EFC 81: Faeez Jacobs claims interim bantamweight championship
EFC 81 was fought to an intense conclusion last night with surging superstar, Faeez Jacobs, snatching the interim bantamweight title in his split decision victory over former multiple division champ Nkazimulo Zulu.
The night’s main event was a nail-biting five round encounter, with Jacobs proving to the world he can walk-the-walk along with talking-the-talk with a diverse and ever-growing skill set.
Over five rounds, he went toe-to-toe with the former champ. Trading punches and kicks while adding his own personal flair. When Zulu decided to change tactics and take Jacobs down, an answer was always found. Ultimately always getting back to his feet.
In the end, it was Jacobs claiming the nod from the judges. “I can’t describe how this feels”, Jacobs responded in his post-fight interview. In a motivating speech, Jacobs went on to conclude, “Whenever a teacher tells you, you won’t be anything, or you can’t do something; tell them ‘Troublemaker’ says dreams come true!”
In the penultimate bout of the evening, perennial contenders Tumisang Madiba and Pierre Botha faced-off. With a powerful right, reminiscent of his most recent KO win, he dropped Madiba and pressed forward with follow up strikes on the grounded Madiba. Referee Bobby Karagiannidis stepped in, calling the end of the bout. Madiba popped up, contending the decision immediately, and later calling for a rematch.
Two of the most experienced athletes in the organisation put it all on the line tonight. Former welterweight champ, Dino Bagattin battled, now 21 EFC fight veteran, Anicet Kanyeba over three rounds. The underdog Kanyeba’s victory was made that more impressive by his stepping in on a week’s notice and up a division from his usual lightweight category. This victory only strengthens his case for a shot at EFC gold.
Undefeated prospect, Lyle Karam, furthered his winning streak to 5 in a row with his competitive back and forth fight against Stefan Pretorius. Launching up the ranks as a future welterweight contender. He will be watching the Grand Prix finale on 28 September between Themba Gorimbo and Luke Michael closely.
Opening the fight with fireworks, saw bantamweight contenders Asiashu Tshitamba and Billy Oosthuizen clash. Surviving and seemingly returning from the dead in the first from a rear-naked choke by Oosthuizen, Tshitamba knocked out Oosthuizen with an up-kick that sent Oosthuizen collapsing over himself to the canvas. This was Tshitamba’s 4th straight win, and he used the moment to call for a shot at the winner between the night’s main event.
The prelim headliner between Takunda Gorimbo and Mzamo Madlopha was cancelled. Gorimbo was not medically cleared by EFC medical officials.
Fight of the night was awarded to the welterweight clash between Dino Bagattin and Anicet Kanyeba. Performance bonuses went to Asiashu Tshitamba, Billy Oosthuizen, Lyle Karam and Stefan Pretorius.
EFC 81 official results:
Robert Swanepoel vs Given Majuba was ruled a No Contest in round 1
Bradley Swanepoel beat Yebo Ban Ntambwe by submission (arm triangle)
at 2:16 of round 1
Christine Wolmarans beat Paulwetu Namba by TKO (punches) at 4:19 of round 2
Roy Lokolo beat Khulekani Hlongwa by unanimous decision
Rodrique Kena beat Elvis Ngwalangwala by TKO (punches) at 2:26 of round 1
Asiashu Tshitamba beat Billy Oosthuizen by KO (kick) at 0:12 of round 2
Lyle Karam beat Stefan Pretorius by split decision
Anicet Kanyeba beat Dino Bagattin by split decision
Faeez Jacobs beat Nkazimulo Zulu by split decision