With the most stacked card to date, it was little wonder that EFC Africa 17 proved to be such an incredible event – this is how the fights went down…
Ashley Calvert vs. Alain Ilunga (featherweight) – [Winner: Illunga via verbal submission due to strikes]
Illunga started as expected and came out striking with Calvert returning fire. Illunga landed some great body kicks, one of which Calvert caught and then took him down. After some grappling, Illunga managed to escape and get back up where he threw a hard body kick which floored Calvert, who then verbally submitted.
Koba Iakobidze vs. Francois Groenewald (featherweight) – [Winner: Groenewald via rear naked choke]
Iokabidze controlled the stand up and he had Groenewald on the back foot from the start. Groenewald waited for an opportunity and took Iokabidze down and passed to side control. He then caught him in a crucifix and rained down strikes, which left Iokabidze with no choice but to give up up his back to escape, and Groenewald sunk in his hooks. The Springs grappler eventually sunk in a deep rear naked choke to win the fight.
Lance Ceronio vs. Gideon Drotschie (light heavyweight) – [Winner: Drotschie via rear naked choke]
The fight started with some uneventful striking, a slow feeling out session. The combatants then clinched and both men threw hard uppercuts, until Drotschie took down Cerronio and dominated on the ground, eventually taking his back and ending the match with a rear naked choke.
Don Madge vs. Hector Britts (lightweight) – [Winner: Madge via rear naked choke]
Britts opened with a kick which took Madge off his feet and followed to the ground with a tussle. Madge eventually got to full guard and Britts dropped some ground and pound with Madge returning fire. They got back up to the feet and Madge took Britts down and passed to full mount. He then dropped some more ground and pound and Britts defended by giving up his back where Madge sunk in a rear naked choke.
Armand de Bruyn vs. Pete Motaung (middleweight) – [Winner: de Bruyn via rear naked choke]
Round one had some good exchanges by both men. Both men landed good kicks. De Bruyn took down Motaung and dropped some good strikes from mount. Motaung reversed and de Bruyn was threatening from the bottom with submissions. They got back to their feet, but Motaung got taken down again to end off the round. In round two, Motaung opened with hard kicks and once more, got taken down. De Bruyn transitioned to full mount and began to work his ground and pound. Motaung gave up his back and got caught in a deep rear naked choke and eventually tapped out.
Boyd Allen vs. Amos Hlatshwayo (featherweight) – [Winner: Allen via armbar]
Allen and Hlatshwayo were eager to trade blows,and Allen appeared to be the faster of the two and mixed up his strikes very well. Hlatshwayo obliged and returned fire and Allen worked stiff jabs to the body. They eventually clinched and Allen took him down. He got to mount and landed hard ground and pound. Hlashwayo reversed, but fell prey to an armbar from Allen‘s guard at the end of the opening round.
Leo Gloss vs. Wesley Hawkey (featherweight) – [Winner: Hawkey via unanimous decision]
In round one, there were some nice exchanges on the feet. Hawkey certainly was not out of his depth on the feet, but eventually took Gloss down. He chipped away at Gloss from inside of the guard to end off the round. In round two, after some exchanges, Hawkey took Gloss down again and began to grind him. Gloss went for guillotine but Hawkey escaped. In round three Hawkey took down Gloss once again, and worked his ground and pound with Gloss unable to bring the fight back to standing. The fight ended well for Hawkey, and the decision went to the judges.
JP Kruger vs. Wade Henderson (middleweight) – [Winner: Kruger via unanimous decision]
In the first round, the fighters clinched and Henderson began to stomp Kruger’s feet. Kruger took him down, they got back up, and soon after Kruger tagged Henderson with a right and they went down again. Kruger attempted an ankle lock, but ended up in awkward position on top of his opponent, and Henderson landed a good upkick and they got back up to standing position. Henderson pulled guard and swept Kruger. Kruger in return, went for an unsuccessful armbar. In round two, Kruger had Henderson on the back foot, landing a hard overhand right and leg kicks. Henderson pulled guard again and went for a very deep kimura but Kruger wriggled free. He then got caught in a tight Henderson triangle, which ended in a deep mounted triangle. He looked like he was about to tap but Kruger was saved by the bell. In round three, Kruger tagged Henderson who then pulled guard. Kruger attempted a guillotine from top unsuccessfully. They got back up and although Henderson gestured for him to grapple, the fight resumed on the feet. They were severely gassed and slowed down considerably by the end of the round. The fight ended with the decision left to the judges, who declared Kruger the victor.
Donavin Hawkey vs. Liam Cleland (middleweight) – [Winner: Cleland via tapout due to strikes]
Opening the fight, Cleland and Hawkey exchanged some strikes until they clinched up. Hawkey landed some hard body shots and punches to the thigh, but Cleland then took down Hawkey with a single leg (around the pipe twist). Cleland quickly passed to full mount and he dropped hard elbows until a bloody and battered Hawkey was forced to tap out due to strikes.
Dino Bagattin vs. Dallas Jakobi (welterweight) – [Winner: Bagattin via T.K.O.]
In round one there were a few exchanges with Bagattin looking more crisp, and tagging Jakobi who threw some leg kicks to counter. The round played out much like that throughout. In round two they had a good exchange on the feet but Baggatin began to a get loose and unloaded. He began to outbox Jakobi and imposed his will. In round three, the end seemed close for Jakobi and Bagattin landed a hard right that had him rocked. Baggatin smelled blood and went in for the kill, forcing the referee to stop the bout via T.K.O.
Martin van Staden vs. Jadyson Costa (featherweight) – [Winner: van Staden via T.K.O]
The opening round had Costa throwing some hard leg kicks and even taking his foe’s back, but van Staden resisted and threw strikes with bad intentions and escaped the submission attempt with relative ease to keep the fight on the feet. van Staden dictated the pace, but didn’t do any serious damage. In round two van Staden peppered Costa with strikes and eventually rocked him with a hard right. Costa covered up and van Staden rained down punches to coax a referee stoppage.
EFC Africa Lightweight Championship
Costa Ioannou vs. Leon Mynhardt (lightweight) – [Winner: Ioannou via rear naked choke]
Ioannou came out and immediately shot in and took Mynhardt down easily, avoiding Mynhardt’s explosive striking. They grappled back and forth with Ioannou dictating much of the pace, and Mynhardt survived a deep keylock attempt. Ioannou then eventually took Mynhardt’s back and went for a choke. Mynhardt escaped again, but eventually got caught with another choke from Ioannou which was deep and with a second to go until the end of the first round, he tapped and gave Ioannou his third title defence victory.
EFC Africa Middleweight Championship
Jeremy Smith vs. Darren Daniel (middleweight) – [Winner: Smith via K.O.]
One of the most anticipated fights of EFC Africa history saw Daniel open with impressive strikes. He seemed to be the quicker of the two and was landing more of the strikes, leading on the feet. His head kicks were crisp and hard, and Smith threw some hard hooks to counter. They clinched with both landing solid knees. They broke apart, continued to land strikes, again with Daniel getting the better of the exchanges, but soon they clinched up and as Daniel landed a knee, he was caught off balance with hard punch which dropped him to the canvas. Smith immediately took the chance to finished him off with strikes to retain his belt, sending a morbid message to the middleweight division.
EFC Africa returns to Carnival City on March 1 – Andrew van Zyl will challenge heavyweight champion Ruan Potts in a rematch for the belt. Tickets are on sale at Computicket and tickets for the live broadcast to Nu Metro Cinemas available will soon be available at Numetro.
Photos by Ruby Wolf/EFC Africa