With one of the best MMA fight cards to ever feature at EFC Africa, EFC Africa 23 did not disappoint. Mixed Martial Arts was at its best with a night filled with brutal and thrilling fights. We made sure to be there to bring you the action, check out our fight review below:
Fight 1: Featherweight – Kenyeba Anicet vs Nelson Feiteira
Winner: Nelson Feiteira
Debut fight for Feiteira who took the fight to the ground and dominated but Anicet got out. Again on the ground Feiteira locked in an Ankle Lock and forced Anicet to tap out in round 1.
Fight 2: Bantamweight – Pierre Botha vs Baldwin Mdlalose
Winner: Pierre Botha
Mdlalose came into the fight strong and engaging with good punches and kicks but Botha wanted the fight on the ground and took it there. Botha had top guard most of the fight with Mdlalose trying with two Armbars in the first round with no luck. In the second round Mdlalose tried again with an Armbar as well as a Triangle but they were just not tight enough. Botha’s ground game was just too good and he caught Mdlalose with an Arm Triangle in round 2 to take the win.
Fight 3: Middleweight – Dricus Du Plessis vs Bruno Mukulu
Winner: Dricus Du Plessis
Du Plessis came into the fight with a kick that Mukulu caught and took the fight to the ground. Du Plessis tried to slip in a Guillotine Choke with no luck. Both men manoeuvred around each other for control but it was Du Plessis that got full guard and landed some Ground and Pound. Mukulu tried to turn it and gave up his back giving Du Plessis the opportunity to lock in a tight Rear Naked Choke forcing Mukulu to tap out.
Fight 4: Featherweight – Peter Nyide vs Hanru Botha
Winner: Hanru Botha
A 3 round battle that saw Botha take all three rounds by getting the takedowns and dominating the fight on the gournd. Nyide caught Botha with a 1, 2 in the third round and dazed him slightly but it wasn’t enough to stop Botha. The fight went to the judges and Botha took the win by unanimous decision.
Fight 5: Bantamweight – Francois Groenewald vs Craig Ninow
Winner: Francois Groenewald
Great fight that could have gone either way. Ninow engaged with some great strikes which hurt Groenewald, but Groenewald had the better ground game, getting the takedowns and getting himself into top guard when he needed to. He finished it off in round 3 with a Rear Naked Choke which saw Ninow tap out.
Fight 6: Heavyweight – Roelof Scheepers vs Brendon Groenewald
Winner: Brendon Groenewald
The fight started off with a big exchange of strikes before it went to the ground. Groenewald got top guard but Scheepers turned it, Groenewald turned it back and landed some heavy ground and pound from the back before he took Scheepers back completely and locked in a tight Rear Naked Choke forcing Scheepers to tap out in round 1.
Fight 7: Lightweight – Johan van Staden vs Sibusiso Mdoko
Winner: Sibusiso Mdoko
A closely matched fight that had all the elements of stand up and ground game. Both fighters having their chance at top guard and landing big strikes. Van Staden controlled most of rounds 1 and 2 with Mdoko turning it right at the end to land Ground and Pound. In round 2 Mdoko connected Van Staden’s side with a big right dropping the fight to the ground but Van Staden quickly recovered and got himself into top guard. In round 3 Van Staden went straight in for the takedown but Mdoko got into top guard, Van Staden tried to turn it but gave up his back. Mdoko put in a tight Rear Naked Choke and Van Staden tapped out.
Fight 8: Lightweight – Alex Cheboub vs Khalil Akleker
Winner: Alex Cheboub
A brilliant and tight fight which saw an array of submission attempts happen and even more impressive defending take place. Cheboub did control most of the fight be getting himself into top guard and defending the submission attempts from Akleker. Akleker did a great job defending and attacking from the bottom. Cheboub caught Akleker with a big head kick in round 2 which dropped Akleker but he fought back and the fight went to the judges. Cheboub took the win by unanimous decision.
Fight 9: Heavyweight – Wilhelm Strauss vs Vandam Mbuyi
Winner: Vandam Mbuyi
A fight that lasted a full 28 seconds. Both came in landing strikes but it was Mbuyi that caught Strauss with a big right sending him to the ground. Mbuyi went in with heavy strikes which saw the ref call the fight and Mbuyi taking the win by Knock Out.
Fight 10: Welterweight – Martin Van Staden vs Henry Fadipe
Winner: Henry Fadipe
Strike for strike and Fidipe caught Van Staden which dropped him but he stood back up quickly. Van Staden caught a kick by Fadipe and took the fight to the ground but Fadipe controlled it and locked in an Ankle Lock, hurting Van Staden and forcing him to tap out. Impressive skill by Fadipe.
Fight 11: Featherweight – Boyd Allen vs Wesley Hawkey
Winner: Boyd Allen
A fight that many had been waiting for. A fight that would finally test Allen’s skill. Allen came into the fight landing precision kicks and punches. Hawkey grabbed onto Allen and pulled him to the ground. Allen had top guard and mad easy work of Hawkey by slipping in a Guillotine Choke and forcing Hawkey to tap out.
Fight 12: Welterweight Title Fight – Michiel Opperman vs Dino Bagattin
Winner: Dino Bagattin
Without a doubt, the fight of the night. A bloody war that went all 5 rounds. Bagattin came into this fight prepared and fought the best we have ever seen him fight. He controlled every round by landing big strikes in the stand up and even more strikes from top guard on the ground. Opperman had heart and stuck it out for all 5 rounds giving Bagattin a run for his money. Both fighters where bleeding everywhere from big punched, knees, elbows and kicks. Opperman dropped Bagattin in the 3rd round and landed some heavy Ground and Pound but Bagattin managed to stay composed and in the fight. Bagattin really did hurt Opperman by almost knocking him out a few times as well as damaging his knee which saw Opperman hardly able to walk. After the gruelling 5 round battle the fight went to the judges and Bagattin took the win by unanimous decision ans id the new EFC Africa Welterweight champion.
Fight 13: Heavyweight Title Fight – Andrew van Zyl vs Sors Grobbelaar
Winner: Andrew van Zyl
Big exchange of strikes before Van Zyl went in for the clinch and took the fight to the ground. Grobbelaar gave up his back which saw Van Zyl land strikes from the back and Grobbelaar with nothing to do except block. In round 2 Grobbelaar landed some big punches in the exchange rocking Van Zyl slightly and testing his “iron jaw”. Van Zyl got the takedown again, and again Grobbellar gave up his back. Van Zyl landed heavy Ground and Pound from the back until the ref called the fight. Van Zyl is still the reigning EFC Africa Heavyweight champion.