Words & Photo: M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment
Cape Town, South Africa – EFC AFRICA 25 exploded in the Mother City on Thursday night. 13 bouts took place at the GrandWest Arena, with Pretoria’s Leon ‘Iron Lion’ Mynhardt defeating Don ‘Magic Man’ for the lightweight title, and Cape Town’s Gideon ‘Juggernaut’ Drotschie defending his light heavyweight belt against Fraser ‘The Omen’ Opie, fighting out of the UK.
The bout between Madge and Mynhardt was the evening’s main event and by far the most anticipated. Madge and Mynhardt first met the last time EFC AFRICA visited Cape Town, in April last year, and put on an unforgettable stand-up war. Last night’s rematch could not have been more different, with the bulk of the match taking place on the ground, highlighting the huge evolution of both men in the MMA arena.
The bout was controversially close, with Mynhardt taking the win by a split decision that had Madge’s hometown crowd in an uproar.
‘Sometimes refs make bad decisions,’ said Madge about the result.
Mynhardt was stoic in his response. ‘I fought a hard fight,’ he said. ‘The decision stands. The win is mine.’
In terms of the growing rivalry between these two, it is now 2-0 to the new champ. Madge will no doubt be looking for a third opportunity, with EFC AFRICA Cairo Howarth alluding to an instant rematch in the post event press conference.
In the evening’s co-main event, Capetonian light heavyweight champion Gideon Drotschie defended his title against Johannesburg born Fraser Opie. Opie came out hard in the first, dominating the local athlete with a strong clinch game, but the tide turned in the second. Drotschie showed his pedigree by taking Opie down, taking full mount, and dropping massive ground and pound, forcing referee Wiekus Swart to call a halt, giving Drotschie the TKO victory.
Michiel Opperman and the DRC’s infinitely tough Francois Kabulu delivered some trench warfare in an intense, three round grappling showcase. Opperman constantly searched for the submission, tying Kabulu up at times, but was unable to finish. Kabulu finally succeeded in out striking his opponent to secure a points victory.
Brendon Groenewald took on his biggest test to date, in the form of established Angolan wrecking machine Bernardo Mikixi. The two men traded big strikes in the first, Groenewald goading Mikixi at times, but the battle settled from there. Over three rounds a game of strategy ensued, Mikixi finally pulling ahead on points. Groenewald put on a hard fight, and many will feel it should have gone the other way.
Heavyweights Sors Grobbelaar and Vandam Mbuyi put on a tense, technical battle punctuated by huge strikes landed by both men. Mbuyi got the better of the exchange, working harder and longer.
The knockout of the night award went to Boney Bukaka for his second round KO of Lourens Botes. Fight of the night was awarded to Chad Hepburn and Igeu Kabesa for their three round encounter.
EFC AFRICA 25 full results:
Boney Bukaka defeated Lourens Botes via KO 1:52 into round 2.
Shaun de Lange defeated Booto Guylain via TKO 3:38 into round 1.
Regis Muyambo defeated Donald Nzirawa via unanimous decision.
Igeu Kabesa defeated Chad Hepburn via unanimous decision.
Bruno Mukulu defeated Juan Lubbe via TKO 4:31 into round 3.
Marcel Teniers defeated Morne Prinsloo via TKO 4:10 into round 2.
Christophe Walravens defeated Roelof Scheepers via TKO 3:33 into round 1.
Chris du Pont defeated Sean Robinson via DQ 2:38 into round 1.
Vandam Mbuyi defeated Sors Grobbelaar via unanimous decision.
Bernardo Mikixi defeated Brendon Groenewald via majority decision.
Francois Kabulu defeated Michiel Opperman via split decision.
Gideon Drotschie defeated Fraser Opie via TKO 4:06 into round 2.
Leon Mynhardt defeated Don Madge via split decision.
EFC AFRICA 26, presented by MusclePharm, takes place on Thursday 12 December at the Coca Cola Dome, Johannesburg. Tickets on sale now at computicket.com. Stream the entire event, live and in HD, from efcafrica.tv.
About EFC AFRICA™ – The Extreme Fighting Championship™
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, EFC AFRICA™ now produces 10 live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events annually, all hosted on the African continent. With over 100 athletes exclusively contracted to the organization from across Africa (Angola, DRC, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and more), EFC AFRICA is the continents leading MMA organization and showcases the greatest warriors on the continent.
EFC AFRICA™ events are broadcast to over 110 countries across the globe on 9 television networks in multiple languages. The live broadcast is available to over 130 million homes across Africa on SUPERSPORT, the continent’s largest sport network, as well as in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean on FIGHT NOW! TV, America's only 24-hour combat sports and entertainment channel. Live broadcasts of every event are available across Romania on free to air broadcaster Transilvania L!VE. Delayed live events are broadcast throughout Malaysia on MAX MAN TV.
The best bouts from every EFC AFRICA™ event fill up action-packed television episodes broadcast to 50 million homes in the USA on the CSI SPORTS network, throughout Europe and the Middle East on EXTREME SPORTS CHANNEL and across Canada on FIGHT NETWORK as well as in Africa on FOX FX and SUPERSPORT.