Pena Still EFC Bantamweight Champion

A unified EFC bantamweight champion was determined at EFC 55, as champion Demarte Pena defeated interim champion Irshaad Sayed to claim the undisputed crown.

Neither man gained much of an advantage at the start of round one. Pena swept the leg of Sayed to briefly get him down on the canvas, though Sayed showing off some nice combinations. Both men had a sudden flurry of punches, and they traded blows in the last 30 seconds. Round two saw Sayed trying to utilize different angles to attack Pena, and Sayed landed a few nice combinations, but Pena eventually nails a front kick to the face. Sayed eating a couple of kicks, but showing off a strong chin. Both of the first two rounds were pretty even.

Pena opened round three with switch kick, looking comfortable with his striking ability and forcing Sayed to reset. Sayed dropping his hands, daring Pena to throw hard shots. Pena started to land hard shots halfway through round, though Sayed showing some counter-punching. Sayed got Pena off balance by countering a kick, and he threw combinations in the last 30 seconds. The start of round four saw Pena block a Sayed kick, but choose not to pursue a takedown. Sayed continued to try to get into the head of Pena, brushing off everything Pena is throwing at him.

Pena, however, successfully earned a takedown 2 minutes into the round. Pena grasped onto Sayed’s legs, trying to keep him down. Sayed gets up with double underhooks about a minute later. Pena nearly got a guillotine in the closing seconds, but Sayed is saved by the bell. Pena got in another takedown about a minute into round five, landing multiple shots to the head and body. Sayed managed to transition into north-south and get out and back onto his feet, but didn’t do enough to win the round and fight.

The judges ruled in Pena’s favor, 49-45, 49-46, 49-46.

In the co-main event, Dave Mazany successfully defended the EFC lightweight championship over Leon Mynhardt. Mazany landed combinations and single strikes at the opening bell. Mazany got the takedown and stayed in the dominant position, landing blows all over Mynhardt’s body. A cut developed over Mynhardt’s right eye early on. Mynhardt got back to his feet at the 1:13 mark, but the round did not end before Mazany rocked Mynhardt once more.

Mazany landed another takedown at the start of the second round. Mazany looked to be attempting a kimura, but transitioned into a deep rear-naked choke. It looked like Mynhardt was going out, but Mazany let go of the hold, which might have been a mistake as Mazany was hit by a few shots from Mynhardt before the ref briefly stopped the bout to have the cut on Mynhardt’s eye looked at. Both attempted submissions, but Mazany got into the dominant position, landing hard shots as the second round ended. Mazany rocked Mynhardt early on in round three, and despite Mynhardt showing his heart and trying to stay in the fight, the referee stepped in as Mynhardt was eating vicious ground-and-pound shots.

EFC 55 Full Results:
Bantamweight championship unification bout: (c.) Demarte Pena def. (i.c.) Irshaad Sayed by unanimous decision
Lightweight championship: (c.) Dave Mazany def. Leon Mynhardt by TKO (Rd 3, 1:51)
Ruan Potts def. Brendon Groenewald by submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd 2, 4:21)
Francois Groenewald def. Baldwin Mdlalose by submission (guillotine choke) (Rd 1, 2:45)
Cameron Pritchard def. Dino Bagattin by submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd 2, 1:12)
Wesley Hawkey def. Sibusiso Mdoko by knockout (strikes) (Rd 1, 3:40)
Sylvester Chipfumbu def. Guy Mongambi by unanimous decision
Regis Muyambo def. Tyson Chelin by unanimous decision
Niel du Plessis def. Mutuale Basambolo by unanimous decision
Gary Joshua def. Lourens Botes by TKO (punches) (Rd 1, 4:10)

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