At EFC AFRICA 13 on 13 April, Jadyson ‘Little Wanderlei’ Costa annihilated Dallas Jakobi to become EFC AFRICA’s new welterweight champion. The Brazilian-born Cape Town resident had the crowd on his side as he picked Jakobi apart over four rounds, with chants of ‘Costa’ reverberating around the GrandWest Arena.
“Becoming EFC AFRICA champion is the most unbelievable experience and I thank God for giving me the ability to do what I love the most,” says Costa. “I thought EFC 13 was amazing and having it in Cape Town, my new home, made it even more special. The fight with Dallas went exactly the way my team had planned; I really wanted to show everyone that I was a real mixed martial artist with a complete game, so I kept the fight on the feet and showed why my nickname is ‘Little Wanderlei’. I am very happy with my performance, I controlled the pace of the fight from start to finish and my game plan worked perfectly.”
According to Costa, emotions ran high in the title fight and he may have gotten a little carried away with theatrics. “I wanted to put on a show that the fans would remember, which I did. The showmanship was also part of the game plan to upset Dallas’s rhythm and to make his reactions more predictable. I don’t see myself as cocky at all, I worked hard for my fight and after I won I had a lot of emotions coming out. I didn’t even realise I gave Dallas the finger, it was just the adrenaline taking over. Remember, we were two guys trying to knock each other out, we weren’t playing ping pong! I think Dallas is a good guy and a really tough fighter with a big heart.”
After his win, Costa went out to Caprice with his girlfriend and friends to celebrate over a few beers. It was a mixed night for African Top Team because Costa won the title but his teammates all faced defeat. “I was sad because my team mates didn’t win their fights, but they all fought hard and gave it their best. I was very upset for Don, I think he was unlucky to lose but I’m sure he’ll learn from his mistake and move forward. As for me, I’m taking a week off training but I’m straight back into teaching my students at Pride Fighting Academy. I’m looking forward to defending my title in September, if possible. I am the champ now and I’m sure there are many guys who want my belt so I’m not going to rest, I want to keep training to be an even better fighter.”