Wednesday, 18 April 2012

5 most momentous EFC Africa events

The Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) has become synonymous with MMA in South Africa. Over the past two and a half years, the promotion has taken the sport to new heights and continues to build on this platform with each event. Here is my list of the most momentous EFC Africa events in the promotions short history.

EFC Africa 1

Date: 12 November 2009
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa event

As the inaugural event for the Extreme Fighting Championship, it is not surprising that EFC 01 opens this list. EFC 01 raised the bar for MMA in South Africa, and rivalled many international promotions with its professionalism. The event, held at the Coca Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, had professional fighters, impressive electronics and a big marketing budget, allowing EFC Africa to target a fan base otherwise overlooked. The fight card featured some of today’s biggest names including Garreth McLellan, Leo Gloss, Norman Wessels, Wentzel Nel, Dino Bagattin and was headlined by a international fight between Chris Bright and Gabriel Casillas.

EFC Africa 03 - Nel vs Gloss

Date: 8 May 2010
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa champion crowned

EFC Africa 03 was the first EFC event to host a title fight. This momentous occasion was a lightweight title fight between Wentzel “The Animal” Nel and Leo Gloss. Both fighters had competed in the previous two EFC events and were 2-0 in the promotion. In the end Wentzel Nel managed to win via first round KO to become the first ever EFC Africa champion. Other notable fighters on the card were Costa Ioannou, Brendon Katz, Garreth McLellan, Adam Speechly and Dino Bagattin.

EFC Africa 11 - Ioannou vs Cheboub & Potts vs Van Zyl

Date: 10 November 2011
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa title defence

They say a fighter is never truly a champion until he has defended his title. EFC Africa 11 saw the first “True EFC Champions” unveiled as both Costa Ioannou and Ruan Potts became the first EFC Champions to successfully defended their belts. Lightweight champion Costa Ioannou defeated Alex Cheboub via rear naked choke and heavyweight champion Ruan Potts defeated Andrew van Zyl via guillotine choke. Ioannou pipped Potts by mere minutes to become the first ever champion to achieve this feat.  This fight card was stacked with great fighting talent.

EFC Africa 12 – McLellan vs Smith

Date: 02 March 2012
Venue: Carnival City, Johannesburg
Reason: First live TV broadcast of an MMA event in Africa

Being the first MMA event to be broadcast live on TV, EFC Africa 12 was a huge leap forward for the both Extreme Fighting Championship and MMA in Africa. The free eTV broadcast, which featured the four main card bouts, took MMA to a far wider audience than had previously been possible. Figures released after the event reported that over 1.6million viewers tuned into the maiden broadcast. The event was headlined by a middleweight title fight between Garreth McLellan and Jeremy Smith and supported by main card fights Wesley Hawkey vs Denzil Wait, Dino Bagattin vs Michiel Opperman and Sean Robinson vs Raymond Ahana.

EFC Africa 13 – Jakobi vs Costa

Date: 13 April 2012
Venue: GrandWest Casino, Cape Town
Reason: First EFC Africa event outside Johannesburg

After twelve consecutive events in Johannesburg, EFC Africa 13 was the EFC’s first event outside of the city of gold. With a fight card stacked with Cape Town’s finest fighting talent, the EFC hoped take their live event to a whole new South African audience. Headlined by a title fight between Dallas Jakobi and Jadyson Costa, EFC 13 was well received and supported by the Cape Town community, who really got behind their fighters – Abrie Valentine, James Le Roux, Francois Kabulu, Don Madge, Bernardo Mikixi and Jadyson Costa. Hopefully this will be the first of many great events to venture into new cities around South Africa.  


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