Visa trouble could be a “blessing in disguise” for Henry Fadipe

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Henry Fadipe’s bout with Francois Kabulu has been called off due to visa issues for the Irish-based fighter, but ‘Herculeez’ believes his withdrawal from Saturday’s action may be a “blessing in disguise.”

The former EFC welterweight champion has not fought for a year and was raring to get back to action this weekend at EFC 42. Although it was brought to his attention earlier in the week that his visa would not be ready in time to travel to Cape Town, Fadipe’s frustration was added to when he was contacted this morning and told his visa was ready. Had the bout not already been called off, the contest would not have been affected at all if he had been able to travel today.

“It’s all good,” said Fadipe following the announcement. “We went in to get the visa a while ago, but because of the bank holiday it threw us out by a day. The guys didn’t want me to fly over too late because of the weigh in and what not, so they had to call it off.

“Funnily enough, I got the phone call that the visa was ready for collection this morning, it was done, I could’ve went after all. After everything that’s happened, it would’ve been fine. I couldn’t believe it. If they had never called to say it wouldn’t be ready until Thursday, everything would’ve been fine.

“Initially I was disappointed that I couldn’t go but I don’t feel too bad anymore because something has come up that I can’t really talk about just yet. I’m sure you will hear about it soon. I’m not planning to be on the shelf for a long time at all, I think this could actually be one of them blessings in disguise because on top of everything else I think I’m coming down with a flu or something.”

A man who Fadipe has already beaten, Martin Van Staden, is due to take on current champion David Buirski at the end of the month in a title bout. According to Fadipe, Buirski is the worst fighter in EFC’s welterweight division and when Van Staden takes his title, he will be ready for a rematch.

Fadipe maintained that Van Staden has improved a lot since their initial meeting in September 2013 and the South African proved as much when he took on former team mate and close friend of ‘Herculeez’, Ayo Daly.

“Van Staden is fighting for the title, Buirski has the belt and I think Buirski is the worst fighter in the division. Martin is obviously going to whoop this guy’s ass and take the belt and then I think that opens up a rematch for us. I really expect Martin to destroy him.

“It would be a really good fight and I think that Van Staden is a far more evolved fighter than he was back then. If I fought him again I think it would be a far tougher fight,” explained Fadipe.

‘Herculeez’ also claimed that his preparation for Kabulu had gone very well. Having not seen the KO artist in action for a year, Fadipe is confident that Irish fans will see a very different fighter when he gets back to action.

He said: “My preparation was really good for this fight. I worked a lot on my wrestling, my wrestling defence has come on leaps and bounds and that was perceived as my weakness in the past. Wrestling is supposed to be Francois Kabulu’s strength so I made sure I put a lot of focus on that.

“I felt good. I was training with a lot of Eastern European guys, they’re obviously known for their crazy wrestling out there so it was really good to get some solid training in. It really helped me to get used to that kind of fighting style. The next time you see me it’s going to be a very different fighter than you’re used to seeing when I’m in action. I’ve been travelling around to different gyms quite a bit, I’m coaching at D-10 MMA now too so I’ve been keeping busy.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.