EFC Africa returned to Carnival City for their tenth event with a fight card that was well matched, and one that would see some of the top fighters on the African continent facing off in some tough battles. FLUX Mag was at the event to cover it, and this is how we saw the fights go down…
Abdul Hassan vs. Francois Groenewald (Featherweight) – [Winner: Abdul Hassan via judge’s decision]
To open the night’s fights, Abdul Hassan (Durban) fought Francois Groenewald. Both new to EFC Africa, these two great fighters bring an impressive arsenal of talent and experience that has the divisions’ eyes closely on them.
The first round saw some opening strikes from by both men and then Groenewald leading in with a takedown. Hassan landed safely in his full guard and worked in some ground ‘n pound, but Groenewald saw an opening there and got Hassan into a triangle, which looked rather tight. Hassan’s experience saw him slowly escaping the triangle and the two were rolling in a very impressive display of jiu jitsu. The ref stood them up, after the pace slowed, and Groenewald quickly looked for and got another big takedown in the closing seconds of the round.
Into the second round and Groenewald came out strong with a great punch and a takedown and the two were again aggressively rolling, with Hassan still in the top position, but in full guard. Again the ref stood them up when the pace slowed and Hassan landed an impressive headkick and takedown to then move into side control, where he grinded out the round with some solid ground ‘n pound.
In the final round Groenewald looked more gassed, with Hassan lighter on his feet, and both men threw some kicks and punches, but Hassan managed a great takedown to control Groenewald’s back and he then landed some solid punches. When it slowed again the ref stood them up and Hassan again managed some great exchanges that rocked the tiring Groenewald, but lost his footing and Groenewald shot in for a guillotine and the two landed with Hassan, still tied up in this position, in side control to force control of the situation.
The final round ended and the decision went to the judges who decided on Hassan as the victor; a great display of impressive jiu jitsu!
Michiel Opperman vs. Daniel Sinclair (Middleweight) – [Winner: Michiel Opperman via triangle]
In the middleweight division, the second fight of the night saw two new EFC Africa fighters facing off; Michiel Opperman taking on Daniel Sinclair.
The fight opened with a confident Sinclair rushing in and putting Opperman on his back foot, setting the pace for the fight. After some short but fast and hard exchanges they went into an aggressive clinch with the stronger Sinclair managing a solid takedown, but landing into the full guard of Opperman, who also narrowly missed a guillotine at the time. Sinclair looked very explosive and active, and was throwing some strong punches, looking to hurt Opperman with his ground ‘n pound, but Opperman’s solid jiu jitsu saw him more composed and avoided damage. As Sinclair stood up and came down with a big punch, Opperman got his leg over Sinclair’s shoulder and quickly sunk in a triangle that was very tight. Sinclair tried his best to muscle out and even throw some punches, but these soon turned into taps that forced the ref to stop the fight, giving the win to Opperman in the first round.
Jean Luc Kazadi vs. Wesley Hawkey (Lightweight) – [Winner: Wesley Hawkey via guillotine]
Jean Luc Kazadi took on new to EFC Africa, Wesley Hawkey, who comes from a solid pro background. Looking to take a convincing win in his EFC Africa début, Hawkey had to stop an eager Kazadi, who was looking to redeem a progressive status after his loss at EFC Africa 08.
The fight opened with the two in a fast paced and impressive boxing battle. Hawkey, waiting for an opening, shot in for a takedown, with Kazadi almost getting them standing again and also narrowly escaping a standing guillotine. After the two broke free, the fast pace then saw Kazadi shooting in and managing a great takedown and the two rolled in a tough battle in Hawkey’s full guard. From here Kazadi opened the slightest gap which was all Hawkey needed to sink in a guillotine and it quickly forced Kazadi to tap out. A great win by Wesley Hawkey.
Armand De Bruyn vs. Keith Theologo (Middleweight) – [Winner: Armand De Bruyn via rear naked choke]
Armand De Bruyn faced off against tough fighter, Keith Theologo, in a middleweight battle which saw De Bruyn looking to take the win after his loss at EFC Africa 07, against Liam Cleland. Theologo, a stand-up specialist from CIT, was looking to stop De Bruyn in his tracks, whether standing or on the ground.
The pace started well as the fighters exchanged hard punches and kicks from the start, with Theologo looking very aggressive and quickly managing a hard takedown. From the ground he landed some aggressive ground ‘n pound, but De Bruyn tied him up well, frustrating him. Theologo got a warning soon after as the ref stopped them and deducted a point for an illegal knee to the downed De Bruin, as they were moving into a standing position. As the two started fighting again they exchanged some great punches and kicks, and when the opportunity came, De Bruyn shot in for a takedown and the two wrestled back and forth at a great pace. De Bruin managed to take Theologo’s back and sunk in a rear naked choke that he escaped from, but De Bruyn held his positioning and regained the same rear naked choke, but this time he flattened Theologo out and tightened up, forcing Theologo to tap out. A great pacey fight with lots of aggressive attacking and a good win for De Bruin.
Jacques Joubert vs. Mawande Vapi (Middleweight) – [Winner: Jacques Joubert via rear naked choke]
In Jacques Joubert’s last fight he lost to Garreth McLellan for the middleweight title at EFC Africa 08, and he has since moved his training to CIT to make his way back to title contention. Mawande Vapi lost his last fight against Wade Henderson at EFC Africa 09, had since moved up a division, and was now also keen to regain positive momentum with his fight record.
The fight was a fast and explosive one from start to finish. The two started with a massive exchange of strikes, but Vapi landed a flush punch that dropped Joubert and he capitalised and quickly jumped in to mount Joubert at the cage side. Pressed against the fence, Vapi started laying some fight finishing-type ground ‘n pound, but Joubert fought hard to get them standing again and they quickly went back to the ground after they clinched up. Vapi looked to be in a better position, but Joubert quickly reversed and flipped the two over, landing in a full mount to attack Vapi. They fought back and forth from here, but Joubert managed to take Vapi’s back and he sunk in a tight rear naked choke that ended the explosive fight.
Wade Henderson vs. Jaydson Costa (Welterweight) – [Winner: Jaydson Costa via kimura]
Possibly one of Wade Henderson’s more technical opponents, internationally seasoned fighter Jaydson Costa was new to EFC Africa, but has seen the bright lights from inside the PRIDE ring in Japan. Seemingly equal on the ground and standing, these two fighters were here to battle hard.
Henderson and Costa started off with some well-placed punches and kicks, picking their shots very carefully. After a few exchanges like this Costa shot in for a takedown and Henderson did well to position himself, eventually, into the full guard of Costa. They both fought well here, putting on a good display of jiu jitsu, but Costa looked more composed, even striking hard from the bottom to loosen Henderson up. After several submission attempts by Costa he managed to get hold of Henderson’s right wrist and was clearly looking for a kimura. Staying relaxed, Costa finally got the hand loose from Henderson’s defence and put in a tight fight-ending kimura. More comfortable fighting from the ground, Costa won in another good fight on the night.
Tyron Rightford vs. Paul Terblanche (Middleweight) – [Winner: Tyron Rightford via TKO punches. Also winner of Knock-out of the Night]
Possibly one of the most intensified grudge fights at EFC Africa, Tyron Rightford took on Paul Terblanche. Rightford had been taunting Terblanche on social networks where the two had been tossing around smack talk like they were lifelong enemies.
The fight started with the Terblanche coming in and throwing big punches that forced Rightford to counter with the same. Terblanche landed a hard left that shook Rightford, but as he came in closer Rightford clinched up and they tussled back and forth at the cage side. Rightford then pushed of and hammered Terblanche with a solid knee to the face that rocked Terblanche and opened him up for an onslaught of uppercuts and hooks that dropped him, immediately forcing the ref to stop the fight. A convincing win for Rightford, and a tough loss for Terblanche.
JP Joubert vs. Jeremy Scheepers (Light Heavyweight) – [Winner: JP Joubert via TKO punches]
In a fight that could see the victor shooting for the first Light Heavyweight title (possibly against Chett Meyer), JP Joubert took on seasoned MMA veteran Jeremy Scheepers.
Joubert and Scheepers started off with a few brawling punches and soon it saw them clinching up and fighting against the cage. As they broke away Joubert landed a low kick and a time-out was called for Scheepers to recover. As they started again the two fought between some hard punches, mostly from Joubert, and some back and forth clinching at the cage side. On the final breakaway, Joubert came in with very heavy punches and out-powered Scheepers with a mixture of punches that dropped him and ended the fight right there. A powerful TKO victory for Joubert!
Francois Kabulu (Drc) (Replacing the injured Dino Bagattin) vs. Martin Van Staden (Welterweight) – [Winner: Martin van Staden via TKO ground ‘n pound]
Due to an injured rib, Dino Bagattin had to withdraw from this event and the man to replace him was Francois Kabulu, fighting Martin van Staden, after both had considerably different results at EFC Africa 09.
van Staden started the first round by pushing the pace with well-placed punches and kicks that left Kabulu with no option but to eventually shoot in for a double leg takedown. At the cage side Kabulu was still fighting for the takedown, but van Staden defended well and then managed a successful takedown of his own, including a great slam, to end off in a full mount and just missing a guillotine. They fought back up, but again van Staden took Kabulu to the ground to finish the round off in side control, landing some punches.
Into the second round Kabulu immediately shot in for another takedown and he landed into the full guard of van Staden. The two wrestled from here and van Staden reversed his position and was landing some ground ‘n pound from a standing position. Back into Kabulu’s guard van Staden worked his way into a full mount, where they fought back and forth, but he then selectively rained in a barrage of punches and solid elbows that finished Kabulu off, forcing the ref to stop the fight. Top-class ground ‘n pound win for van Staden
Nolan Swanepoel vs. Leon Mynhardt (Welterweight) – [Winner: Nolan Swanepoel via rear naked choke]
One of the best match-ups at EFC Africa saw Nolan Swanepoel taking on Leon Mynhardt. Swanepoel’s last fight, losing against Adam Speechly at EFC Africa 08 for the title, now saw him facing one of the EFC Africa’s best stand-up fighters, Mynhardt.
From the start the two premium fighters exchanged some brilliant punches and kicks, almost one for one. Swanepoel, a better ground fighter, saw his opportunity to take Mynhardt down and he managed a double leg takedown with a huge slam to follow. They fought back and forth from the ground and Mynhardt did well to get them standing again, where he would be more effective, but Swanepoel kept to his plan and managed another takedown. This time Swanepoel took the back of Mynhardt and controlled the position well to then sink in a rear naked choke that Mynhardt just could not get loose from and he tapped out soon after. A very good and fast paced fight, and a well-played out strategy from Swanepoel that saw him take a fantastic win.
Leo Gloss vs. Demarte Pena (EFC Africa Featherweight Title Fight) – [Winner: Demarte Pena via judge’s decision]
The first Featherweight Title at EFC Africa saw Leo Gloss taking on Demarte Pena in a well matched and desirous fight. Gloss’s win over Charlie Weyer at EFC Africa 09 saw a much improved ground game from this boxing specialist, and this would be needed against Demarte Pena, a good wrestler (see EFC Africa 07 for his last fight).
A slow start to the fight, to feel each other out, eventually saw Gloss move in to strike, but Pena immediately shot in and took them to the ground. From here they wrestled back and forth, a lot, exchanged some punches along the way and Pena then rolled out and got hold of Gloss’s ankle, looking to end the fight with an ankle lock. Gloss slipped out and managed to get into a full mount and this ended the round.
The second, third and fourth rounds saw the same thing happening; Gloss would move in to strike, Pena would shoot in and take down Gloss, they would punch here and there, they would wrestle back and forth (with Pena slightly more in control), and this would see the end of the rounds. Although, there was an illegal kick from Gloss (whilst they were both down) in the fourth round which got the crowd going mad (not agreeing with the ref), but the tired Pena took the opportunity to refocus.
The final round saw more action as the two bounced between some stand up exchanges, takedowns from both (mostly from Pena), some ground ‘n pound (mostly from Gloss), a great slam by Pena, Gloss in a full mounted attack, and it all ending off with Gloss escaping when Pena took his back in the final seconds.
The decision went to the scorecards and the judges gave Pena the win via a 49-45 decision. The first EFC Africa Featherweight Champion, Pena, fought to his strengths and although not very exciting, it was still a good fight.
Adam Speechly vs. Dallas Jakobi (EFC Africa Welterweight Title Fight) – [Winner: Dallas Jakobi via judge’s decision]
The main fight of the night, the Fight of the Night, and possibly fight of the year, saw the technical genius of Adam Speechly taking on the powerhouse that is Dallas Jakobi.
The fight opened with Speechly leading in with some strikes and one solid punch that dropped Jakobi. Speechly rushed in and looked to take advantage on the ground where he then sunk in a guillotine, quickly. Jakobi fought like mad to get them standing and they moved into a hard-hitting clinch. They fought well, with some great punches landing, but Speeechly tripped up Jakobi and they went to the ground again. They wrestled back and forth and Speechly sunk in a tight triangle that Jakobi fought hard to get out of. They wrestled between side control and full guard, where Jakobi landed some great ground ‘n pound, but again he was caught in a triangle that ended off the round.
The second round saw Jakobi land a massive, flush headkick and a great takedown to start. From the ground Speechly looked for an armbar while defending from guard, but Jakobi slammed him to get loose and they wrestled like mad from here. Speechly then got the top position for a tight guillotine from the side and again Jakobi fought loose to get Speechly into his full guard and where they fought their hearts out in an impressive display of jiu jtsu.
The third round opened with great punches from both and eventually they went to ground where they moved from Speechly’s half mount to Jakobi reversing his position and getting Speechly into a crucifix for some hard ground ‘n pound. Speechly also fought loose and from his guard he caught Jakobi in another triangle, which saw the end of the round, yet again.
In the fourth round Jakobi turned on the heat and he landed a powerful headkick and controlled the clinch that followed. Jakobi then from the ground, where they ended up, rained in some heavy punches and elbows from side control, looking to control the closing of the round with his hard ground ‘n pound.
The final round saw them put it all on the line. Jakobi managed a great takedown and got side control to lay in some ground ‘n pound again, but Speechly got them back up and from the clinch he took them to the ground where he now had side control, and managed some ground ‘n pound of his own. They fought back up and down several times, with some incredible exchanges along the way, and they finished the fight with Jakobi in control and dropping in his dominating ground ‘n pound.
The fight went to the judges and they unanimously decided on Jakobi as the victor, and the new Welterweight champion!
An overall success once again by the EFC Africa team, the next event looks to close off the year with a bang! Don’t miss EFC Africa 11 on the 10th November where Ruan Potts defends his title and unblemished record (13-0) against the tough Andrew Van Zyl (7-0). Plus the fight that everyone has been waiting for, Costa Ioannou defends his Lightweight Title against Alex Cheboub in what could easily see the fight of the year.
Photos by Chris Wall.