Johannesburg - The South Africans prevailed in a night that was dominated by sublime
knockouts at EFC 53 hosted in the Big Top Arena at Carnival City.
It took all of 12 seconds for Michiel Opperman to dispose of Yannick
Bahati, leaving the middleweight champion floored with a deadly
uppercut. Coming into the bout, Bahati had claimed that Opperman was
nothing more than a journeyman of the EFC. He lived to regret those
words, as Opperman seemed determined to defend his reputation in
In stark contrast to the main event, the co-main event had almost
everything. Boyd Allen and Welsh newcomer Azi Thomas dished up an
emotionally charged fight that kept the parochial crowd on the edge of
their seats. ‘Sneaky Boyd’, as he is affectionately referred to by his
camp, methodically picked off his opponent with a remarkable striking
display in the first two rounds, until he was stunned by Thomas late in
the second. Clearly rocked, it was a matter of survival until the break,
which included Allen escaping what looked like a tight guillotine.
After the break, Allen came out revitalised and targeted a heavily
bleeding Thomas with uninterrupted punches. Thomas was visibly
uncomfortable and reached a point where he could no longer defend
himself, forcing referee Bobby Karagiannidis to step in and call it.
Sandwiched in the middle of the main card, the featherweight bout
between Danny Henry and Wade Groth had widely been tipped as a potential
barn burner, pitting two of the organisation’s most exciting athletes
against each other. Both athletes looked in great form after a highly
technical and closely contested first round. Early in the second
however, former champion Henry stunned Groth with a sublime head kick
and right cross combination that sent the Johannesburg native to the
floor. Henry quickly capitalised and finished his opponent off, claiming
the only victory on the night for the UK contingent.
The Scotsman has put himself firmly in contention for a rematch with
champion Igeu Kabesa, who took the belt off Henry at EFC 47.
Two-time heavyweight champion Andrew ‘One Gear’ van Zyl is a veteran of
the EFC hexagon and his experience proved too much for UK debutant Tony
Mustard. Coming into the bout as a renowned KO specialist, Mustard was
outclassed by van Zyl early in the first round. After a messy initial
exchange, van Zyl managed a massive takedown and assumed mount. From
there it was a matter of time as the South African rained down elbows
and fists on his opponent, resulting in a TKO stoppage by referee Ferdi
Van Zyl now has his sights firmly set on another title shot against the
winner of the upcoming title fight between champion Danie van Heerden
and Elvis Moyo at EFC 54 in October.
In the opening bout on the main card, Tumisang Madiba continued his
sensational run of form with a swift first round submission of Mamadou
Toure. After an early exchange in the clinch, Madiba worked his quickly
worked his way onto Toure’s back and sunk in a deep choke. With this
win, Madiba has solidified his credentials as a contender in the highly
competitive featherweight division.
EFC 54 results:
Claude Ntumba defeated Pieter de Klerk via TKO (punches) 0:50 in round 1.
Conrad Seabi defeated Sizwe Mnikathi via knockout (punches) 1:23 in round 3.
Pierre Botha defeated Boney Bukaka via TKO (punches) 1:51 in round 1.
Georgi Georgiev defeated Johnny Fields via TKO (punches) 1:09 in round 1.
Martin de Beer defeated Jasen van der Merwe via submission (Triangle) 1:51 in round 2.
Pupanga Tresor defeated Kaleka Kabanda via unanimous decision.
Tumisang Madiba defeated Mamoudou Toure via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1:20 in round 1.
Andrew van Zyl defeated Tony Mustard via TKO (punches) 1:07 in round 1.
Danny Henry defeated Wade Groth via TKO (punches) 0:39 in round 2.
Boyd Allen defeated Azi Thomas via TKO (punches) 1:58 in round 3.
Michiel Opperman defeated Yannick Bahati via knockout (Punches) 0:12 in round 1.
Up next is EFC 54: Van Heerden v Moyo, Lino v Power, Buys v Mdlalose
is presented by SUPABETS, and takes place on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at
Sun City. Tickets are on sale now at www.computicket.com
Full broadcast details available on www.efcworldwide.com