This EFC Africa event was set to be the biggest, baddest and most impressive MMA event on African soil, to date. With some insane fights on the cards the production was once again world-class and the fights produced another spectacular showcase for all the fight fans, all 7000 of them in attendance. We go through each fight in detail…
“King” Leo Gloss [Winner by TKO] vs. JD Du Plessis – (Featherweight)
After “King” Leo Gloss’s win in EFC 04 against Luis “Boyka” Mendez his confidence seemed to be back on form when he took on JD Du Plessis in the opening fight of the night. Du Plessis really brought the fight to Gloss and in the opening seconds Du Plessis used his reach to his advantage with a head-kick that rocked Gloss, where they went straight into clinch and where there was an exchange of knees and punches. Gloss managed a take-down but Du Plessis wrestled the fight back up where the two exchanged more blows and unfortunately Du Plessis got a poke in the eye that stopped the fight for a short while. Once the fight resumed the two went straight into another stand up battle with knees, kicks and some punches thrown by Du Plessis and the usual strong punches thrown by Gloss. Gloss lined up a solid flurry of punches but with Du Plessis height one punched landed square into Du Plessis groin, dropping him immediately. Stoppage was allowed and after a couple of minutes the two went at it again but Du Plessis was visibly in agony and called the fight and Gloss was awarded the win by way of TKO.
Danie “Pitbull” Van Heerden [Winner by TKO] vs. Jake Els – (Heavyweight)
Both Danie “Pitbull” Van Heerden and Jake Els came from losses in their last fights at the EFC and were looking for a convincing win at this event. Both fighters are known boxers and the winner would ultimately be the one with the most to offer on the night. Into the starting seconds of the fight Van Heerden rushed Els with a few punches and an attempted take-down but was caught in what looked like a solid guillotine. After a few seconds in the guillotine Van Heerden managed to reverse the hold and took Els to ground and into a full mount that allowed Van Heerden to land an unchallenged ground ‘n pound assault that the referee stopped in favour of Van Heerden.
Gina Ifuki (Middleweight) vs. JP Joubert (Light Heavyweight) [Winner by TKO]
In an unfortunate change of events Lance Ceronio did not recover from his attempt to make weight to fight JP Joubert, and Conrad De Beer pulled out of his fight at the last minute to face Gina Ifuki. As a result Gina Ifuki (Middleweight) and JP Joubert (Light Heavyweight) decided to take each other on to fill the spot and put all their hard training to good use. Gina Ifuki lost his previous fight against JP Joubert’s younger brother, Jaques Joubert, at EFC 04. Not knowing what to really expect from this the fight the fight started with the two fighters exchanging punches and it went straight into a clinch where Joubert managed to used his under-hooks to take Ifuki to ground and into a side mount that allowed Joubert to lay in some solid ground ‘n pound. The referee soon stopped the fight in favour of Joubert who won by way of TKO. Although the fight seemed to have been stopped too quickly it just seemed that Ifuki did not protect himself enough and rolled out of the situation a little too late.
Dallas Jakobi [Winner by KO] vs. Janus De Lange – (Middleweight)
Dallas Jakobi, who took on a fierce Daren Daniel at EFC 04 and lost, fought the solid Janus De Lange in this middleweight battle. The two started off with an exchange of punches and some kicks meeting their targets, but Jakobi managed two good take-downs where he managed a dominating position where he went from the side of De Lange to taking his back. De Lange managed to fight them back to a standing position where Jakobi came in with a solid combination of punches and knees where one perfectly placed knee to De Lange’s mid section dropped him and left him KO’d. A good convincing win for Jakobi.
Terrence Griesel [Winner by Submission] vs. Paul “Dynamite” De Vos – (Lightweight)
Terrence Griesel, arguably Wentzel “The Animal” Nel’ toughest opponent at EFC (before this EFC), fought Paul “Dynamite” De Vos, who previously lost to “King” Leo Gloss. The fight started win Griesel taking De Vos down to ground where it was quickly reversed by De Vos and saw Griesel slipping out of an armbar. The fight mixed between the ground and some stand up with no clear dominant fighter taking the lead. De Vos then managed a solid left hook to the head of Griesel that shook him, but Griesel recovered well and grappled with De Vos until he had De Vos’ back and put in a solid guillotine that ended the fight in De Vos tapping out.
Remo “The Destroyer” Ralph vs. Dino Bagattin – (Welterweight) [Winner by TKO]
Probably noted as the stand up battle of the night to watch, Remo “The Destroyer” Ralph vs. Dino Bagattin had all the makings of an epic battle. The calculated Muay Thai style of Bagattin and the never-say-die attitude of Ralph resulted in this fight being just that, a battle of note. The fight was an aggressive exchange of blows that saw Ralph laying out impressive combos and Bagattin only really laying in singles jabs and crosses that seemed a little dull. Bagattin then managed a great take-down that left Bagattin standing and Ralph on his back, and from there he threw in some good punches from above where he then dropped down to control from side-guard. Bagattin set out a relentless onslaught of ground ‘n pound that left Ralph defending with nothing to offer and leaving the referee no choice but to stop the fight in Bagattin’s favour in way of a TKO.
Nolan Swanepoel [Winner by Submission] vs. Chad Hepburn – (Welterweight)
Nolan Swanepoel fought Chad Hepburn in a welterweight battle that should have seen both fighters potentially looking to take the fight to ground. Swanepoel came from a close loss to Adam “The Prodigy” Speechly at EFC 04 and was out to take a convincing win. Swanepoel opened the fight with a few kicks that kept Hepburn at distance and the fight quickly went back and forth from ground to stand up. Swanepoel managed to put Hepburn on the ground and took control from a standing position to drop down some punches that left Hepburn’s legs in a position where Swanepoel capitalised and caught him in an ankle lock. Hepburn quickly tapped out leaving Swanepoel with the deserved win.
Garreth “Soldier Boy” McLellan [Winner by Rear Naked Choke] vs. Wade “G.O.A.T” Henderson – (Middleweight)
THE grudge-match of the year, and of EFC history, was between these two top fighters. Garreth “Soldier Boy” McLellan lost to Wade “G.O.A.T” Henderson two years ago and vowed to prove a point of his massive growth in the sport and the change from the fighter he was to the fighter he is now. The ever smack-talking Wade “G.O.A.T” Henderson guaranteed a repeat and bigger defeat of Henderson, so this was one to watch as there were serious bragging rights in the line. The fight started off with both fighters keeping a good distance and McLellan landing solid kicks to the left leg of Henderson leaving him limping and obviously in pain. Because Henderson not being able to close the distance with his leg injured, McLellan kept his distance and kept chopping away at Henderson’s legs until the end of the first round. Into the second round Henderson came out stronger than expected pushing McLellan back with a flurry of punches where eventually both fighters went to ground and McLellan forced Henderson to the cage-side where he caught Henderson’s back and put in a tight unforgiving rear naked choke that forced Henderson to tap out and the referee to stop the fight. McLellan, during his interview, said they both had one win each and suggested fight between them in the future to confirm a stand out winner, on the cards. We wait in anticipation.
Will “I Am” Bentley vs. Costa Ioannou [Winner by Rear Naked Choke] – (Lightweight)
By now most people in the MMA community, and more than likely the general fight fans, would know who Costa Ioannou is after his insane win against the almost unstoppable Brendon Katz. Will “I Am” Bentley, who has been known for taking on the best in the industry and beating them, took on this fight that ended in a convincing win. The fight started with a stand up battle that saw Ioannou dictate the pace, but uncharacteristically let in a few solid punches from Bentley. Going into some clinches the two kept a fast pace going until Ioannou took Bentley down into a side mount and then lost it into a full guard position. Iounnou out-grappled Bentley to take his back and applied a solid rear naked choke that basically left Bentley out cold for a short while. A very convincing win for Ioannou.
Wentzel “The Animal” Nel vs. Dave “Pain Train” Mazany [Winner by Rear Naked Choke] – (Welterweight)
EFC’s first ever title holder Wentzel “The Animal” Nel was now set to fight international fighter Dave “Pain Train” Mazany from the USA after Chris Bright, who would have challenged for the title, injured himself leading up to this event. Known for his aggressive style and great stand-up game Nel took on Mazany who fights out of Las Vegas USA. Mazany trains under the legendary Wanderlei Silva at his internationally acclaimed WAND Fight Team gym. The fight seemed to be dominated by the USA fighter taking the stand up game aggressively to Nel. Through a mix of punches and clinches the fight went to ground where it went back and forth for a short while and then ended up with Mazany taking Nel’s back. Although Nel put on a solid defence he eventually lost to Mazany’s attack and was caught in a rear naked choke that ended the fight. Mazany put out a request during his interview for the EFC to offer him a chance at a title fight in the future, so we’ll wait and see what happens here…
Bernardo “The Black Panther” Mikixi vs. Norman “Chef” Wessels [Winner by Rear Naked Choke] – (Heavyweight Title Fight)
The most anticipated fight of the night saw the Heavyweight Title up for grabs for the first time when Bernardo “The Black Panther” Mikixi took on Norman “Chef” Wessels. These two highly respected and equally feared fighters geared up for al all out war, although the fight was a lot more subdued than any expected. This more downcast fight was all due to Wessels shutting down the explosiveness of Mikixi from the start, keeping his distance and Mikixi guessing. The two had some small exchanges standing up, but Wessels managed some great single leg take downs that neutralized Mikixi and had him grappling with one of SA’s best ground fighters. Wessels managed to force Mikixi to give up his back and wrangled into a position where Wessels took out Mikixi with another of the nights’ rear naked chokes. Congrats to the first EFC Heavyweight Champions, Norman “Chef” Wessles! Also check out our exclusive interview (prior to winning this title) in the second digital issue of FLUX Mag, here.
Don’t miss the next EFC Africa event for their sixth instalment where amongst another great fight card we will hopefully see Wentzel “The Animal” Nel defend his title against the formidable Chris Bright on the 2nd December at the Coca-Cola Dome. Keep checking FLUX Mag for news on that event and also check out www.efcafrica.com.
Photos by Chris Wall