EFC105 saw the evolution of Nkazimulo Zulu, who became a four-time EFC champion when he submitted Musa Sethwape in the fourth round of their Bantamweight Championship in Johannesburg tonight.
The first round saw Zulu produce impressive head movement and lateral shifts to avoid the power of Sethwape, seeking the KO early on.
Since his move to CIT gym, Zulu showed great patience and timing in his striking, but it was his ground game that proved most impressive, and credit must be given to CIT’s head coach Morne Visser and Co for helping the former Flyweight and Bantamweight king return to the throne once again.
During the four rounds, Zulu was very comfortable attacking Sethwape on the canvas, something not synonymous with the new champion, renowned for his electric Muay Thai and overall lethal stand-up.
Since shifting camp to Pretoria, Zulu has showcased better cardio and seems to be happier to wrestle and grapple as he continuously attacked Sethwape either from his back or while riding his BIA opponent’s back in search of that neck.
The second round saw Sethwape initiate a huge takedown before shaping up in the guard to attempt a ground and pound, however, during a brief moment of chaos, Zulu reversed the position and tried to implement a triangle choke and an armbar, followed by a TKO via elbows attempt before Sethwape made the escape.
In the third round, Zulu came out like a house on fire and tried to emulate the world-renowned Jorge Masvidal with a flying knee to the face of Sethwape, but the BIA warrior did well to avoid the blow and went to work with his wrestling trying to get Zulu to the canvas to work the body.
Zulu showed off his new artillery again, getting another reverse, before dominating the grappling exchanges for another three minutes.
Zulu eventually found the opening early in the fourth round when he sunk in a tight rear-naked choke forcing Sethwape to tap.
“I was born a king, I still am a king, and I will forever be a king,” said Zulu in the post-fight interview.
“Hey, that guy was heavy man, but the wrestling we practiced worked out, thank you to coach Neil for working on that back takes with me, thank you to coach Morne Visser for helping me with my wrestling. The game plan worked perfectly.
"I must say a big thank you to Coach Morne for giving me a home. I was thinking of retiring from the sport, and he told me to come to CIT and promised to bring out my potential, and here I am, a champion again, said Zulu - a former Bantamweight and Flyweight champion who failed to find good rhythm over recent years as he moved to different camps.
Bantamweight Championship bout: Nkazimulo Zulu beat Musa Sethwape via rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
Welterweight bout: Mark Kamba vs Peace Nguphane declared a No Contest via an unintentional illegal strike to a grounded opponent in the first round.
Flyweight bout: Micky Cloete beat Vincent Nakana via tapout (key lock submission) in the first round.
Middleweight bout: Jeremie Tshibala beat Pietie Coxen via TKO (due to strikes) in the first round.
Lightweight bout: Humphrey Mulenga beat Nkosi Doyisa via TKO (due to strikes) in the first round.
Featherweight bout: Guide Moyo beat Lecture Gumbi via KO in the second round.
Flyweight: Teboho Ntene submits Tyral Louw via armbar in the first round.
Featherweight: David Mambo beat Andrew Caruth via TKO (due to strikes) in the first round.
Flyweight bout: Lukhmaan Jhazbhay beat Tebatso Molele via armbar.
Featherweight bout: Ken Sekeletu beat Warren Richards via TKO (due to strikes) in the first round.
Featherweight bout: Ayanda Zwane beat Emerson Pedro via unanimous decision.