Chiara will bring the fight to Karolina

Pretoria News - - SPORT - JU­LIAN KIEWIETZ ju­[email protected]

“THE show must got on!”

Spo­ken like a true cham­pion, I’d say of Chiara Penco who just brushed off a ma­jor dis­rup­tion ahead of her ti­tle fight with the USA’s Cheyanne Vlis­mas.

Vlis­mas was set to take on the EFC’s strawweight cham­pion from Italy this week­end at EFC76 in Pre­to­ria in the main event. How­ever, Vlis­mas has with­drawn due to med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions in the lead-up to the fight.

The Amer­i­can’s di­ag­no­sis is un­clear, as her blood sam­ples are still be­ing tested. The op­por­tu­nity then opened for Cheyanne’s last op­po­nent, Karolina Wo­j­cik who stepped up on short no­tice to im­press the fans.

“Of course it is a change. It changes the game plan and the feel about the fight. But Karolina is a war­rior and I so much ap­pre­ci­ate her tak­ing the fight, this is what we do ... The show must go on,” says Penco who made his­tory by be­com­ing the EFC’s first strawweight cham­pion after over­com­ing the le­gend and now re­tired, Danella Eliasov, this year.

Cheyanne and Karolina (3-1) put on a show in their fight at EFC74, and the fight ended on a con­tro­ver­sial note as many fans thought that the Pol­ish fighter stole the show after the three rounds.

How­ever, Cheyanne got the W. “I have a few doubts, that Cheyanne won that fight,” says Chiara “... but it is what it is.”

“I think that Cheyanne (1-1) had a bit of favour­ing in her last match at the end, as Karolina re­ally put up a good fight and no­body would have said any­thing if she took the W in­stead. So I def­i­nitely re­spect Karolina, like I re­spect any­body who en­ters the cage with me.”

Karolina is an ex­plo­sive en­ter­tain­ing fighter who de­buted in the Fight of the Night against Vlis­mas at EFC74.

Earn­ing her the re­spect and loy­alty of EFC fans around the world. She vowed to be back, to show her dev­as­tat­ing KO power that she has be­come renowned for. And she could not have asked for a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity than a shot at gold against a lady not only known for her looks, but also her en­durance, work ethic and all-round game.

Over a gru­elling four rounds Chiara (4-0) main­tained her 100 per­cent sub­mis­sion rate by frac­tur­ing her op­po­nent’s face with strikes and even­tu­ally win­ning the cham­pi­onship against Danella Eliasov by sub­mis­sion in round four in a bout that was highly im­pres­sive, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the fact that she dom­i­nated the South African on the highveld, a feat that needs to be com­mended con­sid­er­ing the chal­lenges that come with fight­ing at alti­tude.

Prior to this fight, the part-time model added an­other W to her name against Elena An­dr­uschenko via sub­mis­sion in the first.

“Com­ing back to Africa re­ally gives me a mag­i­cal feel­ing ... The crowd and peo­ple are amaz­ing,” says Chiara.

“I have been pre­par­ing for longer than her, so I as­sume I’ll be walk­ing in more pre­pared. This is if Karolina has not se­cretly been train­ing on Mount Ever­est (laughs)!”

Con­sid­er­ing the two fighters’ styles, plenty of fans on so­cial me­dia have tipped this fight to be more ex­cit­ing than the orig­i­nal one.

Tak­ing noth­ing away from Cheyanne’s abil­ity, but these two main carders are fully-fledged go-for­ward fighters with strong box­ing abil­ity.

“I was go­ing to bring the fight on Cheyanne, now I am go­ing to bring it on Karolina, she is tough and will push. I like that. Re­mem­ber that there will al­ways be a show when I fight. I’m an en­ter­tainer as well,” says Chiara.

“I am bet­ter than Chiara in ev­ery depart­ment,” says Karolina. “Her strong­est points must be her good looks,” she adds cheek­ily.

The fight will take be the main event at EFC76. EFC76 Time Square is pre­sented by Betx­, and takes place to­mor­row live from Time Square, Men­lyn Maine, Pre­to­ria. Tick­ets are on sale at com­, and the five main card bouts will be broad­cast de­layed live on SABC 3. This copy is co-spon­sored by The Cap­i­tal (Ho­tels and Apart­ments).

WILL IT be an­other happy day for Chiara Penco at EFC76 in Pre­to­ria to­mor­row? | Sup­plied

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