Van Staden’s han­dlers de­mand re­match

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT -

– The Ex­treme Fight­ing Championship lightweight championship changed hands in a spec­tac­u­lar five-round war at EFC72 on Satur­day night, when former cham­pion Dave Mazany (right) of the US re­claimed the ti­tle de­feat­ing lo­cal favourite Martin van Staden on a split de­ci­sion.

The bout was con­tro­ver­sial, and the epit­ome of hard-fought and in­tel­li­gent MMA. Van Staden pos­sessed the strik­ing ad­van­tage, with an in­cred­i­ble 16 knock­outs to his name, while Mazany was tipped as the su­pe­rior wrestler. The fight played out in pre­cisely that way, fought on a knife edge.

The rul­ing was de­liv­ered 4945 Mazany, 46-48 Van Staden, and 49-45 Mazany, un­leash­ing a tor­rent of boos. The bout was ex­traor­di­nar­ily close, and ul­ti­mately Mazany was given the nod through his su­pe­rior con­trol, but the de­ci­sion fanned the con­tro­versy.

At the post event press con­fer­ence Van Staden was un­der­stand­ably up­set, and EFC pres­i­dent Cairo Howarth con­firmed his camp’s in­ten­tion to book a re­match as soon as pos­si­ble.

In the co-main event, former EFC light heavy­weight cham­pion Gideon Drotschie made his long-awaited re­turn, now in the mid­dleweight di­vi­sion. He beat Je­naid Ebanks of the United King­dom via a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in what was the event’s fight of the night. – Own Cor­re­spon­dent

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