Former EFC featherweight title challenger Pierre Botha is adamant he is the superior wrestler to highly-touted contender Roedi Roets.
The pair will meet in the prelims of EFC 77 in Pretoria on Saturday in a fight that could determine the next test for dominant 66kg champion Igeu Kabesa (11-1).
Botha (9-7) was initially slated to face Roets (5-0) at EFC 74 in September 2018, but the latter suffered a concussion in training and could not compete.
Botha landed up losing to late-notice replacement Tshilumba Mikixi (3-0) before rebounding with an unanimous decision win over Angolan Nerki Simoes (2-2) in October.
Roets later extended his perfect record by submitting judo black belt Sindile Manengela (4-6) with a third-round rear-naked choke in December.
While both athletes are accomplished wrestlers, Botha insists he will dominate the ground exchanges at Time Square.
“Comparing my wrestling to his, there is no match. He has a lot to still learn from my experience,” Botha tells mmaengage.com.
Asked to list his achievements in the singlet, Botha says: “I am a 36-time SA champ and took the Commonwealth Championship in Scotland.
“At the African Games I was a two-time bronze medallist when I was only a junior and took bronze in the seniors.
“I’ve done a duel tournament in Scotland against Canada and took gold for the Brave Heart tournament.
“I did the qualifying rounds for the Olympics and got fourth place, missing third place by one point.”
Botha also says he can outstrike Roets and expects the victor to be awarded a shot at Kabesa, who he lost to in August 2017 by third-round TKO at Carnival City.
“I think we will definitely put up a show and stand a chance on getting the title shot. I need my shot at the title again.
“I think it was an early stoppage, but I will get my shot soon!”
Botha, whose coach is ex-heavyweight champ Ruan Potts (11-7), is one of the most active fighters on the roster, and is eager to make the walk for the fourth time in 11 months.
“I had an intense training camp and yes, I definitely worked on a few extra [things],” Botha says.
He adds: “I am ready now more than ever and more determined than ever. Good luck to my opponent, he will need it on fight night.”