Johannesburg, South Africa – With EFC 100 exactly 12 weeks away, 22 fighters stepped into the Hex ready to prove themselves worthy of being featured at that historic event.
The preliminary card set the pace for the night with a mixed bag of exciting submissions and thrilling TKO finishes. The main card started off with the tension-filled bout between Brothers in Arms’ Prince Lolia and Pride Fighting Academy’s Emmanuel Sita. Tensions were running high between the two camps as the two fought to the very end, leaving it up to the judges to decide who the better fighter on the night was. Lolia got the unanimous nod from all three arbiters but that fight would prove to be the only one at EFC 97 to go the distance.
Next up, Johan van Staden was looking to make his long-awaited return a glorious one but Peace Nguphane was determined not to let that be at his expense. Nguphane delivered a vicious onslaught on ‘The Natural’ leaving him at the mercy of the referee, who would eventually stop the bout. Upon victory, ‘X’ did not hesitate to let his confidence be on full display as he let it be known of his intentions to feature on the upcoming monumental EFC 100 card – be it at welterweight or with a move down at lightweight.
With newly-adorned champion Nicholas Hwende in attendance, Eduardo Barros and Bheki Ngcobo took to the Hex ready to prove themselves worthy of a shot at capturing bantamweight gold. Competing in one of the deepest divisions in the promotion, Barros and Ngcobo knew that they needed to prove themselves and were looking to do so by getting a finish. The Angolan exuded confidence and, with the power of repeated devastating leg-kicks, succeeded in putting away Ngcobo at the end of the very first round.
The sole women’s bout on the card took place between Dayne van Wyk and Alice Ngom, and although the weigh-in face-off was respectful, the ladies delivered absolute carnage when the hooter sounded. With Amanda Lino still being the bantamweight champ, both athletes understood the level of intensity required of them to be deemed worthy of belt contention – and they fired off on all cylinders. The fight was not without controversy however, when the referee called a stoppage in the first round as Ngom had her opponent rocked and was hunting for the finish, ostensibly for illegal strikes and fence grabs. Heading into the second round after the reset, the positions were reversed with Van Wyk raining down the ground n’ pound to force the referee’s stoppage. In the post-event press-conference, Ngom confirmed that she will be appealing the result with the national governing body.
The main event was an intriguing one, in that Gift Walker had already made it clear that he would not be seeking to challenge for gold so long as his good friend and EFC Flyweight Champion, Luthando Biko, held the belt. His opponent, Boualem Sahraoui, did not share that opinion after coming all the way from Paris, and was not about to let the opportunity to claim a shot at Africa’s 125lb gold pass him by. The two went beyond the frantic first round and in the second, Walker managed to take the Frenchman down and began looking for the submission. Sahraoui would not go down without a fight though and desperately attempted to escape the rear naked choke that Walker was trying to lock in. Ultimately, Walker forced Sahraoui to tap and with his victory, cemented himself as truly one of the best – not just in the flyweight division but throughout the entire promotion.
EFC 100 is fast approaching and, with less chances to prove themselves, fighters made the most of the given chance to show up and show out at EFC 97. All in all, the EFC 97 card surpassed expectations and delivered a thrilling night of action for fight fans all around the world!
Below are the full results and performance bonuses.
OFFICIAL EFC 97 RESULTS:
Gift Walker def. Boualem Sahraoui via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2 (03:05)
WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT FIGHT
Dayne van Wyk def. Alice Ngom via TKO (Strikes) – Round 2 (03:21)
Eduardo Barros def. Bheki Ngcobo via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1 (04:36)
Peace Nguphane def. Johan van Staden via TKO (Referee Stoppage) – Round 2 (03:16)
Prince Lolia def. Emmanuel Sita via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tom Theocharis def. Pietie Coxen via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1 (00:59)
CATCHWEIGHT FIGHT (150LBS)
Shannon van Tonder def. Guide Moyo via Submission (Guillotine Choke) – Round 1 (04:58)
Kaleka Kabanda def. Guelor Sondi via Submission (Arm Triangle) – Round 2 (01:30)
Martin Gcinumkhondo def. Orlando Machava via TKO (Strikes) – Round 2 (03:57)
Kgaugelo Moitšhela def. Christian Mulamba via Submission (Armbar) – Round 1 (02:19)
Terence Balelo def. Godknows Ndlovu via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1 (03:46)
PERFORMANCE BONUSES: Terence Balelo, Martin Gcinumkhondo & Shannon van Tonder
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Dayne van Wyk vs Alice Ngom
EFC 98, Mbuyi vs Djikasa, presented by World Sports Betting, takes place on Thursday, 06 October 2022 live from the EFC Performance Institute in JHB, South Africa.
Full broadcast, ticket and fight information at www.efcworldwide.com