The final EFC Africa fight night of the year is upon us, where 2 of the country’s best Mixed Martial Arts Heavyweight fighters will clash for the 3rd time and again for the title belt. MMA fans are in for a treat come EFC Africa 26 where the Challenger, Ruan Potts will step into the hexagon to face the title holder, Andrew Van Zyl.
Check out our pre-fight interview with both Andrew “One Gear” van Zyl and Ruan “Fangzz” Potts and see what they had to say about the fight and each other:
How excited are you to step into the hexagon come fight night at EFC Africa 26?
Van Zyl: I am super pumped, in sports you want to test yourself against the best and Fighting Ruan again gives me that opportunity.
Potts: I am super excited to fight Van Zyl and have the opportunity to win my belt back and prove to my fans that I am still “The Most Dangerous Man On The Continent!”
How much bigger and important is this fight to you now that it will be the 3rd time you face each other, both with 1 win under the belt?
Van Zyl: I guess as important as any fight, this is a battle between the 2 top guys in the division and the competition between us couldn’t be any more equal, so It’s gonna be a contest to see who is going to be top.
Potts: It is great to fight each other once again as we both know each other’s weaknesses and strengths and we will see who has worked more on their game come fight night.
With the huge hype around this fight, how does it affect you mentally?
Van Zyl: I try and keep out of the petty BS. There are plenty of Internet MMA superstars out there. I have trained and I am ready and so has he, it’s all on the night now.
Potts: I am super excited and mentally focused on this fight as I know it is the biggest and most anticipated fight of the year and the crowd is going to be electric and the support of my fans is going to AMP me to get my belt back!
…Van Zyl: I am sure he wants to ground fight and clinch. He wants to end the fight early so submissions are going to be his go to game. I want to brawl an hurt him, push the pace. Let’s see who can adapt…
What are your thoughts on EFC Africa returning to the Coca Cola Dome?
Van Zyl: It’s awesome for me because I train and live in that area of JHB, it gives my support an opportunity to watch me fight live.
Potts: The Coca Cola Dome brings back awesome memories for me. I won “MY” title there and beat Van Zyl there too. So it is a Great Omen for me to fight at “MY DOME”.
What has your daily routine consisted of leading up to this fight?
Van Zyl: 5:30am strength and conditioning at RAW fitness Monday to Friday. Tueasday and Friday afternoon, iron man sparring sessions. Monday and Wednesday, stand up and BJJ classes in the pm. Saturday pad session or Sunday cycle.
Potts: I have trained harder than ever before and learned more than ever before. I have been like a sponge and increased my skill set 10 fold. I wake up at 4:30am every morning and train up to 3 sessions a day. I have worked even harder on my mental focus than ever before and feel great for this fight.
…Potts: Andrew, Thanks for looking after my belt. I will be collecting it anywhere you want to take it. Shallow or Deep Water, I am a Great Swimmer…
How do you think your opponent is going to come into this fight and how will you combat this?
Van Zyl: I am sure he wants to ground fight and clinch. He wants to end the fight early so submissions are going to be his go to game. I want to brawl an hurt him, push the pace. Let’s see who can adapt.
Potts: He has 2 choices. Come hard from the start and try knocking me out or play it safe and take it to the final rounds to win on points. But, is he able to do that again? I think not. I have studied our last fight and learned by my mistakes. He thinks he knows my game and my weaknesses. He is so mistaken. He also can’t keep a fast pace, only a constant pace and this will lead to his downfall.
What can MMA fans expect from you in this fight come fight night?
Van Zyl: I want to show that I am versatile and that I have got better, I want to show them why I am at the top of the heavyweight pile.
Potts: My Fans can expect a New and Improved Ruan “FANGZZ” Potts and I will reassure them why they have stuck with me through thick and thin and give them a nice early Christmas Gift (My Belt Back) for being so loyal.
How do you see the fight going?
Van Zyl: Late round stoppage.
Potts: I see my hand raised at the end of it and Shane ‘The Duke’ Wellington announcing “…and the new EFC Africa Heavyweight Champion…..Ruan “FANGZZ” Potts”.
Any words for your opponent ahead of the fight?
Van Zyl: No.
Potts: Andrew, Thanks for looking after my belt. I will be collecting it anywhere you want to take it. Shallow or Deep Water, I am a Great Swimmer.
Who would you like to thank that has helped you prepare for this title fight?
Van Zyl: Bobby Kariaginnidis and my team at BJMMA, and Mark Nel at RAW fitness.
Potts: I would like to thank my sponsors: Rex Diff and Gearbox, Apex Truck and Trailer, Bad Boy, Mr Shelf, Barloworld and Musclepharm. I would also like to thank Mark Robinson, Tal Bugai, Bryan Hart, Michail Shapiro and all my training partners at The Mark Robinson Academy. Most of all I would like to thank my family, friends and FANS for being so LOYAL!