By Stephen Kihn
The UFC have signed EFC heavyweight and light heavyweight king Dalcha ‘Champion’ Lungiambula of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A physical specimen at 5ft 10in, Lungiambula (9-1) has received a four-fight deal and plans to initially compete at 205 pounds in the octagon.
There is talk the 31-year-old, who trains under Gareth Lombard at Team Champion in Cape Town, South Africa, could make his UFC debut in March.
“I want to make my fans proud and achieve the belt,” said Lungiambula.
“It is great to represent Africa and show the world African MMA, and why I am the true Champion.”
Lungiambula is riding a five-fight winning streak, having previously clinched EFC heavyweight gold by edging the recently-retired Andrew van Zyl (19-5) via split decision in June 2018.
A second degree judo black belt with decent boxing, he becomes the second EFC champion in less than a year to join the UFC, where his compatriot Marc Diakiese (12-3) campaigns at lightweight.
South Africa’s Don Madge (8-3-1) made the move soon after reclaiming the EFC lightweight strap from now-retired Alaskan Dave Mazany (17-6-1) in April 2018, while Scottish featherweight Danny Henry (11-2) also shone in the SA-based promotion before his UFC call-up in 2017.
With Lungiambula’s departure from the EFC, Team Quest product Jared Vanderaa (8-3) has inherited undisputed heavyweight honours in the organisation.
The American 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.