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‘Rust is shaken off’ - Frans Mlambo opens up on ‘mad’ MMA return ahead of PFL Europe play-off

Frans Mlambo will be looking to secure his spot in the PFL Europe final when he takes on Moktar Benkaci in Paris this Saturday night.

The Irishman kicked off the $100,000 tournament with a majority decision victory over Rachid Haz in Berlin.

That was Mlambo’s first outing since winning a split decision against Kevin Cordero 19 months prior.

The 32-year-old admitted that his performance against Haz left a lot to be desired, though getting the victory after such a prolonged absence was certainly a step in the right direction.

Looking back at that last outing, Mlambo told Planet Sport: “That was a mad one, my last fight. It was the longest time I’ve gone without fighting since I actually started fighting. This is going back to my boxing days.

“Getting back into it was a whole new experience for me. In that fight, I was going in there with so much pent-up energy and I’m just going to let it out.

“But once I was out there, it turned out totally different. I was calmer than I thought I was going to be. I wasn’t as aggressive as I thought I was going to be.

“I felt a lot of rust. That performance, in the moment, I felt s**t. I felt like I was doing all the wrong things. Once I watched the fight, it wasn’t as bad as I felt it was.

“But that just goes to show, if I can come in and win the fight against a good guy, if I can do that and still be able to get the win, I think we’re looking good. I feel much better now.

“I’m way more prepared, that rust is shaken off, so we’re ready to go."

Mlambo was originally set to battle Francesco Nuzzi in Saturday’s semi-final. However, following the Italian’s withdrawal, PFL Europe were able to draft in Benkaci as a late replacement.

The bantamweight clash will take place on Saturday, September 30 and will be broadcast live on DAZN for fans in the United Kingdom. 

Photo Credit: PFL Europe

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