’s edition of the race was won by Kwiatkowski, who defeated Sagan and Quick-Step Floors’ Julian Alaphilippe in a sprint finish. Sagan led the sprint, believing he was strong enough to claim victory, only to be beaten to the line by Kwiatkowski.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider is still smarting from last year’s race: "Yeah, but that's also the thing, it's about the way you win. If you analyse how Kwiato won last year, then... If I win like that, I wouldn't be happy with my performance.”

He added, "Everyone is different, we have difference personalities, that's life. That's why life is beautiful, everybody is different. I prefer to make some show for people and how it's going, it's going, it doesn't matter if you win or lose."

Kwiatkowski didn’t let Sagan's comments bring him down after his overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.

"How can I respond?" Kwiatkowski said initially, before adding: "In 2016, when they chased me back on the Poggio, nobody complained about the other guys chased me with the whole team.

“Year to year it's a different style. At the end of the day it matters if you do the right thing. I know what it's like to race in the rainbow jersey, and Peter knows, too. It's part of the game. He's saying such a thing. I understand him.

“We'll see how it goes. A lot of guys put him under pressure and lot of guys put me under pressure. I've been in the same situation so many times. It's part of the game, no?"

Peter Sagan

Pep Guardiola targets Premier League title win for Manchester derby

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola understands that supporters would love to see the team clinch the Premier League title in their derby against Manchester United next month.

City defeated Stoke 2-0 on Monday night – thanks to a brace from David Silva - to move to within three victories of confirming the 2017/18 Premier League title.

However, because one of their next two matches is against second-placed United, they could clinch the trophy by beating Everton on March 31 and the Red Devils on home soil on April 7.

“We are very close now, we have 81 points which is a lot! We had a solid performance, we controlled the game and conceded no chances,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

“Now we have three weeks off, we go to Abu Dhabi and will come back strong. It is a tough winter for everybody so we are off straight away and we look forward to the weather.

“Today we were solid. David Silva controls the tempo. He has the skills no doubt about that but in the bad moments he is there to control the game and he is an aggressive competitor.

“To be champions is tough, it’s complicated. Our club does not have a history of a lot of titles. As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed, the players go away with their international teams. It doesn’t matter where we win it.

“I understand that it is important to our fans to win it against United but the target is the next game at Everton. After that, if we play like today sooner or later we will be champions.”

Guardiola and Mourinho

Ilze Wicksell congratulates Caster Semenya on breaking 1000m record

Former South African 1000m record holder Ilze Wicksell has congratulated Caster Semenya for surpassing her 35-year-old mark.

Semenya ran the rare 1000m in 2:35.43 at last week’s Athletix Grand Prix meeting at Tuks Stadium, breaking Wicksell’s 2:37.00 which had stood since 1983.

Wicksell used her Facebook page to pay tribute to the 800m world champion: "Last night my 1000m record, which I set in 1983, was broken by @castersemenya800m. I am extremely happy for you and well done."

Semenya will be chasing the 800m and 1500m double at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Australia from April 4-15.


DiData rider Bernie Eisel undergoes further scans after crash

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider Bernie Eisel has undergone further scans on his right wrist injury following a crash in stage 5 of the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Eisel also suffered facial injuries in the accident, which involved another team’s support car. The Austrian has taken full responsibility for the incident.

"I'm not great at the moment; I've got a few stitches in my nose, lips and my face. It was a massive crash – it seems like my nose is broken – and I have quite a lot of pain in my right wrist. I'm actually happy that I got out of it like this, it doesn't look great at the moment and my face has seen better days but to be honest I'm super happy to have got out alive," Eisel said.

"I also want to clarify that I touched a team car, from another team. It was absolutely not the driver's fault, it was my fault, so there's no speculation (in that regard). I pretty much rode into him and went down from there. He couldn't do anything but after the crash he supported me as much as he could."

The 37-year-old was treated by a plastic surgeon for his facial injuries with team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam explaining of Eisel "he'll be back on the bike as soon as possible".

Eisel added, “I made a big mistake yesterday and I nearly paid for it. To drivers please be careful as we share the roads, but that plea also goes to the riders to ensure that we respect each other."

Phillip ‘CM Punk’ Brooks returning to UFC

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Philip Brooks is set to return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Brocks, who is better known by the ring name CM Punk, has vowed to make up for his loss against fellow American Mickey Gall according to TMZ Sports.

Brooks was clapping back at trolls on Twitter when he broke the news ... responding to someone who asked, "When are we gonna see you cry again in the octagon?"

The 39-year-old responded by saying: "June nine, after I win and lock eyes with my beautiful wife, embrace my coaches and shout out my entire team."

June 9 is UFC 225 in Chicago, U.S.A which is Brooks' hometown. But for now, there's no word on who his opponent will be.

The former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion hasn't fought since UFC 203 back in September 2016.

He lost via rear naked choke at 2:14 of the first round on his UFC and MMA debut.

While most fight fans think Holloway will lobby for a rematch with current UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and score the biggest payday of his career, “Blessed” is looking in another direction. Instead of “Notorious,” Holloway would rather test his skills against undefeated Russian title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov and see if he’s one of the very best fighters on the plnet.

“You know, everybody keep talking about me and a guy too. That Irish man [Conor McGregor],” Holloway said in a recenter interview with Mike Finch of Cage Fanatic.

“Everybody want to see us run that back, everybody seems to not be talking about Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. I want Khabib. You know, to be the best you got to beat the best and one of those guys is Khabib. A lot of guys draw Tony [Ferguson]’s name. I remember Tony saying that he wanted to come down to 145-pounds, but they all can stay up there. Stay at 155-pounds, no excuses, let me come up and let me fight. I’m a big boy and we can go up. And 170-pounds ain’t so far after that.

Nemanja Matic: Liverpool win a big boost ahead of Sevilla clash

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic says their weekend win over Liverpool was a big boost ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash with Sevilla tonight.

United host the Spanish team for the second leg of their last 16 tie, having claimed a goalless draw in the first match at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium last month.

The Red Devils have been in great form since the stalemate in Spain, recording a 2-1 win over Chelsea, a 3-2 come-from-behind triumph against Crystal Palace last Monday, and Saturday’s 2-1 victory over their age-old enemies Liverpool.

“Very important,” defensive midfielder Matic said of the Liverpool win. “Very important for our confidence to win this sort of game. We won against Chelsea and of course (on Saturday), so confidence will be on a high level, for sure.

“We have to see what we did well to continue like this. We have to know where we made mistakes to improve.

“The next game is very important for us, maybe the most important game of the season. We have to beat Sevilla to go through, so we give our best.”

Paul Pogba is a doubt for the match after missing the win over Liverpool due to injury, but Matic has given his backing to young teammate Scott McTominay.

“Scott is fantastic,” he added. “It is a joy to play next to him. He fights for the team, he runs a lot.

“He plays like he already played five or six years in the Premier League, but he’s still young.

“He’s fantastic. He was one of the best players on the pitch, so I am happy that we have him in the team, and he needs to continue in this way.”

David De Gea (L) and Nemanja Matic

Runners vs car in Wings For Life World Run

The Wings For Life World Run raises awareness for the limitations and medical problems experienced by paraplegic people in a unique and creative way.

Instead of a set distance or course, participants are slowly chased down by a ‘catcher car’ which departs 30 minutes after the start. The race ends for each runner as they are overtaken by the car, until one woman and one man are declared winners.

The Wings For Life World Runs are held simultaneously in many locations around the globe each year. South Africa’s 2018 edition will be held on May 6 at SuperSport Park in Centurion, starting at 1pm.

Last year’s female winner, Landie Greyling, ran 37 km before being caught by the car.

“Not only is the World Run for a good cause with 100% of the entry fees going to finding a cure, it’s also pretty exhilarating knowing that people from all over the world are running at the same time,” said Greyling, who is hoping to run at the Denver event this year.

“I found that the catcher car coming after me motivated me to run faster.”

Paralympian and World Run ambassador Pieter du Preez said: “As the world celebrates International Wheelchair Day, we are reminded of those living with spinal cord injuries.

“The Wings for Life foundation invests in vital research projects to find a cure for spinal cord injuries – something that is not as far away as we might think.”

Peter Sagan: I wanted to win stage 5 for Michele Scarponi

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Peter Sagan has admitted he was desperate to win stage 5 of the Tirreno-Adriatico in honour of the late Michele Scarponi, but had to settle for second place.

Stage 5 finished in Scarponi’s home village of Filottrano, with Sagan coming home in second place behind winner Adam Yates.

Sagan and Scarponi were never teammates but enjoyed a strong personal relationship and the Slovak dedicated his 2017 world championship win – a third in succession – to the late Italian, who was killed in April last year when he was struck by a van.

"It was an emotional day for everyone today, but it was nice to see all the crowds come out and see all the balloons for Michele," Sagan told Cyclingnews.

"I came to Filottrano for Michele's funeral last year, and so I wanted to remember Michele by winning the stage. It would have been nice, but that's racing and Michele would understand that too.

“Each race is different and Yates was very strong. He went away alone, stayed away, and so you can only congratulate him. I couldn't have done anything else.

"The team worked really well all stage," Sagan said. "We controlled things on the flat and on the climbs.

“BMC took control of the race on the circuits and set a hard pace, then we took over in the finale, with Formolino [Davide Formolo], Rafal [Majka] and Daniel [Oss]. It was a great team performance, but we just couldn't catch Yates."

Peter Sagan

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola not expecting big summer spend

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola says he does not expect the club to spend big in the European summer.

City have spent £448 million since Guardiola's arrival at the club in 2016, but the Spaniard admitted he is not afraid of spending more, as he lines up a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred.

Guardiola said, "Of course we buy a lot of players and they have helped us a lot and next summer is to buy one or two players more.

“So our market in the summer will be cheaper. If you want to compete at a high level of competitions you need the good players, and the good players make good managers, good clubs."

City have enjoyed a superb season thus far and will look to continue their dominance of the Premier League when they take on Stoke City in their round 30 clash tonight, kick-off at 22h00 CAT.

The Citizens have also won the League Cup this campaign and advanced into the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

Pep Guardiola

Team DiData rider Bernhard Eisel denies corticosteroid allegations

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider Bernhard Eisel has denied that he was part of a group within his former employers, Team Sky, which took corticosteroids ahead of the 2012 Tour de France.

The allegation has arisen from a British parliament report titled ‘Combating Doping in Sport’. It has been denied by 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky and Eisel. The Austrian rode for Team Sky from 2012 to 2015 before moving to DiData.

Speaking at Tirreno-Adriatico, Eisel told Cyclingnews: "I'm not in a position to make my statement about the whole situation about Team Sky, and what was going on.

“I can talk about myself but there's a lot of speculation, mostly on Twitter and social media. From my side, if you want to ask me, I wasn't on a training camp and I've not used cortisone.

“That's it from my point. I'm still happy I was at that team, and I had an amazing time at that Tour."

Eisel has welcomed the news that the UCI will launch an investigation into the issue: "I heard that the UCI wants to start an investigation, and that's fine. I think Sky have addressed that and that's the best way to do it.

“Life has moved on and we're talking about stuff from 2012. I'm here racing and we lost Mark Cavendish yesterday [Thursday] in a crash.

“I'm also a rider representative so I have quite a lot to do in those positions. I've been thinking about what I should say in an interview but I can't say much.

“If someone wants to say that a small group went out there and used it [corticosteroids], then how?

“I wasn't at the training camp so I can't give you any information on that. You can have no proof, be accused and then I have to answer questions afterwards."

Blitzboks on podium again in Vancouver

The Springbok Sevens team continued with their consistent performances at the HSBC Canada Sevens this weekend, finishing third in the 2018 edition played at BC Place in Vancouver. South Africa finished runners-up in 2016 and 2017.

The podium finish helped South Africa to maintain their overall lead in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series although Fiji, who won in Vancouver, closed the gap slightly on the Blitzboks.

The Blitzboks arrived in Vancouver with a ten-point advantage over New Zealand in second place, but now lead Fiji by eight points, following the two North American legs of the World Series.

South Africa has 109 points, followed by Fiji (101), New Zealand (92) and Australia (84). The remaining tournaments are in Hong Kong,, Singapore, London and Paris.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said a number of positives came out of the tournament.

“We have very high standards and there were times when we did not achieved that. We did play very well at times and especially the comeback against Australia was very pleasing. I thought we were out of it, to be honest. But the guys kept their composure."

Powell was forced to face Fiji without Ruhan Nel, ruled out through injury, with replacement player, Marco Labuschagne, coming into the team.

“Against Fiji we had the opportunity to beat them, but did not, so that is something we need to get better at. Against teams like that, you get that one chance and you must use it. Against the USA, it was the ideal opportunity to give the younger guys a chance and they responded very well. There were mistakes made, but that is how you learn and I was impressed by their efforts.”

The Blitzboks outplayed the USA 29-7 in the bronze final. The Americans scored in the opening minute when Malon Aljiboori dotted down for a converted try, but then South Africa took control. Zain Davids, Stedman Gans and Siviwe Soyizwapi scored in quick succession to give them a 19-7 lead at the break. A brace by Ryan Oosthuizen extended that lead into a winning total.

The semifinal against Fiji was decided in the last play of the match when South Africa lost the ball while going over the line for the winning try. The Blitzboks opened the scoring with a try by Philip Snyman, but that was cancelled out by Fiji scoring from the restart. Dylan Sage however, ran strongly down the touchline to score his fourth try of the tournament, which gave South Africa a 12-5 lead at the break. Two tries in the second half by Fiji saw them leading the Blitzboks 15-12, but unfortunately, South Africa spilled the ball on the line in the last play of the match.

The quarterfinal clash against Australia was a classic. A try after the final buzzer by Dylan Sage dramatically squeezed the Blitzboks past Australia in the Cup quarterfinals of the HSBC Canada Sevens on Sunday. The try sealed a 24-19 win over the Australians, who held a commanding 19-0 lead at the break of this pulsating match in BC Place.

Second half tries by Siviwe Soyizwapi (2) and Cecil Afrika cancelled the deficit and it was left to Sage to take South Africa into the final four for the sixth time in six tournaments.

Sage had a very strong tournament, not only scoring the most tries (4), but also making the most tackles. Sage (18), Branco du Preez (17) and Cecil Afrika (16) were the leading defenders. Overall, South Africa made the most tackles at the tournament (136).

They also lead the series in tackles made this far (744) and lead the try-scoring stakes, with 148 tries, with Australia (139) and Fiji (137) next.

Siviwe Soyizwapi

Beast superb in milestone appearance – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 4 Roundup

Beast Mtawarira produced a superb Man of the Match performance in his milestone appearance for the Cell C Sharks who comprehensively outplayed the Sunwolves 50-22 in their Vodacom Super Rugby match on Saturday in Durban.

It was the Durbanites’ first win of the campaign and they scored seven tries to three following a solid 24-3 lead at the interval.

The experienced Springbok prop with 98 Test caps to his name earned his 138th competition appearance for the Durban side to become their most capped player of all time, surpassing the previous landmark of wing JP Pietersen.

The side of Ruan Botha earned a morale boosting bonus-point win just a day before they depart to Australia for their away leg of four matches, starting next week in Canberra against the Brumbies.

At Emirates Park in Johannesburg the visiting Blues side produced a great second half performance to overturn a 10-21 halftime deficit into a 38-35 upset win over the tournament finalists of last year. It was a first defeat in four matches for the Highveld outfit while the Blues notched up their first success in three fixtures.

The two sides played a high-octane, attacking game and each team scored five tries, with exciting young wing Aphiwe Dyantyi scoring his fourth try in as many games. The Ioane brothers Rieko (2) and Akira, scored three of the Blues’ tries.

In the early match on Saturday morning (SA time) that was played in Brisbane, the Vodacom Bulls came close to a win but the Reds did just enough to edge them 20-14 at the Suncorp Stadium. Although the visitors raced into a 14-3 lead, it was the Reds who did well to secure the majority of possession after the interval. John Mitchell’s team now have assignments in New Zealand against the Chiefs and Crusaders.

The DHL Stormers was first in action on Friday morning in Dunedin and they succumbed to a 33-15 defeat to the Highlanders. Nineteen year-old flyhalf Damian Willemse had a bright match for the Cape side while another promising youngster Salmaan Moerat (lock), came on as a substitute to make his tournament debut.

Elsewhere, the Rebels outplayed the Brumbies in their Australian Conference derby in Melbourne and moved up to first place on the overall log with 15 points following their third straight bonus-point victory. And in Wellington the Hurricanes deservedly beat the Crusaders 29-19 to top the early New Zealand conference table.

In the last fixture of the round played late on Saturday night in Buenos Aires, home side Jaguares defeated the Waratahs 38-28 after storming to a 33-7 halftime lead. The Argentine side scored their first win in four matches to end their worst ever starting run.

The Emirates Lions are still top of the South African Conference with 15 points from four matches and they are followed by the Cell C Sharks on 8 points from three games.

Beast Mtawarira of the Sharks


Johannesburg, South Africa – History was written tonight, when Italy’s Chiara ‘Beasty Barbie’ Penco defeated South Africa’s Dr. Danella Eliasov, to take the inaugural EFC women’s strawweight title. In the co-main event, featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa cemented his legacy with a second round TKO of Brazil’s Paulo Silva, in a non-title match.

The inaugural women’s strawweight bout between South Africa’s Danella Eliasov and Italy’s Chiara Penco began at a blistering pace. Eliasov stormed the Italian but was quickly getting beaten back by powerful, crisp boxing. Penco established dominance in the first, and kept it, firing powerful punches that kept Eliasov pinned down.

Eliasov began the second hunting for a takedown and a change of pace, and succeeded quickly, dropping the fight to the canvas. Penco proved to be skilled there also, threatening with an armbar, before the fight was stood up by referee Bloch.

The third revealed Eliasov’s traditional strength – unbelievable toughness. Penco began to visibly fade while Eliasov remained her juggernaut self, beginning to push the striking pace and capitalizing by taking Penco down, and dominating her with ground and pound. Penco showed true grit to survive the round.

Penco seemed battered and gone going into the fourth, but dug deep and suddenly stunned Eliasov with a triangle, which morphed into an armbar, and had the African MMA legend Eliasov tapping to the pressure.

Commentator Dirk Steenekamp called it a war of attrition, and so it was – a brutal and satisfying battle, revealing a true champion in Italy’s 22-year-old Chiara Penco.

Expect the unexpected, was the watchword when EFC featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa faced late replacement, Brazilian Paulo Silva. Silva is a 34-fight veteran, a BJJ black belt, and a heavier, unknown entity. Kabesa took on the challenge without batting an eye, and battled the bigger man in the clinch for the first round and a half.

A forced separation by referee Bobby Karagiannidis set up a flurry of strikes from both, and a lighting fast, weaving, spinning back elbow that rocked the Brazilian, and dropped him to end the fight by TKO.

Kabesa took on a fearsome challenge, and although it was not a title fight, has added significantly to his legend. At only 24, the featherweight champion’s future looks brilliantly bright. Who is next for the wrestler turned KO King?

The bout between South African Warren Allison and the Netherlands’ Renier de Ridder was touted as a clash of grappling titans, but did not deliver. De Ridder took Allison down with absolute ease, smoothly set up an armbar, transitioned to a rear-naked choke, and finished the South African early in the first round.

Many were puzzled. Is De Ridder that good, or did Allison simply freeze? De Ridder is now in poll position to challenge for the title.

War horse Gordon Roodman stepped out against ‘TF1 - The Fighter’ alumni Khulekani Hlongwa, and the two went at it in what was shaping up to be an unforgettable war. An unintentional groin strike ended the fight early, however - an official no contest after Roodman was injured in the first round.

The evening’s main card began as if with a bomb blast. The highly anticipated matchup between South Africa’s Bokang Masunyane and England’s Coner Hignett exploded with aerial action. Masunyane advanced with his trademark barrage of aerial takedowns - this time, however, met by granite defense and Hignett answering with strikes.

Masunyane’s attack was slowed, but not stopped, and Hignett soon got taken to the canvas. Masunyane began his brutal top control game, smothering Hignet throughout the first two rounds. In the third Masunyane attempted a striking attack, but quickly felt the superiority of the Englishman, and reverted to his ground dominance, grinding out an enthralling decision win.

Performance bonuses were awarded to Rodrique Kena, Serge Kasanda, Igeu Kabesa, Danella Eliasov & Chiara Penco. Fight of the Night was awarded to the featherweight fight between Steven Goncalves and Trezegeut Kanyinda.

The official EFC 67 results are:

TC Khusu defeated Roevan De Beer via unanimous decision.
Quinton Rossouw defeated Kulekhani Hlongwa via submission (Triangle) 1:47 into round 1.
Devon Cronje defeated Amisi Kabeya via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3:33 into round 1.
Steven Goncalves defeated Trezegeut Kanyinda via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1:55 into round 1.
Gunther Kalunda defeated Pietie Coxen via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:42 into round 1.
Bokang Masunyane defeated Coner Hignett via unanimous decision.
The bout between Gordon Roodman Kulekani Hlongwa was called a No Contest due to an unintentional groin strike.
Renier De Ridder defeated Warren Allison via submission (Rear-Naked Choke), 2:00 into round 1.
Featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa defeated Paulo Silva via TKO (strikes) 3:21 into round 2.
Chiara Penco defeated Danella Eliasov via submission (Triangle Choke) 1:35 into round four.

All eyes now turn to EFC 68 Van Staden vs Hughes, Mazany vs Bright is presented by and takes place on Saturday 31 March live from GrandWest, Cape Town. Tickets are on sale at, and the 5 main card bouts will be broadcast live on (Sub-Saharan Africa), Kwesé Free Sports 1 (Kenya & Rwanda), TVplayer (UK) and live in South Africa on SABC 3 starting at 21:00 (CAT). Full broadcast details available on

About EFC® – The Extreme Fighting Championship®

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, EFC is a world leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation. The Extreme Fighting Championship produces 10 live events annually at sold out arenas. With over 150 athletes exclusively contracted to the organisation, EFC showcases the greatest warriors on the planet.

EFC events are broadcast live in over 120 countries around the world on numerous television networks in multiple languages. EFC programming is available weekly in 600+ million TV households worldwide, making it one of the most recognisable MMA brands on the planet.

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 10:  during the Fight Night for EFC 67 at Carnival City on March 10, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)


The EFC women’s strawweight division took the penultimate step to crowning its first champion, when contenders Dr. Danella Eliasov (South Africa) and Chiara Penco (Italy) stepped onto the scale today, ahead of tomorrow night’s EFC 67 event, live at Carnival City, JHB.

Eliasov and ‘Beasty Barbie’ Penco faced-off for the final time before they collide in the Hexagon. For only the second time in the organisation’s history, a women’s championship fight will headline a card.

“I have been waiting a long time for this,” said Eliasov. “It’s a massive moment for SA women’s MMA, it’s a massive opportunity.”

“I feel good and can’t wait for tomorrow night,” said Penco, relishing her first outing to compete outside of Italy. “I will fight until the end!”

In the co-main event, featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa takes on the dangerous Brazilian Paulo Silva, at a heavier lightweight. Kabesa was his typical animated and athletic self while Silva, who weighed-in a staggering 3kg’s over, hurled insults during their face-off

“I’m happy to be here,” said Silva, making his EFC debut tomorrow night. “I am going to beat the champion, and it will be easy.”

“He chose the wrong guy,” replied Kabesa, full of his trademark ‘smiley’ grin. “A change of opponent doesn’t change anything.”

The Netherlands’ undefeated Reinier de Ridder makes his EFC debut tomorrow. A renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist, he towered over his opponent, Bloemfontein’s Warren Allison, in their face-off. Allison is no slouch on the ground, with most of his victories coming from submission.

Known as one of the most violent men in the organisation, Gordon Roodman faces former TF1 contestant and undefeated Mzwandile Hlongwa. While neither have been outwardly aggressive, fans can expect big action tomorrow.

Set to open the main card with lightning fast action, fan favourite, Bokang Masunyane will be hunting his fifth straight win, this time against England’s Coner Hignett. The two flyweights have been at each other’s throats with promises of an early finish since the fight was announced. Facing off, the enmity was intensified, with Masunyane openly goading the Englishman.

Paulo Siva and TC Khusu did not make weight, and will take financial penalties.

The official EFC 67 weights are:

Fight 1: Lightweight
Serge Kasanda 69.10kg
Rodrqiue Kena 70.00kg

Fight 2: Catchweight
Roevan De Beer 58.20kg
TC Khusu 59.70kg

Fight 3: Light Heavyweight
Quinton Rossouw 91.80kg
Khulekani Hlongwa 85.00kg

Fight 4: Featherweight
Amisi Kabeya 65.80kg
Devon Cronje 66.00kg

Fight 5: Featherweight
Trezegeut Kanyinda 65.95kg
Steven Goncalves 65.90kg

Fight 6: Welterweight
Gunther Kalunda 76.10kg
Pietie Coxen 76.60kg

Fight 7: Flyweight
Coner Hignett 56.90kg
Bokang Masunyane 56.95kg

Fight 8: Middleweight
Gordon Roodman 82.90kg
Mzwandile Hlongwa 83.90kg

Fight 9:Middleweight
Warren Allison 83.60kg
Reinier De Ridder 84.00kg

Fight 10: Lightweight
Paulo Silva 72.9kg
Igeu Kabesa 69.30kg

Fight 11: Women’s Strawweight Title
Chiara Penco 52.00kg
Danella Eliasov 51.90kg

Couture: How Miocic can become 2nd man to defeat UFC champ Cormier

Former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier will look to end Stipe Miocic’s record-breaking run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight division later this year.

The two experienced Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters will fight in the main event of UFC 226 on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Miocic has defended this title three times - holding the record for most consecutive title defenses in the history of the UFC heavyweight division.

The 35-year-old American will face Cormier, who is the current UFC light heavyweight champion and he’s considered by many to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.

MMA legend Randy Couture, who is a former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, spoke to MMANytt (transcribed by, about how Miocic can become only the second man to defeat Cormier (38).

“Obviously, I think Daniel started in the heavyweight division, he’s a big guy, he’s got a great wrestling pedigree and he’s facing arguably the best heavyweight out there right now in Stipe Miocic,” Couture said.

“It’s going to be an interesting, technical fight. I think if Daniel can find a way to make Stipe Miocic wrestle him as much as possible during the course of that fight, it’s going to be a good night for him.

“If Stipe uses his range and striking IQ to keep Daniel off of him, it could be a good night for Stipe. It’s one of those fights, toss a coin, who’s going to win. I’m a wrestler, so I tend to feel like that wrestling pedigree is going to work well for Daniel. But Stipe’s one of the toughest guys out there. He’s a great fighter,” the 54-year-old added.

If Cormier defeats Miocic at UFC 226, he will become only the second fighter to be champion in two divisions simultaneously after Irish MMA star Conor McGregor.

McGregor won the UFC lightweight title at UFC 205 when he was also the reigning UFC featherweight champion.


The inaugural EFC women’s strawweight title fight between South Africa’s Danella Eliasov and Italy’s undefeated Chiara Penco headlines this Saturday nights EFC 67 live from Carnival City, JHB.

Causing a shift at the top of the fight card and placing the ladies in the main event, Boyd Allen official withdrew from his fight against Igeu Kabesa and has been replaced by Brazil’s highly experienced Paulo Silva.

In a fitting location and time, signaling the start of a new era in MMA, Dr Danella Eliasov and Chiara “Beasty Barbie” Penco recently appeared for a photoshoot above the Johannesburg skyline.

“It has been a long journey,” stated Eliasov. “From begging EFC for a fight and now we are headlining. It is a dream come true.” She concluded, “Now to put on a show!”
Notably, opened odds this week and placed Dr. Eliasov as the favorite ahead of their strawweight championship fight.

Eliasov vs Penco is only the second women’s title fight in history to headline an EFC event. Amanda Lino defeated Jacqualine Trosee last year at EFC 60 for the EFC women’s flyweight championship to become the first ever women’s champion.

The official EFC 67 weigh-in takes place on Friday at 14:00, live from the Mardi Gras Theatre, Carnival City, Johannesburg

This fight headlines a stacked first EFC event of 2018, which also features a lightweight fight between featherweight champ Igeu Kabesa and the dangerous Brazilian, Paulo Silva. The main card also features Netherland’s undefeated Reinier De Ridder versus Warren Allison, Gordon Roodman versus TF1 contestant Mzwandile Hlongwa and undefeated Bokang Masunyane versus England’s Coner Hignett.