SPORTS

VIDEO: Mixed martial arts fans treated to epic evening of action

Mixed martial arts fans were treated to an outstanding evening of action at EFC 39 with seven knockouts and a fair share of controversy. Video narrated by Gregory Simpson. 

Parktown’s own Andrew ‘One Gear’ van Zyl reclaimed the Heavyweight belt after knocking out the incumbent, Brendon Groenewald with a monstrous left-right combination. Credit must go to Groenewald who, despite his championship status had no intention of leaving it to the later rounds nor the judges and immediately began to engage the granite chin of Van Zyl. The fight could have gone either way but it was the latter whose paws landed flush to grab the gold.

Gideon Drotschie and Tumelo Maphuta could learn a lot from the two heavyweights’ determination to put on a great show for the fans. But unfortunately the co-main event was one of the most disappointing bouts in the history of South African combat sports. Being far too aware of each other’s power the combatants kept their distance for a three-round waltz that left the crowd angry and frustrated.

Such was the paucity of action that EFC President Cairo Howarth withdrew the bout winner’s main contender status and handed it Champion Dalcha. The winner, since there had to be one, was Drotschie, presumably due to the leg kicks he fired-off as part of a stick-and-move game plan that involved far too much move and not enough stick.

The third bout on the main card was between Don ‘Magic Man’ Madge and a very game Regis Muyambo replacing the injured Frederich Naumann. Muyambo in what some believed was a mismatch went full-guns blazing for Madge right out of the bell and even took the Magic Man to the canvas, but he ultimately fell prey to the ground skills of the Muay Thai master who forced the referee stoppage by ground and pound.

The contest between Cape resident Champion Dalcha and British debutant Yannick ‘Black Mamba’ Bahati didn’t set the fan forums alight but was still competitive enough to make a fascinating contest. Both fighters left too much of the bout in the judges hands to be disappointed with a loss and ultimately it was the hometown favourite who took the win. eNCA.com asked Bahati whether it was ring-rust that made him too hesitant on the trigger and his answer gives your correspondent enough confidence to believe he’s found a home within the EFC and will come back a more focused and hungry fighter. The middleweight division continues to be a pond of absolute sharks.

In the first main card fight of the evening, Cape-Town born and Singapore native Irshaad Sayed took the UD from a spirited Oumpie Sebeko, who showed some great standup and solid groundwork to give the White Tiger plenty to think about. For a kickboxer, Sayed showed his continued growth as a mixed martial artist by eventually outworking Sebeko on the mat to continue his path to the door of Demarte Penas championship status.

- eNCA

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