Cape Town - It’s official.
On Saturday, March 31 South Africa’s Don ‘Magic
Man’ Madge will make his first EFC championship defence against the No 1
and undefeated contender, England’s Gavin Hughes, at EFC 68 at GrandWest in Cape
READ: EFC audience 17 times bigger than Super Rugby
Madge is a former world Muay Thai
champion, a decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt, and now two-time EFC
His growth throughout his mixed martial
arts career has been constant, and staggering. Through his spectacular defeat
of former champion Costa Ioannou to take the title, to his unforgettable rivalry
with the brutal Leon Mynhardt, he has been a benchmark of aggression and skill
in the EFC organisation’s deepest division.
In mid 2017, after fighting his way back
to title contention, Madge faced the most devastating force the lightweight
division had yet seen - the USA’s Dave Mazany. In two rounds, showcasing his
elite Muay Thai and grappling, Madge did what was considered impossible and
submitted the then champion, reinstating his legacy in his own hometown - ‘The
The ‘Magic Man’s’ victory heralded the
arrival of the fully formed athlete he always threatened to be - a supremely
skilled machine, merciless and now with an iron temperament not be broken.
“No one is going to take this belt from
me!” bellowed an emotional Madge after reclaiming the gold strap, a mighty
message to all, and a signifier of the new era of his career.
Soon after, Madge was hired as the prime
training and sparring partner for legendary UFC women’s featherweight champion
Christiana ‘Cyborg’, assisting her in her recent victorious title defence at
For Madge it’s clear,
this is his make-it or break-it fight and where better than in Cape Town!
His challenger is a man who in nine fights, all around the globe, has amassed an
incredible undefeated finish rate of 89% and has only heard the final bell once.
Based out of Blackledge MMA in Liverpool, ‘Big Tasty’ is undoubtedly one of
England’s most promising and revered MMA athletes.
Hughes entered the
EFC Hexagon for the first time as a potential number one contender, his test
for legitimacy was the highly regarded and then unbeaten Deon Bruning. Over
three rounds Hughes displayed a warrior physicality and an onslaught of
striking to assert his dominance over the South African, and claim his spot as
the man to challenge Madge.
“I believe Deon is a
tougher fight than Madge,” stated Hughes after his victory over Bruning.
can say what he wants. I am going to fight him. Trust me, I will be the EFC
Upon signing for his title defence, Madge confidently told
EFC: “Hughes is not in my league.”