South African fighter suffers broken skull, wins fight by TKO
On 27 July, JP ‘The Bull’ Joubert became EFC AFRICA’s first light heavyweight champion by knocking out Norman ‘Chef’ Wessels at EFC AFRICA 15. In round one, Joubert was mercilessly pounded by Norman Wessels, and seemed only moments from a TKO loss.
“I had a massive adrenaline dump in round one and lost just about all my energy,” says Joubert. “He was way stronger than I’d expected and he dominated me, which is something that never happens!”
“In round two I started to regain my energy and strength. I kept telling myself that I was still in the fight and that there was no way I was going to give up. As soon as I started landing a couple of shots, and as soon as I saw that Norman was tired too, I felt things starting to turn in my favor. If I can compare it to anything, it was like hooking a fish; I knew I’d hooked Norman and I just had to keep swinging or he was going to get away. A fight comes down to who can take the most and who can give the most. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish.”
The price of victory was high.
During the bout, Joubert suffered a depression fracture to his skull, yet still managed to fight on and ultimately win. Health permitting, he hopes to be back to defend his title soon.
“I’m still waiting to hear the final doctor’s verdict but it looks like I have surgery to look forward to, and it’s not a small procedure. The fracture was definitely from the elbows that I took, and in my opinion elbows should be banned from MMA. I can’t train for at least 6 weeks and it’ll be a few months before my skull heals properly. Was it worth it? All I can say is MMA is in my blood, it’s the sport I chose and I want to continue.”
(Fight starts at 10:00 min mark)