Monday 11 June 2018 the EFC announced that Multiple division Champ Dricus Du Plessis had declined a fight with The Fighter Winner Brendan Lesar. Last year saw the EFC introduce the ground breaking show the Fighter, where the winner would win an EFC contract to the Value of R500 000 and a shot at the Middleweight Champion Being Dricus Du Plessis. The news seemed to send the MMA community into a frenzy of opinion and ideas as to what should happen and what can happen.
The news brought about many varying opinions on what should happen for Lesar and whether he was in fact worthy of facing Dricus Du Plessis who has gone on to become a 2 division , 2 promotion Champion against some of the Richest MMA talent the globe has to offer and in so Etching his name into the MMA history books.
Soon after the news was announced, possible contenders began to arise, Jose Da Rocha said he would go up a weight class to face Lesar. Some people felt that Dricus Should take the fight as was promised by the Show the fighter, Chad Hannekom mentioned he would be interested if he had the time, social media was a buzz. Gareth ‘Soldier Boy’ Mclellan was being mentioned, the ‘Polish Tank’ Rafael Haratyk as a test of Lesars evolution was mentioned. One theme emerged, Although Lesar won’t be facing Du Plessis, it seems the possibilities are endless.
In My opinion I have to agree with Du Plessis’ decision, a lot has changed for him since the show and is a man on the Rise in the global stocks of MMA. WIth all respect to Lesar, it would be a step back for the multiple time champion. The other side of the coin is that this fight not happening would raise a question of legitimacy of the show, The Fighter, and so putting a cloud over future seasons. However, perhaps it was a bit too ambitious of a prize, where as merely winning the show and contract would of been enough. That being said you have to commend the EFC in their optimism of having the ‘guts’to introduce such a show and for the first time set such high standards all round.
The options are now endless for the EFC and Lesar in a Division that is crying for some activity. Perhaps Lesar can get a shot at the next biggest contender or perhaps even it is time for an Interim Belt until the future of the Champ is clarified. The question on everyone’s mind however, who shall he face? Perhaps Da Rocha? Haratyk? Mclellan? only time will tell. One person who will be watching extremely closely however is Ibrahima Mane, who has expressed his desire to run it back with Lesar after their insanely Close fight in the TF1 Finale.