Cape Town — Pupanga Tresor has called out the EFC for saying he "turned down" a fight with EFC Welterweight champion, Ziko Makengele.
Two days ago, the Extreme Fighting Championship released a statement confirming that the DRC’s Makengele has agreed to step up and face his countryman Tresor in an interim Middleweight title fight following the news of incumbent champion Luke Michael’s withdrawal.
In preparation for his championship rematch with Tresor, Michael suffered an ACL ligament tear that forced him to undergo immediate surgery, ruling him out of his EFC100 title defence.
In the statement, the EFC mentioned that Tresor’s camp is yet to accept or deny Makengele’s challenge. Today, on the EFC Instagram page, the promotion uploaded a post saying: “Tresor turns down Ziko at #EFC100. Stands a chance of losing a future title shot.”
Tresor responded in disapproval: “We are taking the fight for the Welterweight title with Ziko. Anytime next year, so don’t say I’m pulling out, it’s a short-notice fight, that's from the Fireboy.
“This was two days ago, don’t tell people what I didn’t say. I fear nobody and I don't see myself losing against Ziko.”
There were mixed emotions about the news. While some felt that it would be wise for Tresor not to take the fight on short notice considering what is at stake, others criticised the EFC for initiating “bully” tactics.
“It’s disappointing when the promotion tries to bully people into taking fights. Telling half-truths and misleading the public,” said former EFC Bantamweight fighter Warren King.
“I would turn him down, too, you need a full camp to train specifically for a tough dude like Ziko,” said long-time EFC supporter and influencer, Thapelo Tips, aka Tipsshampoonaiza.
“Yep, too risky a fight,” commented combat sports media brand, Ruckus Media.
Makengele clinched the Welterweight title at EFC 93 when he knocked out Tresor’s teammate and African MMA veteran, Martin van Staden. Makengele is unbeaten since turning professional, riding a four-fight win streak.
Tresor suffered his first loss since 2017 when Michael beat him via punches in their controversial fight at EFC 92 in March. The memory of a great night of fighting was ruined when Tresor’s fans violently protested the result at the EFC Performance Institute.
To Tresor’s fans, he had won the fight when he reigned down a flurry of punches in the first round. However, in that sequence, the referee got involved to pause the fight after Tresor had landed illegal blows on Michael.
During that heated moment, the DRC athlete and his fans began their celebrations only to realise that the fight was not over. When the fight recommenced Tresor got taken down by Michael before the South African finished his opponent on the ground to become the new champion.
Tresor and thousands of fans demanded a rematch. Not long after EFC 92, the promotion confirmed that the rematch would take place at EFC 100.
As for Michael’s return, his medical team has informed the EFC that he will need at least a six-month layoff before he is back to full fitness.
EFC 100 takes place on December 1 at the EFC Performance Institute in Paulshof, Johannesburg as the promotion celebrates a big moment in its history.