Cape Town (South Africa) – Thursday 6 November, Gideon ‘Juggernaut’ Drotschie attempted to defend his light heavyweight title against Norman ‘Chef’ Wessels. The bout was ended early by a referee stoppage due to excessive bleeding from a cut on Drotschie’s forehead.
Many assumptions have been made by various parties for what caused the cut. EFC and MMA SA PRO have spent many hours investigating the fight footage to get a clear understanding of what the root cause was. The following below was discovered by EFC:
No metal was protruding from behind the padded corner cushion; however Drotschie hit the corner cushion at an unusual angle from the side with a lot of pressure exerted over a small area of the side of the two inch thick corner cushion. It appears that when Gideon dove towards the cushion head first he hit the cushion and the pressure squashed the padding to an extent that the frame could be felt. This is the first time in over 350 fights that an athlete has received any lacerations from the hexagon directly. EFC will be amending the padding to prevent the possibility of an unfortunate incident like this happening in future.
MMA SA PRO event officials have stated that the rules are clear that regardless of the findings post event, the referee’s decision is final and any rulings made on the night are maintained and cannot be overturned. The only time a decision may be overturned post event, would only be in a case of one of the athletes testing positive for a banned substance.
EFC agrees with the official’s decision and outcome. However, an important factor is that if Drotschie had not continued after his head was cut by the padding, there is a possibility the bout could have been called a no-contest due to the external factor affecting the outcome before three rounds of the bout had been completed.
“Its not pretty, but its fair. We have to think about what is best for the sport and offering Drotschie the rematch is the only way to eliminate all doubt,” stated EFC matchmaker Graeme Cartmell.
“I might have been down on points the first two rounds, but I know I could have made a comeback. One punch can change a fight. It should have been called a no-contest,” stated Drotschie earlier today. “I understand the referee’s decision, but I deserve my chance at redemption since I was robbed of a proper title defense. Norman I want what is mine!”