EFC Africa’s 9th successful event took place at the Coca-Cola Dome last night and the results were as intense as you could expect from such a great fight card. The packed house was treated to another enthralling fight night after the hugely successful EFC Africa 08 at Carnival City in April. FLUX Mag was at EFC Africa 09 to cover the fights and this is how we saw it all go down…
Tyron Rightford vs. Tshikangu Makuebo (Drc) (Middleweight) – [Winner: Tyron Rightford via majority decision from the judges]
These two fighters made their debut at EFC Africa and started the event off with the opening fight. The fight opened with some great exchanges from both men and saw Rightford landing well-placed punches and kicks that staggered Makuebo a few times. Makuebo shot in for a takedown and landed in full guard where they both fought out some ground ‘n pound and at the cage side Makuebo transitioned into side guard and eventually tied up Rightford and laid in some punches that did some damage. Into the second round they started with some stand up exchanges with Rightford’s timing better and connecting effectively. They fought into a clinch where Makuebo looked for a reverse takedown and landed in a full mount and laid in some ground ‘n pound, but Rightford tied him up and the ref stood them up where they finished the round with some strikes from both men. The final round saw Makuebo take Rightford down with a great trip to land in side control. They fought back up and went into a clinch where Rightford landed solid knees and foot stomps, but the ref reset them after slowing down and the two threw some tired strikes to end the fight. The decision went to the judges and they unanimously went with Rightford, mostly because of his stand up domination.
Ashley Calvert vs. Wade Groth (Lightweight) – [Winner: Wade Groth via KO] – KO of the Night
Ashley Calvert made the cut lightweight after his close losses at previous EFC Africa events (see EFC Africa 07). Calvert’s opponent, Wade Groth, was making his pro MMA debut, but came from an impressive amateur record and was looking to make a name for himself in the lightweight division. This fight started as a great striking fight with Groth finding his rhythm quickly and started landing good strikes. Calvert looked to match Groth, but his speed was a little less timely. The fight soon went to ground where Calvert was almost caught in a guillotine, but Calvert escaped and the two rolled back and forth in an impressive display of Jiu Jitsu. Calvert managed to get from a north south position and ended at Groth’s side guard. Growth defended well from here and landed some strikes too and the round ended well. The second round started with Growth looking to pick away at Calvert with strikes that were well placed, catching Calvert a little off guard. Into the third round there were more great exchanges from both men, but again Growth’s boxing outclassed Calvert and his punches were timed to perfection, until he led with a left straight and immediately with a left body shot that dropped Calvert and he immediately verbally submitted, clutching his side in agony. Great fight from both, but Growth proving his is ready to take on the lightweight division in style.
Raymond Ahana (Ngr) vs. Jeremy Scheepers (Light Heavyweight) – [Winner: Jeremy Scheepers via unanimous decision from the judges]
The powerful Raymond Ahana, who lost at EFC Africa 08, was looking to pick up the pieces and take home a solid win again. His opponent, Jeremy Scheepers, is a veteran of the sport and this fight would be a great battle to test experience versus strength. As the fight started Ahana started laying in some powerful punches that landed and Scheepers pushed the fight to the ground and set in quickly with an arm bar that looked solid. Ahana’s strength was on form and he lifted Scheepers and dropped him on his back and head to get loose – this happened a number of times. They fought back up and Ahana landed some more great strikes to finish the round. Into the second round the two opened with some short exchanges and they went to ground as soon as Scheepers saw an opening. They fought back up and down until they clinched up against the cage side where there were some great knees by Scheepers, Ahana slipped on the matt and ended up on his back with Scheepers in a full mount dropping in some ground ‘n pound to end the round. The third round Ahana threw some great strikes again, but Scheepers saw some openings and landed some great punches, rocking Ahana. They went into a clinch where Scheepers was dominating and he eventually took Ahana’s back and they dropped to the ground with Scheepers sinking in his hooks and flattening Ahana out in a rear naked choke. It looks solid, but the round ended and the decision went to the judges who scored Scheepers the winner in a unanimous win.
Wade Henderson vs. Mawande Vapi – [Winner: Wade Henderson via Rear Naked Choke]
Mawande Vapi stepped in to face Wade Henderson when both their opponents, Michiel Opperman and Wiehahn Lesch, had to withdraw due to injuries leading up to the fights. Henderson at middleweight was facing a very strong and confident welterweight, Vapi. The fastest fight of the fight, Vapi looked to start out with some strikes that saw Henderson slip and shoot in for a great takedown. Henderson’s skill was evident as they both rolled around and he sunk in a body triangle, allowing him time to slowly also sink in his arm and landed a rear naked choke. The rear naked choke was solid and it forced Vapi to tap out and give the convincing win to Henderson.
Wentzel Nel vs. Manny Da Silva (Lightweight) – [Winner: Wentzel Nel via TKO]
Wentzel Nel was looking determined to make his way back to the lightweight title spot after his loss against Costa Ioannou at EFC Africa 08. As for Many Da Silva, he dropped down a weight class where he looked in great shape to take on the division since his loss at welterweight against Dino Bagattin at EFC Africa 03. As they two started, Nel set in with his fight plan and shot in for a great takedown with some great wrestling that saw them in a north/ south position, and both rolling for the top position. The wrestling was great, going back and forth, but Nel looked to dominate from here and eventually he landed in Da Silva’s side guard where he took his back and from the side he landed solid punches that forced the ref to stop the fight, giving Nel a convincing TKO win. Good to see Nel back to his old ways.
Terrence Griessel vs. Donald Nzirawa (Zim) (Lightweight) – [Winner: Terrence Griessel via unanimous decision from the judges]
Terrence Griessel’s last win over Paul de Vos at EFC Africa 05 was a great one for him, but it now meant he would face an impressive Donald Nzirawa who dropped from welterweight since beating Ashley Calvert at EFC Africa 06. It opened with some short exchanges, but Griessel kept his distancing right and shot in with some fantastic double leg takedowns and hard slams. The fight stayed on the ground for a while, with Griessel missing out on a guillotine and Nzirawa missing out on a rear naked choke, after the two fought back and forth – the round ended with Griessel in Nzirawa’s guard, landing some ground ‘n pound. The second round started off a little slow, but again as Nzirawa started striking, Griessel shot in for a great takedown and landed in Nzirawa’s full guard. They both fought well from here, with strikes going both ways, but a cut on Nzirawa’s eye looked menacing, and the round ended. The third round saw another great takedown by Griessel and against the cage side in full guard he looked to finish the fight with some ground ‘n pound. The rounded ended and the decision was left with the judges who unanimously selected Griessel as the victor.
Steven Momah (Ngr) vs. Martin Van Staden (Welterweight) – [Winner: Martin Van Staden via TKO]
Nigerian Steven Momah was taking on his biggest challenge when facing a South African MMA veteran with 18 pro fights to his name. Martin Van Staden is a great addition to the fighters in the EFC Africa stable and one that everyone will be looking out for in the welterweight division. From the start of this fight Van Staden pushed the pace in his favour and stalked Momah with the two striking and exchanging some great punches. Van Staden’s fight plan was clear and he shot in for an easy takedown and moved from a full guard easily into a side guard, pinning Momah on the ground, and in an open easy attackable position. Van Staden started landing some heavy hammer fists, punches and elbows to the side of Momah’s head and even set to tie Momah into a Kimura, but the constant punches and elbows were too solid and forced the ref to stop the fight, giving Van Staden an easy TKO victory.
Daniel Strauss vs. Dewald Botes (Super Heavyweight) – [Winner: Dewald Botes via verbal submission]
A massive addition to the weight classes at EFC Africa (no pun intended) is the start of Super Heavyweights, which saw Daniel Strauss taking on Dewalt Botes. As expected these two large fighters came out blazing with massive punches being exchanged and Botes pushing the pace with determination. Unfortunately Strauss lost his footing and slipped on the matt with Botes capitalizing and going into a half guard on top of Strauss. The ground ‘n pound that Botes then started laying in saw some viciously heavy punches being landed and a solid elbow. Strauss had some damage done to his nose and Botes then slowly grinded out with his weight forcing his arm and elbow constantly on the face and neck of Strauss. Eventually the pressure was too much and Strauss verbally submitted, giving the win to Botes for the first EFC Africa’s Super Heavyweight fight.
Francois Kabulu (Drc) vs. Leon Mynhardt (Welterweight) – [Winner: Leon Mynhardt via KO] – KO of the Night
Francois Kabulu won his last fight against Josh Muller at EFC Africa 08 and at this event he was facing one of South Africa’s top welterweights, Leon Mynhardt. Mynhardt’s return to EFC Africa is a huge welcome and he was set on making short work of Kabulu to prove his top ranking. This fight saw some big heart being shown, but also some bad refereeing. They started out with both men going all out with a stand up battle that looked fairly even in the beginning. Kabulu looked like he was landing some great punches and kept the distancing in his favour, but Mynhardt was finding his rhythm and returned the favour soon. After some exchanges they went into some clinching and Kabulu managed a great hip-throw, although Mynhardt fought them back to a standing position. Into the second round Mynhardt immediately looked like he found his groove and started dictating the pace and landing very solid strikes and kicks. His strikes were picking Kabulu apart and by this stage the ref should have stopped the fight, as Kubulu did not defend a number of strikes that left him almost out on his feet. The round ended and Kubulu looked like a beaten man struggling to get his hands up as the third round started. Again Mynhardt put on a clinic and destroyed Kabulu with punches and kicks that all landed solidly. Eventually the ref stooped the fight and Mynhardt won the fight with a TKO in the third round.
Andrew Van Zyl vs. Bernardo Mikixi (DRC) (Heavyweight) – [Winner: Andrew Van Zyl via TKO]
Andrew Van Zyl won his last fight at EFC Africa 06 against Raymond Ahana, adding to his unblemished professional record. However, his opponent, Bernardo Mikixi, was looking to make an impressive comeback after his loss at EFC Africa 05 against Norman Wessels for the Heavyweight Championship, and this fight looked to be a great one! This fight started off explosively with both men from the start exchanging blow for blow, which saw Mikixi landing possibly a few more flush punches. Van Zyl took the fight to the ground and was on top, but Mikixi escaped and they were back up and at it again, exchanging huge punches. Van Zyl shot in again and the fight went to the ground and he narrowly missed a triangle and again they went back up when Mikixi escaped. Mikixi threw an impressive hip-throw and both men fought to a standing position, but on the break they threw massive punches and Mikixi got caught with a punch that rocked him to end the round. The second round Mikixi started off with some great punches and van Zyl landed some hard kicks, but soon they went into a clinch that saw van Zyl land some hard knees. As they pushed off Mikixi tried for a trip, but ended up on his back and Van Zyl quickly managed a full mount and immediately started some hard ground ‘n pound to force the ref to stop the fight and give van Zyl the win.
Leo Gloss vs. Charlie Weyer (Featherweight) – [Winner: Leo Gloss via Unanimous decision from the judges] – Fight of the Night
One of the most spoken about matchups saw Leo Gloss (who won Fight of the Night at EFC Africa 07) taking on debut MMA fighter, Charlie Weyer. Weyer comes from a very impressive boxer career, and training out of the FightFit Militia camp meant that Gloss was sure of a good fight. This was the best fight of the fight with two warriors leaving the crowd with nail biting moments. The fight started with the two feeling each other out and picking their punches. Both looked composed, but the slippery matts made it hard to throw some punches with conviction. Weyer slipped a punch from Gloss and the two went to ground after a single leg takedown. In the guard of Gloss, Weyer looked to land some ground ‘n pound, but Gloss made it difficult for him and was striking well from the bottom. They fought into a standing clinch where both were striking well, but Weyer again dropped and went for a takedown that saw the end of the round. The second round saw Weyer more relaxed and the two were selective with their punches, at times getting the better of each other with great flurries, and some that Gloss seemed to be pushing more so. Weyer landed a couple of great punches and as they engaged they went into a clinch that saw them cage side. Weyer shot in for a takedown again and landed in the full guard of Gloss to end the round. The third round saw them exchange great punches again, with Gloss pushing the pace and then Weyer dropping to go for another takedown, and they wrestled back and forth from here. Gloss stuffed the attempts of Weyer and landed some body shots to grind out the end of the final round. The fight went to the judges and they unanimously selected Gloss as the victor. A great debut for Weyer and a good win for Gloss!
Jeremy Smith vs. Liam Cleland (Middleweight) – [Winner: Jeremy Smith via TKO]
Another exciting addition to the EFC Africa fighters stable is Jeremy Smith – widely known in the South African MMA scene as one of the top ranked middleweights. His opponent, Liam Cleland, is the only man that can say he has ever beaten Smith, and this made for a great grudge match. From the start of this fight Smith was looking to dominate with his hands and Cleland immediately was on his back foot defending, but fairly well. Cleland tried to stuff the strikes by going into a clinch and the two fought back and forth with Smith landing great knees and Cleland looking to take the fight to the ground ASAP. Smith managed some great sprawls and got the fight back up and again his strikes were impressive. Cleland slipped some punches and clinched up and dropped the fight to the ground with Smith in his full guard. They fought well from here and soon they were back up with Smith’s striking forcing Cleland to go for another takedown. Smith managed the takedown well and got himself into a controlling side guard with huge ground ‘n pound in the last seconds of the round. Just one second before the round ended Smith KO’d Cleland and won the fight. Garreth McLellan, who won the Middleweight Title at EFC Africa 08, stepped into the cage and EFC Africa announced that Smith would now be offered a title shot against McLelland soon. The stand-off between them was very tense and we look forward to this fight!
Norman Wessels vs. Ruan Potts (EFC Africa Heavyweight Championship) – [Winner: Ruan Potts via TKO]
The fight that everyone had been waiting for was between heavyweights Norman Wessels and Ruan Potts. Wessels was defending his title against what a lot of people saw as the toughest heavyweights at EFC Africa. Potts boasts an incredible 12-0 MMA record, but he was facing a very focussed Wessels, eager to defend his title. The fight started with the two fighters feeling each other out, but immediately went to ground where they rolled back and forth and where Potts looked for a knee bar. As Wessels tried to escape he stomped Potts’ face the ref stood them up for the illegal move. They exchanged strikes and it went to ground again where Potts got Wessels’ back and with a takedown he got a full mount, to ground ‘n pound, but Wessles escaped and got side control where he started some ground ‘n pound of his own, with one solid knee to the side of Potts. Wessels stood up and started kicking at the legs of Potts who was on his back. As Potts stood, they exchanged some great punches and went into a tight clinch to exchange some blows that saw the end of a fairly even round. Into the second round Wessels looked fresher and he started pushing the pace on the stand up, with great striking. Potts fought back well, but looked outclassed so far and they soon went to ground where they rolled in and out of dominant positions to end off the round. Into the third round Potts came out stronger than expected and started landing some great head kicks that found their mark. The two exchanged some great punches and elbows and it looked like this round was more evenly matched. They clinched up and fought back and forth where eventually it went to ground and back up again. On the break they went all out and both looked to land a solid fight-ending elbow or punch, but it was Potts who caught Wessles on the top of his head with a slicing elbow that cut him open and saw the blood streaming from the wound. The blood stifled Wessles as it went into his eyes, and Potts capitalised and clinched up and took the fight to the cage side ground where he landed some ground ‘n pound from the side of Wessles. The ref stepped in and stopped the fight soon after, awarding Potts the victory and making him the new EFC Africa Heavyweight Champion! A fantastic, well-rounded fight for both men, and a good win for Potts with his unblemished record.
EFC Africa 10 will see another great fight card put together, with the two great match-ups already announced; Speechly vs. Jakobi as the main card fight, and Robinson vs. Joubert. It takes place at Carnival City on the 1st September. Don’t miss out!