EFC Africa 11 took place last night with one of the most stacked and exciting fight cards of 2011; it saw warriors from South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and the DRC taking part. FLUX Mag was there to cover the results, and this is what went down…
Armand De Bruin vs. Tez Makuebo (Middleweight) – [Winner: De Bruin via TKO, referee stoppage from punches]
Armand De Bruin’s win over Keith Theologo at EFC Africa 10 was well deserved and now he faced a tough Tez Makuebo whose last fight saw him lose to Tyron Rightford at EFC Africa 09 . Their fight opened with a few short solid stand-up exchanges and De Bruin soon shot in for the takedown, but ended up on his back with Makuebo standing and looking to land some strikes from his position. After a few leg kicks from Makuebo the ref stood De Bruin up to restart the two after the pace slowed down a little too much. Immediately De Bruin leapt straight into action and set in with a solid and pin-point flurry of punches with most of them landing flush to the head of Makeubo, dropping him and leaving him on the floor, cage side. De Bruin quickly jumped in from there and from a stacked standing position he set in with a few more punches, before the ref stepped in to stop the fight. Slightly premature stoppage from the ref, but De Bruin most definitely was going to continue his dominance from his position and it was a well-deserved win for the man from Durban.
Wesley Hawkey vs. Victor Anyaogu (Featherweight) – [Winner: Hawkey via TKO, ground ‘n pound, punches]
Wesley Hawkey’s great win at EFC Africa 10 now saw him confronting Victor Anyaogu, whose last fight was a win against MMA veteran, Neil Diesel. The fight started off a little slow with the two feeling each other out; Hawkey being cautious of Anyaogu’s kickboxing skills. Hawkey then opened with a number of punches and Anyaogu returned the favour and also landed some hard inside leg kicks. After a few of these hard kicks Hawkey shot in for the takedown and managed to stay on the top position to work from there. With a tight ground game, Hawkey quickly worked hard to get into a full mount position and started putting in hard hitting ground ‘n pound which stifled Anyaogu to the point of him tapping out. A good win for Hawkey.
Wade Groth vs. Don Madge (Lightweight) – [Winner: Madge via TKO, knee’s and punches]
Wade Groth made a huge first impression with his stand-up flattening of Ashley Calvert at EFC Africa 09, but he was now facing a Muay Thai specialist, Don Madge, who was keen to test his stand-up on a new level. As expected, this fight was a wicked stand-up fight. Groth came out firing on all cylinders, looking to dominate by throwing good strikes and hard leg kicks, but Madge countered calmly with strikes and shook off the leg kicks as if they were nothing. Groth went at it again with more punches and then tied up into a clinch, but Madge was stronger there and soon they dropped to the ground with Groth defending from his full guard. Madge quickly got the fight standing again and he stalked Groth, avoiding his attempts of punches and still shrugging off the leg kicks, and soon the two were back into clinch where Madge tied Groth up side-on to land a number of hard knee’s to his head, dropping him and forcing the ref to stop the fight as Madge went in to finish with punches to the downed Groth. A very impressive MMA career start and win for Don Madge.
Leon Mynhardt vs. Amr Wahman (Egypt) (Welterweight) – [Winner: Wahman via KO]
After Leon Mynhardt’s loss to Nolan Swanepoel at EFC Africa 10 he was dead keen to show he is still a force to be reckoned with when he took on world-class kickboxer, Amr Wahman of Egypt. This fight was explosive from the start with both men throwing a number of hard punches and kicks, and with things looking quite even in the beginning. Mynhardt soon clinched up as they tore into each other and he managed a good hip throw, landing in the side guard of Wahman. Mynhardt then ended up in the full guard of Wahman and landed some good punches from his position, but Wahman fought hard to get the two standing again, where he was more at home. They went straight into it again, both landing some crisp shots, but in the middle of one of the exchanges Wahman saw an opening and landed a very hard overhand right the spun and dropped Mynhardt, landing him face down and completed out of it. As Wahman went in to finish it off with punches from above, landing some to the head of Mynhardt, but the ref stopped the fight, giving the win to the Egyptian.
Abdul Hassan vs. Denzil Wait (Featherweight) – [Winner: Wait via TKO, ground ‘n pound punches]
Abdul Hassan had a good start to EFC Africa, beating Francois Groenewald at the last event, and now had to contend with another great veteran of the sport, and also a ground specialist, Denzil Wait. From the start Wait started stalking Hassan, looking to land good strikes, some of which found their mark and some that Hassan avoided well. Hassan then shot in for a takedown, but Wait stuffed it and from a standing position Hassan clinched up and jumped to wrap himself around Wait and eventually that dropped them to the ground. The two rolled in an impressive display of jiu-jitsu, going back and forth; Hassan was very tight and looking for arm bars (although he didn’t seem to find a good grip), and Wait defended well and landed some good ground ‘n pound. From the same position, Hassan looked to go for an omoplata, but Wait escaped it and took the side and back of Hassan. From here Wait brought on an onslaught of punches and knee’s, and eventually Hassan tapped out, forcing the ref to stop the fight.
Wentzel Nel vs. Terrence Griessel (Lightweight) – [Winner: Nel via judge’s decision]
In EFC Africa’s first internal re-match, Wentzel Nel and Terrence Griessel were looking to go toe-to-toe once again, but who would be the victor this time (Nel won their first fight at EFC Africa 02 )? They went straight into it with the two striking well and Nel landing the flusher punches. Soon Griesel shot in for a takedown, slipped and Nel landed in his guard where they wrestled very well. Griesel’s great ground game saw him almost sink in a triangle, but the customary lift and slam from Nel stopped that soon after. Nel managed to break free from the submission and the two grinded out the end of the first round on the ground. Into the second round, they opened with some slow exchanges and then Nel shot in for a massive takedown, but Griesel sunk in a guillotine and from the ground reversed it to land on top. Nel powered them back up, but again Griesel got a guillotine and Nel calmly stood there, cage side, until the ref restarted them. They got straight back into it and Nel dropped Griesel with a punch and went to set in with some ground ‘n pound, but Griesel defended well and the two fought hard, rolling back and forth, to finish off the round. Into the third round they started at pace, this time with Griesel landing a solid uppercut and Nel shooting in for a takedown, but he got caught again in another guillotine which he then managed to escape from. From the ground the two fought relentlessly, mixing positions and throwing various strikes. Griesel almost got in a good triangle, but not tight enough to end the fight, and they ended off the round here to finish their second fight. The decision went to the judges (again) who selected Nel as the winner by unanimous decision (again).
James Rennie vs. Jadyson Costa (Welterweight) – [Winner: Costa via rear naked choke]
James Rennie comes from a decent 11-2 pro MMA record and he was facing the impressive Jadyson Costa, who showed off his skills at EFC Africa 10, beating Wade Henderson. These two fighters started off with an exchange of punches that saw them tie up in the middle of it and which also saw Rennie looking for solid a takedown, but ended up landing with Costa in his guard. Costa threw some good elbows and punches to stifle Rennie and the two started rolling in an impressive display of jiu-jitsu. Costa maintained good control of the ground game and as Rennie tried to escape to a better position, Costa caught him from his back and the side with a deep rear naked choke that forced him to tap out.
Donavin Hawkey vs. Yehia Akram Deghidy (Egypt) (Middleweight) – [Winner: Hawkey via TKO, ground ‘n pound punches]
Top ranked fighter Donavin Hawkey entered EFC Africa with the intention to put his stamp on the Middleweight division. His opponent, Akram Deghidy, of Egypt, was eager to stop that at all costs. At first the two took their time feeling each other out with a few intermittent punches and kicks exchanged. Hawkey then landed a good head kick and shot in for a takedown where, from Deghidy’s guard, he almost landed an arm bar and afterwards a triangle, but the Egyptian fiercely fought out of them to get them standing again. Hawkey then led in straight away with a solid flurry that all landed well and he shot in for another takedown, this time landing in full mount. Hawkey got in some good ground ‘n pound from there and Deghidy fought hard to escape, but Hawkey got back to a better position and then just started teeing off with very hard and flush ground ‘n pound, forcing the ref to stop the fight, saving the demolished Deghidy.
Chett Meyer vs. Tumelo Maphutha (Light Heavyweight) – [Winner: Meyer via TKO, punches]
Looking to make his way towards the Light Heavyweight Championship, Chett Meyer now faced off against a previous SA Heavyweight Thai Boxing champ, Tumelo Maphutha. They started off slowly, with Maphuta stalking Meyer, but Meyer dictating distance and pace, and also landing a few good kicks. Meyer then shot in for a takedown, avoiding and escaping a close guillotine, and landed up in Maphuta’s guard. They wrestled back and forth from here, with no real fight-ending damage done, but with Meyer dominating the position to end off the round. The second round started off a little faster with Meyer landing some kicks again and then shooting in for a takedown that saw them rolling back and forth, reversing positions and ending with Meyer on top, but in guard. Meyer worked his way into half guard and then side guard, landing some solid punches along the way, and giving him the opening to get a full mount to land some more punches from there. Maphuta tried to escape, giving up his back, and he got them standing for a short while until Meyer tore him down again and put in some solid punches that rocked Maphuta and forced the ref to stop the fight via TKO.
Jacques Joubert vs. Tyron Rightford (Middleweight) – [Winner: Rightford via TKO, punches]
This fight showcased two stand-up tacticians, Jacques Joubert and Tyron Rightford, facing off with a lot on the line, and both had points to prove on who was tops. As expected the fight started hard with both men going right into a flurry of punches and some kicks; with Rightford landing the more impressive and flush shots. Rightford managed to trip up Joubert and from a standing position he dropped in with some punches. Joubert kicked from off his back and Rightford dropped into his guard, but Joubert managed to recover to get them standing again. Rightford then upped his aggressive attack and kept landing flush punches, with a straight right that rocked and dropped Joubert. Rightford then quickly landed some hard ground ‘n pound and it forced Joubert to tap and the ref to stop the fight.
Nolan Swanepoel vs. Martin van Staden (Welterweight) – [Winner: Van Staden via TKO, punches] – Fight of the Night
One of the most anticipated fights of the night, Nolan Swanepoel vs. Martin Van Staden was something to look out for, with both fighters fiercely eager and ready to take the win. Immediately these two went into a mix of punches, exchanging good strikes and then clinching up to drop to the ground with van Staden almost caught in a tight guillotine that he just got free from. van Staden forced the fight back up and they went at it again. They quickly went to ground soon after, with Swanepoel taking van Staden’s back and landing some good strikes from the position. van Staden managed to reverse the position, got them standing and managed a great takedown and slam, where the two wrestled like mad to end off the round. The second round started off just as exciting with them striking with punches and kicks that landed well for both. They clinched up and dropped to the ground again, with Swanepoel on top and looking to control from there. van Staden sneakily reversed the position well and took Swanepoel’s back where he sunk in a jaw crank and forced them standing in that position. From there as van Staden let loose of the hold he threw a number of punches that then dropped Swanepoel and he then capitalised with some fight-ending ground ‘n pound, which its job and forced the ref to stop the fight soon after. Great fight, very back and forth, and good to see it get Fight of the Night!
Costa Ioannou vs. Alex Cheboub (Lightweight Championship) – [Winner: Ioannou via rear naked choke]
Costa Ioannou vs. Alex Cheboub: what more could you ask for? Two of the current most talented fighters in the division, these two wanted to take the belt home and prove a who was the country’s best. This fight went straight at it from the start. Ioannou rushed in to start striking, but slipped and the two ended up in a clinch which circled cage side and eventually it was restarted by the ref when it slowed down. Ioannou then shot in for the takedown and the two grinded out the round with a very busy and impressive display of jiu-jitsu; mostly with Ioannou landing good ground ‘n pound, escaping any attempts by Cheboub for submissions and staying in control. The second round also started well with the two exchanging punches and Ioannou shooting in and getting a takedown to land in half guard from cage side. They rolled back and forth, with Ioannou in the dominant position and Cheboub throwing elbows whilst taking in some sold ground ‘n pound from Ioannou. Ioannou managed to manoeuvre his way around Cheboub, in side guard, full mount and Cheboub’s back, striking where possible and imposing his will with ease to the end of the round. As the third round started Cheboub looked beat already, waving off touching gloves at the start of the fight, but Ioannou didn’t hesitate to get straight into it again, rushing Cheboub, taking him down and imposing his will once again. Cheboub’s crafty jiu-jitsu meant that the fight was not over just yet, but with Ioannou’s dominance on the ground he set in with a hard flurry of elbows and punches, forcing Cheboub to give up his back where Ioannou sunk in the fight-ending rear naked choke. The first EFC Africa title holder to defend his title; who will stop Ioannou in his tracks now…
Ruan Potts vs. Andrew Van Zyl (Heavyweight Championship) – [Winner: Potts via guillotine]
Ruan Potts’ attempt to defend his heavyweight title was against the wrecking machine Andrew Van Zyl; both with flawless records, but only one that could leave undefeated. As expected van Zyl went straight into the fight looking to exchange strikes with Potts, but Potts looked to even things out with his own strikes and then he took the fight straight to the ground where his best skills are evident. Potts tied van Zyl up, and from his guard he managed to naturalise van Zyl’s power and aggression, and this was where he was looking for a submission; working on a kimura. van Zyl managed to break free from the kimura, but as he did he gave up his back and was almost caught in a guillotine which he managed to escape from. Back in the guard of van Zyl, they rolled back and forth, with both men changing positions a number of times. Eventually, from the bottom, Potts then opened up enough of a gap to sink in a solid guillotine that had van Zyl in a lot of trouble and one that soon saw the wrecking machine having no choice but to tap out and add his first loss to his career. Potts, on the other hand, successfully defended his title belt well and he continues to go undefeated (14-0)!
EFC Africa ended the year off very well with another great production, and it’s no wonder that they have also been nominated for “Sport Brand of the Year” in the Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards.
To start next year off with a bang, EFC Africa 12 (which will also be broadcast live for the first time via e.tv) will see Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan taking on Jeremy “Pitbull” Smith to defend his Middleweight Title, in one of the most anticipated fights of EFC Africa history. EFC Africa 12 will take place on 2 March at Carnival City Big Top Arena, and tickets are on sale now via Computicket. FLUX Mag will also keep you posted on EFC Africa 12, as well as run our usual EFC Africa tickets and T-shirts giveaway!
Photos by Ruby Wolff/EFC Africa