The Winds of Change Blow Through EWC 11
Written by Emjay on February 25, 2019
The build-up to EWC 11 over the past few weeks gave a hint to the fact that the EWC promotion had undergone a bit of a change. Firstly it was the new, cleaner look of their new logo. Next it was the fact that their fight-&-dine format of the past 2 events was no longer available, opting for the traditional seating options, they did however add the concept of a Season Ticket – which would grant the bearer access to all 10 of the EWC events in 2019 – lets see how this concept works in the combat sports space!? Finally it was the incorporation of an 8-man elimination tournament.
Looking back of the Fight Night, it essentially consisted of 3 “events”;
The preliminary 6 fights had many, including this writer, reminding ourselves that this was in fact the very first Amateur MMA event of the 2019 fight calendar. Clearly for many, the cage rust was still evident due to the high amount of base-level brawling that was witnessed. There was, however, one fight that still has me perplexed. The Light heavyweight clash between Josh Standers and Diego Bandu had all the ingredients for an explosive battle and for 2 rounds, it delivered – Bandu unleashing his precision striking while Standers used every opportunity to get inside and under Bandu to smash him to the canvas. Going into the 3rdround, it was Standers’ fight to lose and boy did he do that in SPECTACULAR fashion! Seconds into round number 3, Standers was again able to get under a very tired looking Bandu and as per the many instances before proceeded to lift him and smash him to the canvas, only this time he was unable to swivel his body enough, ending up concussing himself and handing the victory to Bandu by way of “self-inflicted knockout”. Cannot wait for this rematch……it just has to happen!
The next 4 fights consisted of the 8-man welterweight elimination tournament, whereby 8 fighters compete for the vacant EWC welterweight title. EWC President Dwain Meredith explained that the winners of each fight move on to the next EWC event – the semi-finals – where those winners would then compete at EWC 13 for the vacant EWC welterweight title.
Great matchmaking by the EWC matchmaker Patrick Luindlula made for 4 outstanding fights resulting in Adolphe Diego (via unanimous decision), Ruffus Mantshiumba (via split decision), Stiaan Brown (via 3rdRnd submission) and Dirk Smit (DQ due to illegal strikes) progress to the semifinals to be held at EWC 12 on 30 March 2019. One question remains, will Dirk Smit have recovered in time to contest for a spot in the final, this writer believes not, due to the massive concussion that he must have suffered after being downed by that illegal kick to the head!
The main card continued on from where the welterweights left off, with an early “No Contest” being ruled in the Mazu v Ntene fight – a definite rematch coming up here. The fight between Clint Louw and Neo Ntatisang went all the way to the judges who gave it a split decision victory to Louw. Next up were the 3 title fights which were the main drawcards of the event and unfortunately for EWC and the 6 fighters, only a fraction of the initial fans who had initially arrived for the event were left at the end to witness a complete changing of the guard. Featherweight Champion Ben Sheltyon was left cold by a well timed knockout kick from Khutso Legodi, while Ladies Bantamweight Champion Christine Wolmarans was forced to retire hurt at the end of round 2. In a definite Fight-of-the-Night performance, Eduardo Barros did enough to to persuade the judges that he was worthy of being named the new Men’s Bantamweight Champion courtesy of a split decision victory.
Despite a few niggly technical issues along with some commentary crossovers, it was another great event concluded by the EWC team with many fight camps again giving high praise to the fact that the amateur circuit continues to grow. The next event for the EWC Team is set for 20 March 2019.