Friday, 11 November 2011

Ruan Potts vs Andrew Van Zyl EFC Heavyweight Title Fight

Ruan “Fangzz” Potts’ (13-0, 3-0 EFC) first EFC Africa heavyweight title defence came in the form of dangerous contender Andrew “One Gear” Van Zyl (7-0. 2-0 EFC). Both fighters were coming off impressive victories; Ruan Potts had recently defeated Normal Wessels to become the EFC Africa heavyweight champion, while Van Zyl defeated former title contender Bernardo Mikixi. On paper this fight had all the makings of a epic battle.

This fight wasted no time in getting started. After a fast paced touch of gloves, Van Zyl confidently walked into the champion and ate a solid left hook for his troubles. Potts the closed pulled Van Zyl down to the ground and immediately pulled guard on the challenger.  Both Potts and Van Zyl landed some ineffective shots as they grappled for superior position.

A minute into the first round, Ruan Potts set up a Kimora, which enabled Van Zyl to pass his full guard and move to half guard. While Potts continued to work on the left arm of Van Zyl, the challenger was free to land some big right hands to the mid section of the exposed champion. These shots proved effective, and Potts was forced to relinquish his submission hold in favour of tying up One Gear. 

A few seconds later, an attempted escape left Ruan Potts flattened on his stomach, with Andrew Van Zyl in a very dominant back mount. Andrew managed to turn Potts and sink both hooks in. He then began to work for a rear naked choke. Things looked ominous for the reigning EFC Africa Heavyweight champion. Potts however kept calm and used his arm around the challengers head to keep him at bay. He then exploded and managed to turn the position, ended up in the full guard of Van Zyl.

After a fairly uneventful period in Van Zyl’s guard, Ruan Potts decided to lean back and attempt an ankle lock, which failed and allowed Van Zyl to attempt to stand up. A tussle ensued and Fangzz managed to once more ground the challenger, but this time found himself in side control.  Potts landed some big elbows to the side of Van Zyl’s head, before the challenger managed an escape which saw him obtain a hold of one of the champions legs. Ruan managed to use his weight effectively on top of the challenger to keep his base.

As Andrew Van Zyl pushed through his single, Ruan Potts moved with him and sunk in a tight guillotine choke. He also managed to guard around the challenger and crank down on the exposed neck. This well worked submission forced Andrew Van Zyl to tap and the fight was called at 3:25 into the first round. 

In winning this bout, Ruan Potts became only the second champion to successfully defend his EFC crown. He also managed to snap yet another undefeated record.

Ruan Potts vs Andrew Van Zyl Full Fight Video

Ruan Potts vs Andrew Van Zyl EFC Promo Video

Friday, 1 July 2011

Ruan Potts vs Norman Wessels EFC Heavyweight Title Fight

Two straight wins in the EFC heavyweight division, against Calven Robinson and Obutube Baygon, lead Ruan “Fangszz” Potts (12-0) to reigning EFC heavyweight champion Norman “Chef” Wessels. Wessels (4-1) too was enjoying a fantastic run in the division, a three straight win spree which had already earned him the most coveted title in South Africa MMA, the EFC Africa Heavyweight belt. The fight would be the biggest test for both men, who had all but cruised through their previous bouts.

Potts vs Wessels - Tale of the tape

Ruan Potts
Norman Wessels
South African
South African

Ruan Potts and Norman Wessels came into the fight virtually the same on paper. A couple of kilos and a couple of centimetres the only difference in favour of the challenger Ruan Potts.

The fight bell saw both fighters calmly touch gloves in the centre of the hexagon, and then fall into their fight stance. Respectful of each other, they spent the better part of the first minute feeling each other out. From the word go, there was a noticeable difference in the approach of the fighters. Wessels looked light on his feet and seemed to be moving well, while Potts seemed a lot more solid, almost flat footed. 

The fight came to life in an instant with Potts closing the distance, tying up Wessels and then executing a beautiful hip throw to put him on the canvas and move into full mount. What should have been a very precarious position was easily escaped from by Wessels who showed great composure under the mass that is Ruan Potts. This was by no means the end as Potts would string together multiple submission attempts as Wessels tried to free himself. In his struggle to escape, Wessels accidentally stomped on Ruan’s face, which resulted in a restart standing.  Apologies all round and the action resumed.

The next few minutes were relatively uneventful, until Fangzz managed to take Chef to the ground and take full mount yet again. Obtaining this dominant position was almost too easy for Ruan Potts. Once more however, Norman Wessels managed to escape the position and evade the ensuing armbar attempt, but this time managed to take top side control and land a few shots of his own. Potts in turn managed to escape this position, but not before eating a huge knee from the champion.

The next minute was rather boring, with Wessels attempting a few rather feeble kicks to Potts as he lay on his back. The referee would eventually stand them up with 1 minute left on the clock in the first. The round was seen out with the fighters in a clinch against the cage. The only significant shot a left hand from Potts on the exit. Round 1 Ruan Potts.

Round two started a lot quicker, with Wessels taking the fight to Potts. Nothing of consequence landed though, barring a front push kick, and soon the fighters resumed their first round monotony, with neither fighter wishing to engage. The fighters simply followed each other around the ring, throwing ineffective strikes intermittently. Ruan Potts attempted a couple of horrific takedowns, which didn’t put Wessels in much danger. Round two was rapidly dwindling away without any action.

With 1:30 left on the clock however, Potts landed a single leg take down, but in doing so exposed his neck which Normal Wessels instantly latched onto and sunk a very deep choke into. Some nervous seconds ensued, but Ruan Potts managed to use his high level BJJ game to escape the choke and reverse the position. Wessels however landed some elbows from the bottom, before pushing Potts off him and returning to his feet. Round two ended with another thirty seconds of Ruan Potts on his back, while Wessels danced around him. Round 2 Norman Wessels. One round a piece. 

Comparative to the previous rounds, Round 3 started with a bang as Ruan Potts fired a few head kicks. The fighters then ended up in the clinch, where both worked quite effectively, landing knees and elbows. After a couple of minutes of hard work, the fighters split and began to box with a little more intent, both landing their best shots of the fight. In one of these exchanges Ruan Potts managed to land a slicing elbow, which opened Norman’s head and left Chef spouting blood. Sensing weakness, Potts swarmed Wessels, landing huge blows, some of which that were answered. This flurry of strikes lead to a takedown and some heavy ground and pound which forced Wessels to give up his back. Potts took his back, sunk both his hooks in and continued to unload on the flattened champion until referee Arno Pienaar was forced to stop the fight, snapping Norman Wessel’s three fight win streak and declaring Ruan Potts the new EFC Africa Heavyweight champion.

EFC 9 - Ruan Potts vs Norman Wessels Full Fight Video

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wentzel Nel vs Costa Ioannou - EFC 08 Lightweight Title fight

At EFC Africa 08, Wentzel Nel would attempt to defend his EFC Africa lightweight title against surging contender Costa Ioannou. Nel (3-1 EFC) had lost his last non-title fight against American Dave Mazany, while Ioannou carried an impressive 2-0 EFC record into the Hexagon.

Wentzel Nel vs Costa Ioannou - EFC 08 promo video

Wentzel Nel vs Costa Ioannou - EFC Africa 08 lightweight title fight

Costa Ioannou was quick to take the centre of the ring, and after a very brief exchange of punches, closed the distance and got the clinch. Wentzel Nel landed the bigger shots early in the form of punches and knees, but Ioannou worked the clinch well and landed some big elbows and knees of his own, before taking the fight to the ground. Nel managed to work his way back up to standing from a dangerous position, and the clinch once more ensued. After a brief exchange of close range shots, Ioannou managed to create some space and land a huge elbow followed by two huge knees which buckled the champion. Costa Ioannou was quick to take him to the ground and take side control. Ioannou used his position to land some shots before transitioning to full mount. Costa Ioannou then rained down punches on Wentzel Nel, forcing him to react and as he did, Ioannou sunk in a deep triangle choke. Nel was forced to tap 3 minutes into the first round, and Costa Ioannou was declared the new EFC Africa lightweight champion.

Costa Ioannou vs Wentzel Nel - EFC 08 full fight video

Adam Speechly vs Nolan Swanepoel EFC 08 Title fight

At EFC Africa 08, Adam Speechly and Nolan Swanepoel entered the EFC Hexagon with a mutual goal - to become the first EFC Africa welterweight champion. Both Speechly and Swanepoel earned their title shot with an impressive 3-1 EFC record. The two fighters had previously fought at EFC Africa 04, where Adam Speechly won via first round rear-naked choke submission.

Adam Speechly vs Nolan Swanepoel - EFC 08 promo video

Nolan Swanepoel vs Adam Speechly - EFC Africa 08 title fight

The first ever welterweight title fight started slowly, the first three minutes of which were fairly uneventful. Speechly seemed to be the more aggressive of the fighters, attempting some combinations which eventually ended in a clinch. The two fighters vied for position for in a clinch for what seemed an age, landing the occasional ineffective shot, before Speechly attempted a Guillotine choke, which Swanepoel avoided. Speechly would attempt a second Guillotine choke seconds later, as well as various other other submissions before the bell saved Swanepoel from a precarious position.

Round two was over before it began, as Adam Speechly quickly locked in a Guillotine choke on Nolan Swanepoel from standing, and took it to the ground to earn the tap and the EFC Africa welterweight title.

Adam Speechly vs Nolan Swanepoel EFC 08 fight video

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ruan Potts vs Obutobe Baygon Heavyweight Fight

After a convincing win, it seemed somewhat strange for a surging Ruan “Fangzz” Potts (11-0) to be pitted against a relative unknown in Obutobe Baygon (0-0). Fighting our of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Baygon has a background in Karate, Kyokushin, Judo and Amateur Boxing. Baygon, in his first professional MMA fight was going to be put to the ultimate test against Ruan Potts.

Potts vs Baygon - Tale of the tape

Ruan Potts
Obutobe Baygon
South African

Baygon came into the fight carrying a massive 7cm reach advantage and a 2cm height advantage. Potts is 5 years the junior of Baygon. Everything else is virtually the same. Baygon however, did not look in the best of shape, especially when compared to the muscle bound Potts.

The fight started off tentatively, with both fighters weary of each other’s striking power. The first strike of the match, thrown near the end of the first minute, was a rather awful failed leg kick come back kick combination from Potts, which was a low blow. Fangzz immediately apologised and Baygon shrugged it off to resume the tense chess match. 

The first real exchange of the match saw Ruan Potts leading with a leg kick and Baygon countering with a beautiful right hand. A rather meaningless flurry ensued, with Potts pushing forward and ending with an attempted side kick. Potts looked somewhat confused and continued to work the leg kick, which Baygon continued to counter with his right hand. The fight seemed to have no real rhythm. Potts eventually ducked under a punch and closed the distance and pushed Baygon against the fence, a position he used to great affect against Calven Robinson.

Potts landed a few foot stomps and then attempted a Judo throw, which he didn’t execute perfectly and ended up in bottom half guard with Obutobe on top. Strangely, Baygon seemed completely clueless on the ground and just hugged Potts for the better part of a minute, which Potts landed short shots to his head and body. Referee Wikus Swart warned Obutobe Baygon that the fight would be stood up should he not move, but seconds before this was executed, Ruan Potts managed to sweet the dormant fighter and take full mount. From the top Potts then unloaded a barrage or punches and elbows against his inactive foe, who attempted to cover his face to no avail. Referee Wikus Swart called an end to the bout at 3:56 seconds into the first round, declaring Ruan Potts the winner via TKO.

A rather boring fight, one feels that Ruan Potts gave Obutobe Baygon far too much credit and meticulously ground out a win against an opponent who wasn’t fighting for more than half of the bout. Still, Pott’s win streak in the heavyweight division continues and surely with this win he has earned himself a heavyweight title shot.

EFC Africa 08 - Ruan Potts vs Obutobe Baygon Full Fight Video 

Friday, 4 February 2011

Ruan Potts vs Calven Robinson Heavyweight Fight

Ruan “Fangzz” Potts (10-0) and Calven “The Butcher” Robinson (8-0) both came into the fight looking big, strong and focussed. A battle of undefeated Goliaths, this fight promised to be exciting and would certainly put an end to one of the fighters’ impressive win streaks.

After a friendly touch of gloves in the centre of the Hexagon, Calven Robinson began stalking Ruan Potts. This lasted all of 20 seconds, before a Potts leg kick unbalanced Robinson, and pushing forward, Potts managed to close the distance and tie The Butcher up against the cage. The two monsters battled for supremacy in the clinch, landing occasional inconsequential short shots.

Robinson eventually managed to free his arms and land a few body shots, but this enabled Potts, who had a arm over his head, to complete a Muay Thai plum and land two vicious knees, the second of which sent Robinson to the canvas. Potts followed him to the ground and from a mounted position landed a flurry of heavy punches to Robinson’s head. Robinson maintained a high defensive position, using his forearms to shield his face, but was not defending himself intelligently and referee Arno Pienaar was forced to call a stop to the bout at 1:20 into round 1. Ruan Potts was declared the winner via TKO.

Ruan Potts certainly made a dream start to his EFC career statement to the EFC heavyweight division. Potts’ next opponent will do well to be weary of  his devastating Muay Thai skills. After the bout Calven Robinson announced his retirement from professional MMA. His professional career record was 8 wins 1 loss.

EFC 07 - Ruan Potts vs Calven Robinson Full Fight Video

EFC Africa 7 - Ruan Potts vs Calven Robinson Promo Video