By Makhosi Tshipa
Insider tips for Demarte Pena, from team Sayed.
In the run up to their blockbuster fight at EFC 55, a member of team Sayed had some insider information for Sayed’s opponent, unbeaten Bantamweight champion and nemesis, Demarte Pena.
It gets even more bizarre. The person leaking this insider information is none other than Irshaad Sayed himself!
Sitting in an exclusive interview with southafricanmma.com following their face off during the just passed EFC 54 at Sun City resort and Casino, Sayed was asked if he is worried that the Pena’s handlers, the legendary duo of Norman ‘Chef’ Wessels and Richie Quan would be able to figure out his game plan and devise a way for their fighter to neutralize him, as they have been able to do with so many other fighters before.
“There is absolutely no need for them to do that” was Sayed’s candid response.
“….I will personally tell Pena what he needs to do, I don’t like keeping secrets. He needs to try and close the distance and take me down because if I stay on my feet I’m going to smash him. What else is he going to do, besides try to lay on me like a wet blanket.”
And if the fight goes to the ground?
“…It most probably will, because I might take him down in the second or I might take him down in the third round. I will dictate where this fight takes place. When I hit him a few times he is going to get desperate on that shot. I know exactly what’s coming, so I think it’s only fair that I make sure that he knows what’s coming to him! I have watched his fights, he hasn’t changed in his last couple of fights, he takes the guys down and grinds out a victory. That will unfortunately not be possible against me. They need to find another plan”
Well who better to give Pena and his team insider information as to what most MMA pundits expect to be their greatest challenge yet, than the man who has been with Sayed for the last 27 years, watched (and experienced) all his fights, worked with him to correct all his weaknesses over the years and is now with him every day in the lead up to this epic fight.
(sidenote. All this was said with the most honest, candid and straightforward demeanor. Not a smile or a sneer was given throughout the entire interview, it was actually a quite unsettling). Mindgames, innocent candidness or a slip of the tongue. It is really hard to tell what Sayed was playing at, but southafricanmma.com will keep you posted with all the latest news in the run up to this mega fight.