The champion,Igeu Kabesa flew out of the starting blocks, putting the Scotsman under relentless striking pressure coupled with a strong clinch game against the fence.
Murrie constantly threatened to pull guard, but Kabesa refused to enter the Scotsman’s jiu-jitsu game, resulting in Murrie hanging off of the champion for much of the round.
A crunching Kabesa knee to Murrie’s chin ended the first.
In the second round Murrie’s guard pulling attempts nearly paid off with a flying armbar, but Kabesa defended and responded with a brutal hip throw to end the round, smashing the challenger’s head into the canvas.
The fight settled into the same clinch against the fence dynamic, punctuated by brutal strikes in open space from the champion.
In the fourth, Kabesa landed a body kick that doubled the Scot over, followed with a hook that smashed his head back, and then his trademark spinning back elbow that had Murrie wobbling on his feet, but still the Scot kept coming.
The bout went five rounds.
Kabesa showed himself to be a consummate champion, nullifying Murrie’s submission talents and dominating him with strikes and pressure against the fence.
Kabesa defended his belt by unanimous decision.
Dusseldorf’s ‘German Tank’, Max Merten, entered the EFC hexagon to face South Africa’s Conrad Seabi in the evening’s penultimate fight.
Seabi quickly took control with superior movement and punch volume.
Merten threatened with an overhand right, but couldn’t compete with Seabi’s fluid angles, and a particularly punishing jab that snapped the German’s head back repeatedly.
Seabi settled behind his jab for the second round and then unloaded with sensational overhand right midway through the third, dropping Merten, and finishing him with ground and pound.
Zimbabwe’s Sylvester Chipfumbu made his return after his title contention loss to flyweight champion Nkazimulo Zulu (a fight that sent him to the surgeon’s table) and made a sensational comeback.
His opponent, Tumisang Madiba, came out swinging, landing punches which Chipfumbu absorbed and answered with stinging body kicks and repeated takedowns.
Madiba’s extreme aggression carried him to midway through the second round, where Chipfumbu landed a takedown and dominated with ground and pound to close out the round.
The third opened with another attack from Madiba that Chipfumbu turned to a takedown and an immediate sinking of a rear-naked choke, to take the fight.
A double debut and new injection into the women’s division was the second fight of the main card, with the USA’s Vlismas facing Poland’s Wójcik.
The women had generated a ton of animosity in fight week, and it showed with them flying at each other at the starting buzzer.
Vlismas seemed to have control early on, but Wójcik proved her toughness with multiple deep submission defences.
The second round turned into an epic stand-up battle.
Both women tagged each other repeatedly.
Wójcik landed clean punches and Vlismas added to her own tally with brutal body kicks and a slick takedown to end the second.
The third round opened with no clear leader and both fought tooth and nail to the final buzzer.
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It was left to the judges to separate the two, an unenviable task.
A split decision victory went to Vlismas in a fight that no athlete should have lost.
The women took Fight of the Night honours and huge respect on their respective EFC debuts.
Angola’s Nerick Simoes walked out as the underdog in his main card debut against specialist wrestler Pierre Botha.
The two put on a scorching first round, battling on the feet and the ground with multiple scrambles, but it was the more experienced Botha that quickly took control and used his wrestling acumen to maintain it, smashing Simoes with hard hammer fists.
The second round delivered the same pattern with Simoes throwing all he had at the fortress of Botha’s top control.
Even a near armbar from bottom couldn’t shake Botha’s onslaught.
Botha simply lifted the Angolan and slammed him out of the submission attempt.
Simoes was far from finished though, and in the third, strategic inside leg kicks began to slow the wrestler.
Simoes fought a courageous round, but ultimately the skill of Botha was too much who took the fight by decision.
The official EFC 74 results are:
• Benjimen Mukendi defeated Aly Kalambay via submission (guillotine) in 2:08 round one.
• Takunda Gorimbo defeated Danie Swart via TKO (punches) 1:54 in round one.
• Elvis Ngwalangwala defeated Robert Swanepoel ) 0:57 in round one.
• Billy Oosthuizen defeat Zwelebanzi Ngema 2:58 in round three.
• Rodrique Kena defeated Sifiso Ngcobo via TKO (punches) 1:38 in round two.
• Armand Scheepers defeated Pietie Coxen via submission (armbar) 4:08 in round one.
• Pierre Botha defeated Nerik Simoes via unanimous decision.
• Cheyanne Vlismas defeated Karolina Wójcik via split decision.
• Sylvester Chipfumbu defeated Tumisang Madiba via submission 0:26 in round three.
• Conrad Seabi defeated Max Merten via TKO (punches) 2:10 in round three.
• Igeu Kabesa defeated Calum Murrie via unanimous decision.