Johannesburg – Luthando Biko successfully defended his EFC Flyweight title at EFC 96 on Thursday evening.
The South African dominated his Brazilian opponent, Magno Alves on all fronts and neutralised any threat before the champion forced referee Bobby Karagiannidis to stop the fight in the fourth round.
From round one, Biko had the upper hand with a superior work-rate which included devastating body and head kicks that broke Alves’ momentum. At one stage, the Brazilian seemed to be finished as he winced while holding his stomach area after a devastating liver shot.
Biko produced the perfect fight as he mixed up good stand-up with high-pressure grappling and wrestling, all powered by a full gas tank.
Coming into the weigh-ins of the Championship bout, there were concerns of Biko’s weight cut as he looked extremely weak, however, cue round three, it was clear that he was as fresh as a daisy as he piled on relentless pressure to which Alves had no answer.
Biko pulled out that old workhorse style of pressure grappling before once again exploding in the fourth round with a barrage of strikes and ground and pound forcing referee Karagiannidis to end the fight via a technical knockout due to strikes.
The co-main event saw Zimbabwe’s Nicholas Hwende secure another belt for his nation when he put on his best performance yet, as he beat Brazil’s Gian Souza for the EFC Interim Bantamweight title.
Hwende was a late replacement for former champion, Nkazimulo Zulu after the latter injured his hand during training. With current EFC Bantamweight champion, Cameron Saaiman set to fight for a UFC contract at the end of this month in the Dana White Contender Series, the EFC braintrust turned this match into a five-round interim title fight.
Hwende made the most of the opportunity as he mixed up good submission, great wrestling, sharp striking and effortless takedown-defence to subdue the dangerous Brazilian who is known for his explosive striking and great ground game.
Souza was unable to make his presence felt during the fight as Hwende fought beautifully at range, especially with remarkable teep kicks to hurt his opponent from a distance, and when he engaged, he was ruthlessly quick in his wrestling volume as he outworked Souza who struggles to fight long on the Highveld.
It was in the third round that Hwende finished the fight via TKO due to strikes.
In the only ladies fight of the night, South Africa’s Jessica Mouneimne did well to negate the boxing and judo of her opponent, Egypt’s Haidy Ahmed who made her debut in the EFC, before putting on a grappling clinic that led to her beating her opponent via a technical knockout in the first round of her their Strawweight fight. Mouneimne is now 2-0 in the EFC and takes one step closer to the Extreme Fighting Championship Strawweight title.
Results from the EFC Performance Institute:
EFC 96 MAIN CARD
Luthando Biko beat Magno Alves via TKO due to strikes in the fourth round of their Flyweight title fight.
Nicholas Hwende beat Gian Souza via TKO due to strikes in the third round of their Interim Bantamweight Championship fight.
Jessica Mouneimne beat Haidy Ahmed via TKO due to strikes in their Strawweight fight.
Matunga Djikasa beat Ivan Strydom via verbal submission in the first round of their Heavyweight fight.
Bradley Swanepoel beat Guide Moyo via tapout due to rear-naked choke in the first round of their Featherweight fight.
EFC 96 PRELIM CARD
Demba Seck beat Stephan de la Rey via split decision (29-28 Seck, 29-28 De la Rey, 29-28 Seck) in their Featherweight fight.
Dansheel Moodley beat Fafa Dwama via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in their Flyweight fight.
Tshepo Majuba beat Dylan Swanepoel via verbal submission in the second round in their Featherweight fight.
Tapiwa Katikati beat Glody Kanzeko via tapout due to strikes in the third round of their Lightweight bout.
Musa Sethwape beat Nathanial Komana via split decision (29-28, Sethwape; 29-28, Komana; 29-28, Sethwape) in their Bantamweight fight.
Mpumelelo Mngoma beat Teboho Ntene via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in their Flyweight fight.