The Star Early Edition

Downs Austin

- JU­LIAN KIEWIETZ

IN PREPA­RA­TION for his fight with EFC Light Heavy­weight king Cham­pion Dalcha, England’s Stu­art ‘He-Man’ Austin seemed to be on top of things.

“I see holes in his (Dalcha’s) game, he is ob­vi­ously very dan­ger­ous and pow­er­ful, but his skill set is lim­ited,” said the English­man.

On Satur­day night at Ex­treme Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship 65, Austin’s words proved to be true ... es­pe­cially the “dan­ger­ous and pow­er­ful” part.

Dalcha set so­cial me­dia and Car­ni­val City alight with one of the most scin­til­lat­ing come­backs in the his­tory of com­bat sport to once again de­clare his EFC dom­i­na­tion and suc­cess­fully de­fend his ti­tle.

In the first of their five-round cham­pi­onship bout, Austin, a smooth-talk­ing op­er­a­tor known for pre­dict­ing ex­actly how his match would go, earned re­spect and stirred up plenty of anx­i­ety within the hearts of Dalcha fans, clasp­ing and block­ing Dalchas fist shots.

The 1.88m con­tender known as ‘He-Man’ used his reach ad­van­tage well against the Democ­rac­tic Repub­lic of Congo war­rior to sub­due any threat be­fore mount­ing him.

For the rest of the first round it was the ‘He-Man’ show as he used his mas­sive frame to po­si­tion the EFC cham­pion in an awk­ward spot be­fore ini­ti­at­ing a ground-and-pound.

The ‘Dalcha’ roars got louder in ef­forts to spur their man on, es­pe­cially when Austin in­flicted heavy blows his fists and el­bows that would cut open the Cape Town-based fighter.

With less than 25 sec­onds to go, it seemed as if there would be a new Light Heavy­weight cham­pion as Austin ham­mered shots onto Dalcha.

But mirac­u­lously, Dalcha held up his de­fence and re­mained con­scious un­til the first-round horn blew. The ‘Cham­pion’ was in a bad state. Cue the cra­zi­est mo­ment of the night ... Go­ing into the sec­ond it was as if a new spirit en­tered Dalcha.

Barely one minute in, bruised and bat­tered, Dalcha ini­ti­ated a mas­sive Judo take­down and gave the English­man some of his own medicine, land­ing heavy blows on Austin’s face. Only this dosage seemed to be more po­tent.

With cuts to the face, the ref­eree called the fight at 1:48 sec­onds af­ter the con­tender dropped his de­fence for a mo­ment.

“I think it should have been stopped in the first. I heard at least four warn­ings for him to de­fend him­self,” said Austin of his first round dom­i­na­tion. And many so­cial me­dia pun­dits shared the same sen­ti­ment.

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