Cape Town — EFC bantamweight champion, Cameron Saaiman called out the new Featherweight king, Igeu Kabesa at EFC95.
After Kabesa dispatched Saaiman’s training partner, Nerik Simoes in the third round of their championship bout via rear-naked choke, Saaiman entered the Extreme Fighting Championship cage and posed the question to the new Featherweight champion.
“Igeu, well done on your fight, if you would allow me to go for that double championship status, let’s make the fight happen,” said Saaiman to which Kabesa responded with a wry smile.
The DRC’s Kabesa lost the title back in 2017 against Scotland’s Danny Henry before working his way back to the throne that same year going on a successful four-fight title defense run before giving it up to Brazil’s Reinaldo Ekson at EFC 86 last year.
Ekson then relinquished the title after moving to the Professional FIghters League opening up the door to Kabesa and Simoes to fight for the vacant strap.
The first round saw Kabesa put his wrestling to work catching a double leg before passing Simoes’ guard. Not long after, Simoes did well to transition to locking in a tight Kimura lock and had Kabesa wincing before working his way out of the position.
Kabesa started finding his bearings and did well to shut down Simoes’ movement before taking the Angolan’s back with relentless intent, almost finishing the fight in the first round as he reigned down punches on Simoes who was spread out stomach-down on the canvas.
The second round saw Kabesa gain the ascendancy with good top position in the grappling exchanges subduing most of Simoes’ efforts before the former found an opening early in the third round which saw him lock in a rear-naked choke to solidify his status as the youngest African mixed martial artist to become a three-time champion.
“Wow, wow. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for putting the dragons in my way. I have defeated all the dragons. I learnt from my losses, I hope Nerik learns from his, too. He was a good opponent,” said Kabesa.
“Opportunities are starting to open up for me now, I don’t like to speak about it before the time or before they are concluded, but I want to say thank you to everyone who has been on the journey with me so far,” added Kabesa.
Simoes, a true class act, was humble in defeat.
“My decision-making was always going to be the crucial factor and I was not composed tonight. He made me pay for it. Well done to him. I am proud of my performance otherwise. Thank you to everybody and especially to my people back home,” added Simoes.
As per MMA Junkie, Saaiman is set to compete for a UFC contract later this year when he faces Josh Wang Kim on the Dana White Contender Series, Season 6 on the 23rd of August.
The news came shortly after Saaiman defeated fellow South African, Sindile Manengela for the EFC Bantamweight bout at EFC 94.
It is unclear if a Featherweight title fight between Kabesa and Saaiman will happen as Kabesa — who did not necessarily confirm that he’d be interested in a fight with Saaiman — hinted at opening new doors going forward. Independent Media is yet to confirm the exact details of Saaiman’s dealings with the UFC and how it will affect him fighting in any other promotions should the fight with USA’s Kim actually take place.