CAPE TOWN – “If Torbjorn (Madsen) had to die, I would have retired.”
These were the words of Mzwandile Hlongwa, following his incredible knockout at EFC75.
The KO, which has gone viral on YouTube over the last couple of days, displays a devastating spinning back first in the opening exchanges of round one of Hlongwa’s middleweight bout against Torbjorn Madsen at GrandWest Casino.
The video has since taken the world by storm, but at that moment, Hlongwa (4-0) said part of the celebration was also taken over by genuine concern after Madsen fell unconscious to the canvas at the Grand Arena.
“It was an unbelievable moment initially, because Torbjorn is a great fighter, so to get the win is great. But when he fell down, I felt very bad after my celebration,” says Hlongwa.
“He (Torbjorn) sent me a message the next day and we started talking. He is a good guy and I was praying for him, because to kill someone is not a good thing. If he died, I was going to retire.”
Thankfully, Madsen is healthy and has been cleared by the medical experts after going for scans, and he recently posted a message on social media putting concerned fans at ease.
View this post on Instagram
Thanks to everyone asking about my health! I'm very disappointed, but physically ok. I've been thoroughly checked/scanned at the hospital, without finding any red flags. I knew it was a dangerous fight going in, especially in the opening minutes. I made a mistake, and I paid for it. Dearly. I'll never regret taking this chance though. I have rolled the dice 10 times now, in amateur and professional MMA, and for the first time the outcome was not in my favour. MMA is about personal growth to me, and I believe a loss presents another opportunity for such growth. I refuse to make excuses for this loss. I felt fine before the fight, but I made a mistake, and got caught. These things happen. I don't believe in luck, or "lucky punches". My opponent threw the punch. It landed. That's not lucky, that's just fighting. Congratulations to Mzwandile Hlongwa. The KO was spectacular, I would have been similarly happy as you were if I was on the other side of it. Nothing but respect. This is not the end, and I'm grateful for the support of everyone in my defeat. A plumber, teacher, or nurse doesn't have hundreds of people supporting them after a bad day at work. I do. I consider being able to do what I do a privelige. I'm eternally grateful for everyone's well-wishes. I'm no stranger to failure. I'll take this loss on the chin, head held high. There are worse things in life than losing a fight. This isn't that hard, this is just life. Much love to everyone ❤ -Torbjørn @bergengrappling @bergenmma @pfa_sa @efcworldwide #efc75 #mma #bjj #nogi #boxing #kickboxing #muay #thai #wrestling #submission #ground #pound #win #victory #fitness #submission #tko #ko #kicks #punch #fighting #grappling #norway #bergen #capetown #scandinavian #undefeated #viking #ad @fatmoosebrand @bergenbarberstue @battlereadyfm
A post shared by Torbjørn Madsen (@tcmadsen) on
With that said, Hlongwa is enjoying lapping up all the hits, likes, traffic and support coming his way after his incredible finish.
He even got a fight review from respected MMA analyst Robin Black in his world-renowned “One Minute #Breakdown” show.
“Eish, I won’t lie, I am getting more famous now, but fighting continues to teach me more respect and to always keep on praying.”
Hlongwa’s older brother, Khulekani – who defeated Willem Smith on the same night via KO in under 50 seconds – was overjoyed with his baby brother’s success.
“He told me: ‘My brother, you are ready for everything now and I am proud of you’.
“Remember, Khulekani taught me how to fight when I was younger,” says Mzwandile.
The middleweight warrior, who fights out of Junkyard MMA gym in Boksburg, says that he wants to be the EFC champion before heading overseas.
But don’t be surprised if he becomes a musician too one day...
“I love music man. When I was younger, my family thought I was going to be a musician, I was always singing loud!”
You could tell his passion for music when Lady Zamar’s “Collide” lit up the Grand Arena at EFC75.
“I just want people to know that MMA is a good sport and good for self-defence. It is not dangerous, but it is tough, and you need to train before going to compete.”