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Champion’s UFC deal details

Champion’s UFC deal details

Dalcha ‘Champion’ Lungiambula could explore competing at middleweight in the UFC.

The former EFC heavyweight and light heavyweight king recently landed a four-fight deal with MMA’s top promotion.

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While Lungiambula (9-1) plans to initially fight at light heavyweight in the octagon, the 5ft 10in powerhouse may test the 185lb waters in future.

“Champ will stay at light heavyweight for now,” Lungiambula’s manager and coach Gareth Lombard tells mmaengage.com.

“We would like him to explore middleweight, but we will have to test the weight cut first.”

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Lombard adds that there is talk Lungiambula could make his UFC debut in March, but stressed “nothing is set in stone yet”.

His client’s move to the UFC was announced on Thursday, having started talks with the Dana White-led company in late 2018.

The 31-year-old became the second EFC champion in under a year to join the UFC – emulating SA’s lightweight star Don Madge (8-3-1), while Scottish featherweight Danny Henry (11-2) achieved a similar feat in 2017 following his exploits in the hexagon.

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Cape Town-based Lungiambula, who came to South Africa a decade ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of a better life, exited the EFC on a five-fight winning streak.

A second degree judo black belt with improving stand-up, Lungiambula previously claimed the EFC heavyweight strap by edging the battle-tested and recently-retired Andrew Van Zyl (19-5) via split decision in June last year.

With his departure from the EFC, American Jared ‘The Mountain’ Vanderaa (8-3) has inherited undisputed heavyweight honours in the organisation.

Vanderaa won the interim belt by dispatching ex-UFC fighter Ruan Potts (11-7) in December, and will make his maiden title defence against the DRC’s Ricky Misholas (7-7) at EFC 77 in Pretoria on March 16.

The EFC light heavyweight crown is now up for grabs.

 

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