The last EFC Africa of 2013 returned to the Coca Cola Dome in Joburg with 13 action packed Mixed Martial Arts fights. MMA fans gathered to witness fight night and the anticipated Heavyweight trilogy between Andrew van Zyl and Ruan Potts. We were ringside at EFC 26 to get a firsthand view and bring you this fight review:
Fight 1: Bantamweight – Cedric Doyle vs Baldwin Mdlalose
Winner Cedric Doyle
Doyle came into the fight with a kick that Mdlalose caught and retaliated by landing a big right. The fight then went to the ground before it went to standing again. Doyle landed a big right of his own then a heavy exchange of punches and kicks took place before the fighters went into the clinch and then to ground. Doyle controlled the fight on the ground and locked in a Guillotine Choke forcing Mdlalose to tap out.
Fight 2: Featherweight – Mbulelo Swekile vs Nelson Feiteira
Winner: Nelson Feiteira
An awesome 3 round battle that went the distance. Both fighters landed big hits during the stand up. Feiteira dropped Swekile in round 2 with a big strike but Swekile recovered when the fight went to the ground. On the ground both fighters tried with an array of submissions, Swekile caught Feiteira with a lot of submission but he got out every time. In the closing seconds of the fight Feiteira dropped Swekile with a knee and went in to finish the fight as the bell went. Feiteita took the win by unanimous decision.
Fight 3: Welterweight – Themba Gorimbo vs Chimmy van Winkel
Winner Themba Gorimbo
The fight went straight to the ground with Gormibo trying with a Guillotine Choke but Van Winkel got our and turned it. Gorimbo then locked in an Armbar forcing Van Winkel to tap out.
Fight 4: Lightweight – Sibusiso Mdoko vs Pietie Coxen
Winner: Sibusiso Mdoko
Coxen came into the fight confident and landing good strikes in the stand up. Mdoko owned the fight on the ground and when he got himself into full control he landed heavy Ground and Pound seeing the Ref call the fight and Mdoko taking the win by TKO.
Fight 5: Featherweight – Hanru Botha vs Kanyeba Anicet
Winner: Hanru Botha
Anicet came in with the kicks seeing Botha go in for the take-down. The fight stood back up, Hanru Knocked Out Anicet with a big right.
Fight 6: Lightweight – Igue Kabesa vs Johan van Staden
Winner: Igue Kabesa
Kabesa controlled this fight from the beginning. Van Staden wanted to stand and trade but Kabesa wanted the fight on the ground and took it there. Van Staden defended well but Kabesa got an Armbar in during Round 2 which saw Van Staden tap out.
Fight 7: Middleweight – Bruno Mukulu vs Wade Henderson
Winner: Wade Henderson
Henderson took the fight to the ground early in round 1 and had Mukulu caught in a Triangle choke for most of the round. Mukulu finally got out and the fighters exchanged a few strikes until the end of the round. Round 2 saw a slow exchange from both fighters before going into the clinch and then to ground. Henderson locked in another Triangle choke, this time tighter and forced Mukulu to tap out.
Fight 8: Bantamweight – Francois Groenewald vs Donnovan Wilken
Winner: Francois Groenewald
This fight saw an immediate hustle to the ground and back up standing, then back to the ground with both fighters fighting for control. Groenewald got Wilken’s back and sunk in a deep Rear Naked Choke which saw Wilken pass out.
Fight 9: Featherweight – Alain Ilunga vs Peter Nyide
Winner: Peter Nyide
A closely matched fight that went the distance. Nyide landed big strikes throughout the fight, Ilunga adapted to Nyide’s strikes and ducked under his attempts to take the fight to the ground. Both fighters fought for position and the ground and both landed strikes. After going to the judges, Nyide took the win by unanimous decision.
Fight 10: Bantamweight – Matthew Buirski vs Abdul Hassan
This was the most exciting fight of the evening and was awarded fight of the night. All 3 rounds saw both fighters land heavy strikes. Hassan worked with the leg kicks while Buirski worked with great punch combos. Punch for Punch, Kick for Kick and a great ground game by both warriors.
Fight 11: Middleweight – Liam Cleland vs Jason Culverwell
Winner: Liam Cleland
Cleland was the better fighters in the first 2 round taking control when the fight was on the ground. In round 3 both fighters were extremely tired but Cleland came off worse taking an array of strikes from Culverwell and even too tired to block. Cleland was a tired bloody mess at the end of the fight. Culverwell could have finished the fight in round 3 but after going the distance and going to the judges, they awarded the fight in favour of Cleland.
Fight 12: Welterweight – Michiel Opperman vs Henry Fadipe
Winner: Henry Fadipe
A closely matched fight that saw both fighters trade and fight for control on the ground. Both had a great ground game and in round 3 Opperman went in for the take-down, Fadipe tried to avoid it but with no luck. Fadipe turned it and got into top mount and landed two heavy elbows Knocking Opperman Out.
Fight 13: Heavyweight Title Fight – Andrew van Zyl vs Ruan Potts
Winner: Ruan Potts
The fight everyone had been waiting for, the Heavyweight trilogy was finally here. Both fighters looked confident and Potts landed some impressive kicks before taking the fight to the ground. 44 seconds into round 1 Potts locked in an Armlock forcing Van Zyl to tap out.
Ruan Potts reclaimed his belt and is the new EFC Africa Heavyweight Champion.
Photos by EFC Africa / Ruby Woolf