Johannesburg - Thursday's EFC 31 event at the
Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, was one for the record books.
evening was the title bout between bantamweight champion Nkazimulo ‘Zuluboy’
Zulu and challenger Demarte ‘The Wolf’ Pena, in which Pena took victory by
unanimous decision over five championship rounds.
everything to fight for, as not only was he hoping to claim the bantamweight
title, but having relinquished his featherweight title last year he stood to be
the first man in history to hold an EFC title in two weight divisions.
for the bout had been that Pena would outsize and outpower Zulu, having dropped
down from a heavier division. Many believed he would smother him with an
overwhelming, wrestling based onslaught.
Pena had added
to that prediction with the sentiment, “I’m going to make him work. Every
second. I’m going to make it dirty for him.”
out his plan to absolute perfection, showing an unbending will to push forward
despite any odds. Zulu put on a brave defense, resisting the challenger’s
submission attempts and ground and pound for five rounds, as well as landing
punishing strikes on the rare occasions he was able to find his feet.
Pena is now
the most successful athlete in EFC history. He holds multiple records: He was
the youngest athlete to be crowned champion (21 years), he holds the record for
the most successful title defenses (five at featherweight), the longest
undefeated run (9-0), and now adds having held a title in two different
title bout, EFC 31 delivered one of the most exciting MMA displays seen on
heavyweight bout between Tumelo ‘The Truck’ Maphutha versus Danie ‘Pitbull’ van
Heerden was a fight that generated a mountain of interest. Maphutha is a
devastating striker while Van Heerden is old school tough, having fought
through a broken wrist in the past and possessing a respected boxing pedigree.
Their bout mesmerised
the crowd, with Maphutha slowly and methodically tearing Van Heerden apart. His
kicks landed with a thud that echoed through the arena, while his lighting fast
jabs and intermittent crosses snapped Van Heerden’s head back in a haze of
blood and sweat. Van Heerden would not go down, and smiled as the injury toll
mounted. Maphutha took the bout by unanimous decision and sent a brutal message
out to his division.
heavyweight champion Andrew ‘One Gear’ van Zyl returned to the Hexagon for the
first time after his loss of the title, and faced Elvis ‘The Bomber’ Moyo. Moyo
is the current African boxing heavyweight champion and revered for his punching speed,
power and accuracy. Van Zyl showed all his experience in closing the distance
soon, and dominating on the ground. He battered Moyo with elbows and punches
before calmly sinking an inescapable armbar.
made use of his African wrestling champion skill in meeting the boxing prowess
of Wesley Hawkey. A wrestler since the age of four, he smothered Hawkey against
the canvas for the most part. When given just a sliver of a chance, Hawkey
scored with surgical strikes that rocked the wrestler, both standing and from
his back on the ground. Blood flowed after a clash of heads, colouring a fight
that went to the depths of grit. It took the judges to choose a victor, handing
a majority decision to Hawkey - no doubt convinced by his constant work on the
and Matthew Buirski had everything to fight for after a week of hard talking
from both camps. Buirski added to the controversy by missing weight at
weigh-in, causing Doyle to promise to take both his money (by purse deduction)
and hand Buirski a beating when they met. Doyle pressured Buirski throughout
but found it nearly impossible to get inside his opponent’s longer reach. His
reward came in the third, however, when he broke through with a right hand that
dropped Buirski, allowing Doyle to swarm in with punches, and clinch a decision
performance awards were spread between the main and Ster-Kinekor Prelim Card.
of the night went to Tyson Chelin for his ankle lock victory over Leo Gloss.
Knock-out of the night went to Brendon Katz for his TKO of Nelson Feiteira. Fight
of the night was awarded to the catchweight bout between Hanru Botha and Wesley
Hawkey. Performance bonuses were also awarded to Sizwe Mnikathi, Tumisang
Madiba, Nelson Feiteira, Brendon Katz and Danie van Heerden.
EFC 31 full
Madiba defeated Sizwe Mnikathi via majority decision.
Craig Ninow defeated Marino Cutendana via submission (Triangle Choke) 4:00 into
Lourens Botes defeated Baldwin Mdlalose via submission (RNC) 2:03 into round
Warren Allison defeated Jason Culverwell via submission (Arm Triangle) 3:46
into round 1.
Tyson Chelin defeated Leo Gloss via submission (Ankle Lock) 3:29 into round 1.
defeated Donavin Hawkey via submission (RNC) 2:22 into round 1.
Brendon Katz defeated Nelson Feiteira via TKO 4:55 into round 1.
Cedric Doyle defeated Matthew Buirski via unanimous decision.
Wesley Hawkey defeated Hanru Botha via majority decision.
Andrew van Zyl defeated Elvis Moyo via submission (Armbar) 3:49 into round 1.
Maphutha defeated Danie van Heerden via unanimous decision.
Pena defeated Nkazimulo Zulu via unanimous decision.
EFC 32, presented by BetXchange.com,
returns to the Carnival City Big Top Arena, Johannesburg, on Thursday, August
7, 2014. Tickets on sale at www.computicket.com.
Book your cinema ticket to all fights live and in state of the art digital
projection at www.sterkinekor.com.
Watch the entire event live, from anywhere on the globe, via online streaming