A Stuttering Start at EFC 84

Written by on March 16, 2020

Prelim Prima-Donnas 

In what now can be described as one of the last major sporting events with fans in a stadium environment, the first event of 2020 for the EFC Organisation was a real mixed bag. The Prelims were marred by Mark Kamba withdrawing from his fight while standing in the cage apparently as a result of a sore neck and then news that Roy Lokolo v JT Botha would be pulled citing injured ribs on the part of Lokolo. You have to feel for the 2 debutants – JT Botha and Diego Bandu – who still have to throw their first bit of leather as professionals.

As for the rest of the Prelims – reduced from it’s original 7 bouts to just 5 bouts – the first 2 bouts consisted of fighters who were yet to win a professional fight and it was Orlando Machaba and Colin Hume who grabbed the opportunity to chalk up their first career victories by way of 3rd round and 1st round submissions respectively.

Billy Oosthuizen taunted his way to a UD win over Aly Kalambay and in so doing, snapped his 3-fight skid. Cameron Saaiman picked up his second professional win with a tough 2nd Rnd TKO win and in the Prelim headliner, Cole Henning avenged his amateur knockout with a knockout of his own over Rodrique Kena.

Main Card Magic.

Sindile Manengela snapped Roevan De Beer’s 3-fight win streak with a dominant 1st round TKO win.

Chilumba Mikixi had the crowd on their feet following his emphatic KO of August Kayambala

Stefan Pretorius def crowd favourite Neil du Plessis via 2nd round submission. The altercation that followed between referee Brad Bloch and Morne van Wyk makes one wonder about the “actual submission”. We will, however, all have to wait as MMASA has confirmed that an appeal has been lodged.

In what I believe was the FOTN, Anicet Kanyeba extended his winning steak with a UD victory over Pierre Botha while in the Main event, Themba Gorimbo successfully defended his Welterweight Title with a 2nd Rnd submission victory over the previously undefeated Lyle Karam.

Open Scoring History.

The big talking point of the night which seems to have slipped under the radar of most couch coaches was the introduction of open scoring/real-time scoring at EFC84.

Many fans have in the past stated their often vicious contempt at the outcome of many fights both locally and internationally due to what they perceive to be poor judging and yet when an initiative like this is tested here in Africa, all we hear is ………well, nothing really!!!!

Many have been thinking and saying that open scoring/real-time scoring will not do away with the scourge that is bad judging. Speaking to Graeme Cartmell, EFC VP of Talent, before the event, he was of the view that it should go a long way towards eliminating bad judging because as he sees it – if a judge knows his scores will be shown after each round, he/she is definitely going to ensure that they raise their game that little bit more so as to ensure that they do not incite the ire of the crowd…..with that said, let the “open” gladiatorial games begin.

Looking ahead at EFC 85, as much as it is great to see that the EFC still intend to host their next event albeit in Johannesburg at the PI, behind closed doors (with less than 100 people in attendance), I cannot help wondering if being one of the very, very few global sports organisations to continue with sporting events is sending the wrong message to fans and the country as a whole. 

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