In the main event of EFC 28 in Johannesburg on Thursday, Garreth McLellan successfully defended his middleweight belt by beating JP Kruger for the second time. The champion survived an early armbar attempt to finish the fight with a rear naked choke early in the opening round.
The first time these two fighters met was in 2009 and McLellan won with an armbar. Kruger had since strung together five straight wins, but the outcome of their second meeting was almost identical to the first.
McLellan, who moves up to 11-2 with a fifth consecutive win, secured an early takedown and had to defend against the armbar before taking Kruger’s back and securing a rear naked choke, which moved the challenger to 5-2 and snapped his five-fight winning streak.
Earlier in the night, reigning RUFF 135-pound champion Irshaad Sayed (7-2) made a dominant EFC debut when he took Leo Gloss (8-6) out in under a round. The Singapore-based South African hurt his opponent with strikes before electing to drop for a takedown.
Sayed moved into side control and easily took Gloss’s back. The fight was briefly interrupted as he struck his opponent’s groin while sinking in his hooks, but the referee reset them in the original position and the RUFF champion wasted no time in forcing the tap via a rear naked choke.
In light heavyweight action, Norman Wessels (5-2) made short work of Chris du Pont (4-2), whom he submitted with a rear naked choke early in the opening round. Next up for the winner is a shot at reigning EFC 205-pound champion Gideon Drotschie.
Brendon Groenewald (4-2) beat Vandam Mbuyi (4-2) for the second time, but on this occasion there was no controversy as the heavyweight took his opponent’s back late in the second round and pounded away with head shots until the tap came.
Also in the heavyweight division, Christophe Walravens (3-1) scored a third successive win when he stopped Bernardo Mikixi (5-5) in the second round with an onslaught of low kicks eventually taking their toll on the 33-year-old, who was finally finished with hammer fists.
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