On August 14th, the EFC put on their EFC 88 event. That event was headlined by a bout between Thabani “The Doctor” Mndebela and Matunga “HHH Power” Djikasa, and it was for the vacant Heavyweight Championship. Mndebela came out of that fight the newly-crowned champion following a vicious Ground and Pound in the 2nd round, which saw him get the win via TKO. The victory was an emotional one, as the Doctor had just laid his father to rest the weekend prior and was fighting in his honor.
Just over two months since then, it appears that the relationship between Mndebela and EFC higher-ups has soured. This morning, the Heavyweight Champion took to his Instagram to address his frustrations over not receiving his title as yet. In his lengthy statement, Mndebela posted the following message:
“10 weeks later after my fight for @efcworldwide heavyweight championship (14/08/2021) I still haven’t received my belt.
I have been fighting with @efcworldwide, Graeme Cartmell and Cairo begging for my belt since the 15th of August 2021 .
They don’t want to give me the belt also they have refused to release me from the contract.
As of today I Thabani ‘The Doctor’ Mndebela will no longer be part of @efcworldwide.
I now consider myself a free agent and I will continue training hard as I have always been”
The full post can be checked out over here: Mndebela Instagram Post [10/25/2021]
Many African MMA fans have shown support for Mndebela and have begun calling for change in the EFC’s methods of operation. EFC Promoter, Graeme Cartmell, put out a statement which says:
“Belt is in Durban, my assistant went down with it on Friday. We are trying to arrange him collecting it. Being a free agent, he’s under contract so [he] isn’t a free agent. We will sort it out with him and match him for next year April as planned. Our new belts are on their way, they have been a nightmare to import, like most things with Covid.” [via BigALPodcast on Instagram]
Mndebela is not happy with that response and is still considering himself a free agent.
We will keep you updated as the story progresses.
Combat sports writer and thought-sharer. Major interest in pushing African combat to the rest of the world.