EFC 71 Results/Recap: 205 pound Champion Dalcha Lungiambula claims Heavyweight Gold from Andrew van Zyl
Johannesburg, South Africa – Two weeks in advance of the highly anticipated superfight between UFC champs Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, EFC Worldwide hosted a gargantuan champion versus champion fight of their own at EFC 71 when heavyweight king Andrew van Zyl battled 205 ruler Dalcha Lungiambula. Read on for recaps and results from the event’s top contests, including a violent title defense by 125 pound champion Nkazimulo Zulu.
EFC 71 Heavyweight Title Superfight
Dalcha Lungiambula (9-1, EFC LHW champ, #59 World LHW)
Split Decision (5 Rounds)
Andrew van Zyl (16-4, EFC HW champ, #82 World)
For 25 intriguing minutes, longtime South African heavyweight kingpin Andrew van Zyl tried to find a way to make his ~40 pound weight advantage work for him in his battle with light heavyweight champ Dalcha Lungiambula. “One Gear” typically uses superior cardio, chin, and forward pressure to overwhelm opponents. But “Champion Dalcha” showed off sharp boxing as he punished van Zyl whenever he dove into range over the course of the first four rounds. Van Zyl also boasts an excellent clinch game, but against the much smaller judoka he found himself dumped on the mat in each of rounds 1 through 4. Dalcha opted for low-risk positional control when on top, which was forgivable considering he spent nearly a half hour tussling with a much, much larger and more experienced opponent. Van Zyl pressed hard for the finish in the fifth round as the supremely muscled Dalcha tired out, but his offensive flurries weren’t enough to crack Lungiambula’s solid chin. After five rounds of grinding and periodic fistic flurries, one judge puzzling scored the fight for Van Zyl. The other two officials rightfully awarded the EFC Heavyweight title to Dalcha Lungiambula, who showed great all around skills and just enough cardio to take out one of the most credentialed MMA big men that the African continent has ever produced. With this triumph it’s time for Lungiambula to retire his “Champion Dalcha” nickname – make it Champ Champ Dalcha from now on!
EFC 71 Flyweight Title Bout
Nkazimulo Zulu (10-2, EFC champ, #107 World)
TKO-Ground Strikes, Round 1
Magno Alves (4-8-1, late replacement)
What looked like a mismatch on paper turned into a brief scare for TUF 24 Tournament of Champions alum Nkazimulo Zulu, who went at it with Magno “Popeye” Alves in an exciting one round battle. Zulu nearly took the Brazilian’s head off with an early head kick, but Alves powered in and scored a surprise takedown. From there, Alves worked a series of increasingly unpleasant looking leglock tries that Zulu defended patiently and effectively. Once “Zulu Boy” broke free from the heel hook, he flew in with a flying knee to the body of his still-grounded foe before absolutely destroying him with punches for the round 1 TKO!
“When he went for the leg lock I could see he had it in he wrong position and just relaxed. He gassed his arms and I let loose.” @Nkazimulo12Zulu describes his win at #EFC71 pic.twitter.com/LYlT1w6mbm
— #EFC71 Van Zyl vs Dalcha – SAT 23 June (@EFCworldwide) June 23, 2018
TUF Tourney of Champions alum and @EFCWorldwide 125 champ Nkazimulo Zulu aka "Zulu Boy" spent most of his 1 round fight with short notice foe Popeye Alves defending against leglocks
— DC (@FightFan_DC) June 23, 2018
145: Luthando Biko (4-1, #11 S.Africa) SD3 Steven Goncalves (5-1, #4 S.Africa)
The full-energy, round 1 version of diminutive 4’11” featherweight Luthando “Shorty” Biko is an athletic marvel to behold. Shorty bounced around the cage outside the range of the 6’1″ Stephen Goncalves‘ massive range advantage, while periodically bouncing into the pocket to pop Goncalves with a shot before exploding back out of range. When Biko wanted the fight on the mat he got it there in all three rounds, including an impressive Cormier-style lift and slam in round 1. Biko’s top game is a lot less dynamic than his standup, as he mostly kept his head low and his man planted to the mat. Goncalves briefly threatened with a triangle in round 2, but that was as good as it got for the previously undefeated South African. Luthando Biko cruised to his fourth straight win in the EFC cage by (slightly baffling) split decision – watch for this talent in the future, especially if he cuts back down to 135 pounds where he’ll be facing fighters somewhere near his own size!
145: Cedric Doyle (9-3-1, #308 World) TKO3-GNP Trezeguet Kanyinda (2-4)
Short notice opponent Trezeguet Kanyinda proved to be a game opponent for two rounds of this clash with Cedric Doyle, who entered the cage for the first time since falling short in a 2016 EFC bantamweight title clash versus Irshaad Sayed. Doyle withstood early offense from Kanyinda before using his ground skills to plant his man on the mat. Doyle a stamp on things when he smashed the fading Trezeguet with strikes from back mount early in the third. The ref allowed Kanyinda to take a ton of damage before waving the fight off in favor of the returning Doyle, whose only losses have come to former and current EFC champions.