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By Clinton Jones

Sports Editor

EFC ends breakthrough year with changing of the guard

However, 2018 ended on a disappointing note for various South African fighters.

It was something of  a change of guard at Time Square Sun Arena on Saturday night as South Africans endured one of the most disappointing nights in Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) history.

The veterans made way for the young guns as the once dominant Ruan Potts and Andrew van Zyl succumbed to their younger international opponents at EFC76.

Two-time former EFC heavy-weight champion Potts was no match for American Jared Vanderaa, as he claimed the interim heavyweight title and in the process became the man to beat in an increasingly competitive division.

Another former heavyweight champion Van Zyl announced his retirement after being demolished by Briton Stuart Austin.

Former welterweight title contender, Brazil’s José Da Rocha, opened the main card with a short notice bout against the dangerous Pretoria native, Conrad Seabi.

The fight ended controversially as a disgusted Seabi couldn’t understand why referee Bobby Karagiannidis called a stop to the fight after just 50 seconds due to a TKO when it didn’t appear as if he was in any strife.

The only shining light from a local point of view was the return of former EFC welterweight champion Dallas Jakobi after a five-year lay-off, to the delight of the Pretoria crowd.

Jakobi was dropped by opponent Mark Kamba almost immediately, and amazingly survived a deep rear naked choke, to set up a grappling clinic of a first round.

The second saw both coast-based fighters suffering the effects of altitude. It was a haphazard but brutal round with both men trading haymakers, which ultimately left Kamba on his stool unable to come out for the third.

The win saw Jakobi  send a reminder to both the welter and middleweight divisions of the grit and power of the former champ.

The ladies closed off an exciting evening of fighting as Poland’s  Karolina Wojcik outlasted champion Italy’s Chiara Penco in the main event after five hardfought rounds.

It was fitting end to what has been a breakthrough year for the organisation and one can only think the sky is the limit next year.

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