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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Heavyweight title fight at EFC 98 ends in chaos

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Cape Town – Following a spectacular night of sportsmanship and athleticism, EFC 98 ended in controversial and disappointing fashion after the Heavyweight title fight between DRC’s Matunga Djikasa and Vandam Mbuyi boiled over into chaos.

A methodical performance led to Djikasa finding an opening in the third round and dropping Mbuyi with a spectacular left hook before reining down punches, forcing veteran referee Ferdinand Basson to call the fight, confirming Djikasa as the new Extreme Fighting Championship heavyweight king.

After the stoppage, Djikasa – still in the EFC Hexagon – made a beeline for Mbuyi’s corner and started taunting Mbuyi’s training partner and coach, former EFC heavyweight Elvis Moyo through the cage. The two had allegedly exchanged words throughout the fight. Djikasa then started punching the Hexagon fence that separated him and Moyo before the latter made an attempt to scale the cage to confront the new champion.

Things escalated when Mbuyi – who had then recovered from his technical knockout – ran up to Djikasa and caught him with a cheap shot to the face from behind before EFC security and Mixed Martial Arts South Africa officials tried to diffuse the situation. Djikasa was escorted out of the Hexagon as officials tried to calm Mbuyi down before guiding him out of the arena. Moments later, after things had returned to a semblance of normality, Djikasa was then called back to the Hexagon to be crowned the new EFC heavyweight champion.

“I just want to thank God, first and foremost, and then I want to thank everybody for the support, my family, my boss, my supporters, my Brothers In Arms family, and especially my coach, Cagewise (Conrad Seabi), for always believing in me. “Also, a big thank you to the EFC for this opportunity,” said Djikasa, who used an effective and dangerous oblique kick throughout the fight to neutralise Mbuyi’s front leg which helps generate his power and balance.

Once Djikasa disabled Mbuyi’s legs, he started loosening up after a rather cagey first round. Djikasa had shown better footwork, composure and fitness throughout the fight and once Mbuyi was caught in a corner, Djikasa let loose the punches on his countryman, a game plan that worked perfectly well for the BIA athlete.

“We anticipated the moment would get heated, and credit to our crew for handling the moment so well. Look, this is the reality when fans flare up, especially the fans who are invited by the opposing camps,” said EFC vice-president and matchmaker Graeme Cartmell.

“I want to take nothing away from the fight, it was incredible, both athletes did amazingly well. It was a great fight,” added Cartmell.

It is unclear whether either of the athletes or their camps will be sanctioned for their behaviour.

MAIN CARD

HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT

Matunga Djikasa (DRC) beat Vandam Mbuyi (DRC) in the third round via TKO due to strikes.

MIDDLEWEIGHT FIGHT

Jaco du Plessis (RSA) beat Diego Bandu (DRC) via split decision (29-28 Du Plessis, 29-28 Bandu, Du Plessis 29-28).

FEATHERWEIGHT FIGHT

Vince Bembe (RSA) beat Ashley Calvert (RSA) via knockout in the first round.

FEATHERWEIGHT FIGHT

Aureo Cruz (ANG) beat Amisi Kabeya (DRC) via TKO due to strikes in the second round.

MIDDLEWEIGHT FIGHT

Stefan Pretorius (RSA) beat Khulekani Hlongwa (RSA) via tap out due to arm bar submission in the second round.

PRELIM CARD

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT FIGHT

Crystal van Wyk (RSA) beat Peris Githeka (KEN) via TKO due to strikes in round one.

FLYWEIGHT FIGHT

Vuyo Jula (RSA) beat Mpumelelo Mngoma (RSA) via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 30-27).

LIGHTWEIGHT FIGHT

Billy Nyembo (DRC) beat Glody Kanzeko (DRC) via rear-naked choke in the first round.

MIDDLEWEIGHT FIGHT

Christopher Matukane (RSA) beat Maurice Kabamba (DRC) via TKO due to strikes in the first round (Kabamba injured himself at the start of the fight in a freak accident being unable to stand on his own).

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT FIGHT

Juliet Ukah (NGR) beat Mischka Laubscher (RSA) via unanimous decision. (29-28).

WELTERWEIGHT FIGHT

Given Majuba (RSA) beat Angelo Foloti (RSA) in the first round via D’Arce choke.

@juliankiewietz

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