Johannesburg — Two weeks have passed since the Extreme Fighting Championship put on one of the most captivating events in the promotion’s history.
EFC 103 served up drama, no contests, disqualifications, split-decision wins, submissions, TKOs and all-out action at a packed EFC Performance Institute in Paulshof, Johannesburg.
At EFC 103, five athletes received praise and prizes for their stellar work, with performance bonuses going to Roedie Roets, Terence Balelo, and Juan Bezuidenhout, while Nicole van Wyk and Felista Mugo secured the Fight of the Night.
Here, Independent Media selects its shining stars from that memorable night in Gauteng.
New EFC interim middleweight champion — JP Kruger
“Tinkerbell” put on a masterclass when he controlled the variables and subdued Conrad Seabi’s striking, to lock in a rear-naked choke early in the first round to secure the 185-pound golden strap. He will now face incumbent Luke Michael to unify the title.
EFC featherweight — Roedie Roets
South Africa’s wrestling phenom fought like he had never before. After moving to Thailand to coach at Phuket Top Team, Roets was then dealt an unfortunate hand and had to overcome serious health issues. After four years, Roets made his comeback and picked up where he left off with a devastating performance, forcing the former featherweight title contender and the dangerous August Kayambala to verbally submit after facing a gruelling six minutes of relentless wrestling and grappling.
EFC strawweight — Nicole van Wyk
The former three-time SA flyweight and African champion received a baptism of fire in her professional debut against the gritty and powerful Kenyan Felisa Mugo.
Grappling specialist Van Wyk was made to dig deep to overcome the natural striker, who did well to evade any submission attempts from the South African. It was not until the halfway mark in the second round that Van Wyk gained the ascendancy before getting the TKO due to strikes and securing a debut victory on Africa’s premier MMA platform.
EFC flyweight — Terence Balelo
With each passing fight, this young man proves himself to be the real deal. At EFC 103, Balelo recorded his third stoppage in three EFC fights and secured his fourth win since turning professional. Balelo did well to slip the power-punch attempts from Kgaugelo Moitshela, biding his time before using the perfect moment to strike, landing a well-timed combo to secure a TKO (due to strikes) early in round one.
EFC flyweight — Tumelo Manyamala
“Bones of Steel” has not set a foot wrong since signing with the EFC and is slowly but surely making his way to title contention after earning his fourth "W" in the EFC.
At EFC 103, Manyamala’s opponent took him to the third round for the first time in his pro career.
During those three rounds Manyamala had downloaded enough data to analyse and neutralise his opponent. It was not until just past the halfway mark of the final round that the PFA athlete secured a win via tap-out due to his strikes.
EFC heavyweight — Juan Bezuidenhout
Easily the fight of the night, heavyweight Juan Bezuidenhout delivered his best performance yet with a huge win over the DRC’s Boyka Kabanga.
With a boisterous crowd behind him, Kabanga started like a house on fire, soon placing Bezuidenhout in a very uncomfortable position with leg kicks before initiating a solid takedown.
The DRC athlete then enjoyed control for the majority of the first round, offloading punches on his SA opponent, who seemed to be on the verge of quitting.
Bezuidenhout, however, weathered the storm before pulling off a beautiful reverse, securing a good position before unleashing a devastating ground and pound, which a fatigued Kabanga failed to handle. Bezuidenhout’s unanswered barrage of strikes forced the referee to call the fight at the end of the first round.