The learning curve continues. While neither Hamsta nor Lof won their fights both fought with tremendous heart & skill in what ended up being really tough fights. Both fights were intense high paced affairs & after both, our boys were fresher & even had reserves after their fights. It seems the adjustments we've made on that front were spot on.
We had originally entered 5 fighters for Cape Fight League 11 (CFL 11). Lyndall & I succumbed to bronchial pneumonia (nasty thing that) & Onias had to return to Zimbabwe urgently.
Matt 'Hamsta' Landsdale vs Keeren Geduld (K1 - Light Welterweight – Amateur)
One's 1st fight is usually an eye opener. It is very difficult to simulate the intensity & intent in the gym. This was Hamsta's 1st 'real' fight (he had a little light contact experience about 5 years ago - not the same thing). He got caught early & spent the 1st round on the back foot, eating more than he was dishing out. He was often caught on the ropes or a corner. At the end of the round I reminded him to use his footwork.
The 2nd round was more of the same. In the corner he asked me what he needed to do. Again I reminded him of his footwork. He had early success evading which bolstered his confidence. He largely avoided getting his back trapped on the ropes & the corners. Circling out almost immediately when he got caught. More importantly though, he started striking back with intent, catching & hurting Keeren. With his feet moving & his better conditioning Matt took the 3rd round, showing what he is capable of.
Roelof Schaaf vs Charl Britz (MMA - Welterweight – SuperAm)
From the opening bell Lof looked comfortable, relaxed & at home in the ring. His striking was slick & from the very 1st jab he landed Charl's corner called for him to take it to the ground. That would likely have been their strategy anyway, considering Charl's grappling prowess, but Lof certainly had a large margin on the feet. About midway through the 1st round Charl managed with a committed takedown. An intense battle for position ensued with Charl eventually gaining mount.
Lof managed to 'wet blanket' & largely avoided Charl's attacks. Just before the end of the round Charl caught Lof in an armbar. As the 10 second clapper went Lof's arm was caught in deep & hyper-extended. They tussled as the ref watched from very close by. As the buzzer went the ref tapped & none of us were sure if he'd called the fight or the round. I think it would have been well within the ref's prerogative to have called the fight to protect Lof.
The fight however continued with Lof assuring me between rounds that his arm was OK. He proved that early in the 2nd round when he tagged Charl with a couple of crisp rights. After a minute or so, Charl managed to catch hold of Lof in his corner. Lof ran out of space on his sprawl, was lofted & dumped. Another tussle for position ensued with Charl again taking mount & another armbar after another unsuccessful attempt at ground & pound (great defence Lof!). Lof had more leverage this time & managed to flex his arm. I was still calling to him to pull it through when Charl inverted & in a split second had it on. Lof tapped quickly but his arm, probably due to the 'loosening' in the 1st round suffered some soft tissue damage. He is healing well & more committed than ever.