EFC AFRICA Middleweight Championship
GARRETH McLELLAN VS. JP KRUGER
NORMAN WESSELS vs. CHRIS DU PONT
CHRISTOPHE WALRAVENS vs. BERNARDO MIKIXI
BRENDON GROENEWALD vs.VANDAM MBUYI
LEO GLOSS vs. IRSHAAD SAYED
WADE HENDERSON vs. JASON CULVERWELL
HANRU BOTHA vs. ALAIN ILUNGA
IGEU KABESA vs. PIETIE COXEN
SORS GROBBELAAR vs. ELVIS MOYO
REGIS MUYAMBO vs. TEXIER KABESA
MARCEL TENIERS vs. WAYDE SAGE
GARETH SAWYER vs. PUPANGA TRESOR
PIERRE BOTHA vs. LOURENS BOTES
Johannesburg (South Africa) – The Coca-Cola Dome saw sparks fly when 26 of Africa’s greatest MMA athletes weighed in and faced off today, ahead of EFC AFRICA 28 tomorrow night.
Headlining the card, iconic middleweight champion Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan ignited the crowd with an ominous stare-down of challenger JP ‘Tinkerbell’ Kruger.
“I’m ready to throw down. Camp’s over, it’s game time now,” said McLellan after, confirming that any smiles he and Kruger had exchanged at media events in the past were long gone.
That same intent swept its way through the ranks. Angola’s Bernardo ‘Black Panther’ Mikixi and the DRC’s top level heavyweight, Christophe ‘Bomaye’ Walravens, shared an eternity of quiet between them, as did Norman ‘Chef’ Wessels in his treatment of Cape Town’s Chris Du Pont.
Du Pont hit the scale 1.95 kilograms over the 93kg light heavyweight limit, a fact that did not impress the former heavyweight champion. Du Pont will take a purse deduction in order to compete, and will not cut further weight.
The hugely anticipated rematch between heavyweights Vandam Mbuyi (DRC) and Brendon Groenewald(SA), had the crowd cheering as the big men shook hands cordially, stark contrast to the end of their first encounter where Mbuyi suffered a disqualification after an illegal foul.
Tomorrow night’s first main card bout features the African MMA debut of Cape Town born Muay Thai world and Chinese MMA champion Irshaad Sayed, up against Johannesburg legend ‘King’ Leo Gloss. Sayed came out with a grin, on his head the crown of both a world champion and the symbol of his opponent. Making his debut on the back of such a big reputation, Sayed will be fired up for tomorrow night.
Gloss was the second athlete to miss the weight limit. Hitting the scale at 62.2kg, 1.2 over the bantamweight cut-off, he also took a purse deduction to allow him to compete.
The night’s prelim card delivered fireworks in the form of former featherweight title contender Alain Ilunga pushing his opponent, multiple South African wrestling champion Hanru Botha during their face-off. Johannesburg local Wade Henderson took things a step further, striking out at Durban’s Jason Culverwell. Culverwell laughed at the slight, clearly happy to settle the score tomorrow night.
Fast rising favourite Regis Muyambo added colour by walking out in an improvised school uniform, a nod to his Alma Mater Wynberg Boy’s High School. Muyambo faces Texier Kabesa, multiple South African wrestling champion and the only man to have beaten Muyambo – when they met at amateur level previously.
All athletes and officials wore a black armband, in memory of deceased EFC AFRICA athlete Booto Guylain. Tomorrow night’s event is to held in his honour.
EFC AFRICA 28 Weigh-in results were as follows:
Bout 1 : Featherweight bout
Lourens Botes 63.90kg
Pierre Botha 63.90kg
Bout 2 : Middleweight bout
Gareth Sawyer 83.80kg
Pupanga Tresor 82.60kg
Bout 3 : Welterweight bout
Marcel Teniers 76.20kg
Wayde Sage 76.90kg
Bout 4 : Lightweight bout
Regis Muyambo 69.30kg
Texier Kabesa 69.95kg
Bout 5 : Heavyweight bout
Sors Grobbelaar 118.80kg
Elvis Moyo 118.50kg
Bout 6 : Lightweight bout
Igeu Kabesa 70kg
Pietie Coxen 69.80kg
Bout 7 : Featherweight bout
Hanru Botha 65.70kg
Alain Ilunga 65.80kg
Bout 8 : Middleweight bout
Wade Henderson 83.50kg
Jason Culverwell 83.70kg
Bout 9 : Bantamweight bout
Leo Gloss 62.20kg. Gloss will compete with a purse deduction.
Irshaad Sayed 60.80kg
Bout 10 : Heavyweight bout
Brendon Groenewald 109.5kg
Vandam Mbuyi 107.8kg
Bout 11 : Heavyweight bout
Christophe Walravens 110.35kg
Bernardo Mikixi 105kg
Bout 12 : Light Heavyweight bout
Norman Wessels 92.90kg
Chris Du Pont 94.95kg. Du Pont will compete with a purse deduction.
Bout 13 : Middleweight championship bout
Garreth McLellan 83.45kg
JP Kruger 83.40kg
EFC AFRICA 28, presented by BetXchange.com , takes place on Thursday 27 March 2014 at the Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg. Tickets on sale now at www.computicket.com. Book your cinema ticket to all 13 fights live and in stunning HD at www.sterkinekor.com – available in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Watch the entire EFC AFRICA event live, from anywhere on the globe, via our online streaming platform at efcafrica.tv.