EFC Africa 16 came fully loaded with a stacked card, three title fights and not uncharacteristically, South Africa’s finest warriors delivered.
Brendon Groenewald vs. Sors Grobbelaar (heavyweight) – [Winner: Groenewald via guillotine choke]
Grobbelaar opened the fight with some heavy kicks and dropped Groenewald with one of them. The fight soon hit the ground with some great back and forth grappling action until Groenewald reversed his position and sunk in a fight ending guillotine choke.
Wade Groth vs. Khalil Akleker (lightweight) – [Winner: Groth via unanimous decision]
In round one Groth took control with solid strikes. Akleker took him down and stuffed a triangle attempt and the fight resumed on the feet soon after where the round ended. In round two Akleker opened with some better striking, even dropping Groth, incredibly twice. Groth did well to recover, controlling the distance, and then he then dropped Akleker with a devastating punch, which saw the end of that round. In round three Groth dominated with strikes and landed some good body shots. Akleker landed a takedown and worked some ground and pound. Groth worked his way back up and the fight ended with Groth looking for the K.O.
Ricky Misholas vs. Wilhelm Strauss (heavyweight) – [Winner: Misholis via K.O.]
Both men exchanged strikes on the feet, with Misholas pushing forward and throwing with bad intentions, until he soon landed a devastating K.O.
Francois Groenewald vs. Jean Luc Kazadi (featherweight) – [Winner: Groenewald via triangle choke]
In round one, Kazadi and Groenewald made their intentions clear as Kazadi wanted to keep the fight standing and showed good takedown defence, while Groenewald hunted for a fight on the ground. Groenewald eventually got a takedown, but Kazadi resisted Groenewald’s submission attempts and got the fight back up. In round two, Groenewald managed to get another takedown and eventually sunk in a triangle choke, which ended the fight.
Danie Van Heerden vs. Dain Neveling – (light heavyweight) [Winner: Van Heerden via verbal submission]
Neveling came out guns blazing, throwing hard leather, but Van Heerden fired back well and they put on a great display of hard striking. Van Heerden got Neveling down to the mat and transitioned fast into mount where Neviling soon after gave a verbal submission due to a barrage of strikes.
JC Lamprecht vs. Daniel Sinclair – (welterweight) [Winner: Sinclair T.K.O]
Round one saw both men looking to test each other’s chins. Sinclair, looking very focused got the better of the exchanges and kept coming forward, landing hard strikes down the middle and on target. In round two, Lamprecht, shot in for a takedown but Sinclair reversed and got a referee stoppage after dropping bombs from the mount.
Andrew Van Zyl vs. Ian Visser – (heavyweight) [Winner: Van Zyl via T.K.O]
Good stand up was displayed by both men from the onset. Van Zyl got caught with a low blow, and after taking a minute to recover, they started up again and he managed to snag a takedown, and finished from the mount with massive strikes.
Francois Kabulu vs. Nicholas Radley – (welterweight) [Winner: Kabulu via Majority Decision]
This fight proved to be a lot more mellow than anticipated. For most of round one and two Kabulu scored with some takedowns, while Radley tried to work back up, but Kabulu controlled him on the ground. Radley seemed lost in the grappling department. In the third round Radley tried to keep distance using his reach, but Kabulu took him down again. The fight went to the judge’s scorecards with Kabulu winning the decision.
Gareth Buirski vs. Markus Taljaard – (featherweight) [Winner: Buirski via K.O ]
In round one Buirski got the takedown and tried to pepper from top position. Taljaard got the fight back up to standing. In the early part of round two Buirski landed a well time, devastating overhand right that put out Taljaard’s lights for the evening.
Wade Henderson vs. Tumelo Maphutha – (middleweight) [Winner: Henderson via Split Decision ]
Round one and two had Henderson repeatedly unsuccessfully trying to get Maphutha to the ground. Maphutha landed some good strikes, but had a point deducted in round one for grabbing the fence during a takedown attempt. Henderson came out in round three like a man possessed, throwing hard strikes, and finally got Maphutha down and took his back and even had mount. Maphutha defended some submission attempts but it went the distance. Henderson was awarded the split decision.
Welterweight Title Bout
Jadyson Costa vs. Michiel Opperman – (welterweight) [Winner: Opperman via rear naked choke]
Opperman wasted no time and rushed Costa, who clinched and hip-tossed Opperman, transitioning to north-south. Opperman got back up, recovering well. He then stuffed Costa’s second hip-toss attempt, taking him to ground instead and took his back, choking the Brazilian with a rear naked choke (which looked more like a jaw crank). A disappointing show of skill by the Brazilian, and a dominating result for the new champion.
Featherweight Title Bout
Demarte Pena vs. Terrence Griessel – (featherweight) [Winner: Pena via unanimous decision]
Griessel entered as a late replacement for Wentzel Nel who was the original contender but pulled out due to injury. This was an anticipated bout that disappointed, putting the lack in lacklustre as both men were hesitant to engage. In round one, Pena got a takedown and landed a few shots from inside of the guard. In round two, they worked a little from the clinch and exchanged a few strikes. In round three, both men landed takedowns. When Griessel was in Pena’s guard, Pena went for an omoplata and then used it to reverse positions (probably the highlight of the fight). Round four had Pena stuffing a takedown from Griessel. Griessel missed a superman punch off the cage and Pena was kicking from out of range. In round five Pena got a takedown, but Griessel got back up and both men traded strikes on occasion with no urgency. Pena won a unanimous decision, although not in convincing fashion due to the lack engagement in this fight.
Heavyweight Title Bout
Ruan Potts vs. Bernardo Mikixi – (heavyweight) [Winner: Potts via T.K.O]
Potts got a takedown early in round one, taking Mikixi’s back and trying to get a choke, which was well defended. Potts controlled the first round for the better part until the Angolan escaped. Potts tried to get another takedown, but Mikixi reversed his position and landed some heavy shots, looking to pull off the upset! Potts was saved by the bell and looked like he was broken. In round two, Potts got another takedown, transitioned to mount and landed heavy ground and pound to coax a stoppage. It was an impressive turnaround of events and a good defence of the heavyweight title.
More explosive action will follow at EFC Africa 17 on November 23… Fights confirmed so far include: Niel Diesel vs. Dino Bagatin, Costa Ioannou vs. Leon Mynhardt, and then a match-up of epic proportions, Jeremy Smith vs. Darren Daniel.
Photos by Ruby Wolff/EFC Africa