“Wow! Wow! Wow! What just happened?”
These were the words that ran through my mind as I sat and watched Brendan Lesar KO one of Africa’s MMA legends at EFC80 on Saturday night.
I am sure millions shared the same thought on the night, some might have even used a few expletives, too, and with good reason.
Such was the nature of what transpired on the night in Jozi.
The Big Top Carnival City Arena was sold out as fans came out to see former EFC middleweight champion and former UFC fighter Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan (13-7) take the journey back to his old throne.
But it was not to be his night as the MMA gods had other plans.
Lesar (3-0), The TF1 (The Fighter Season 1) winner and a “newbie” in comparison to a man who started out at EFC1 brought a big spoiler to the party for Soldierboy fans when he dropped a left to the chin of his grizzled opponent to earn himself the Interim Middleweight Title and a chance to dethrone former EFC double-division (current Middleweight) and former KSW Welterweight champion, Dricus du Plessis.
It was near on five years ago that McLellan vacated the EFC middleweight title to pursue a career in the UFC, before returning back to much applause and love from the fans, and many had touted him to walk the fight and it seems as though he had it all under control with beautiful striking and one-twos against the unorthodox Lesar until at 2:56 into the round, however, when the TF1 champion turned the world upside down with an overhand left that landed plum on Soldierboy’s jaw putting him to sleep.
“If this is the last time you see me. It has been an honour,” said Soldierboy after the fight.
“I don’t know if you’re going to see me in the Hex again. All that I ask is that whoever comes after me, that they honour it the way I did.”
“I’ve given everything I could to this sport. I’ve invested the last 12 years into making something that created an opportunity for many, many youngsters to live their dreams,” added the legend.@juliankiewietz