JP Kruger Produces Herculean Effort to Defeat Luke Michael and Become Undisputed Middleweight Champ

JP Kruger Produces Herculean Effort to Defeat Luke Michael and Become Undisputed Middleweight Champ

Byron Pillay
updated at April 12, 2024 at 7:12 AM
  • JP Kruger is the new Undisputed Middleweight Champion following his win at EFC 112
  • Tinkerbell had to dig really deep after a challenging first round to defeat Luke Michael
  • Michael returned to action after a two-year absence due to a career-threatening injury

What do you have to do to keep JP Kruger down?

Luke Michael thought he had the answer when he fought for the Undisputed Middleweight title at EFC 112, but Tinkerbell had other ideas.

JP Kruger is the EFC's new Undisputed Middleweight champion.
JP Kruger had to fight back from a beating to submit Luke Michael and claim the Middleweight strap. Image: Roarke Bouffe (EFC).
Source: Original

Kruger, who entered the bout as the interim champion, defeated the title holder by submission in the second round, but some were surprised he made it out of the first.

How Kruger fought back

After the first round, submitting Michael to win the title didn’t look like a possibility.

The Young Gun took Kruger down to the ground from the start of round one and looked well on his way to victory. The champion landed shot after shot on Tinkerbell, leaving him battered and bruised at the end of round one.

Kruger was busted open, and many felt the referee would stop the fight before the end of the round. Michael returned to his tried-and-tested method of taking down Kruger at the start of round two, but it didn’t pay off.

Tinkerbell was able to lock up Michael and attempted a guillotine.

While he wasn’t successful at first, he continued trying and managed to get a mounted guillotine in. Kruger cranked on the pressure, and Michael looked like he would tap out a few times.

With Kruger refusing to let go and Michael struggling not to pass out, he eventually tapped out. After the fight, Tinkerbell praised Michael for his power, adding that he didn't realise the Young Gun was so strong.

Igeu Kabesa becomes double champion

Igeu "Smiley" Kabesa is officially a double champion in the EFC following his win of the Lightweight title at EFC 112.

The Featherweight champion defeated Kaleka Kabanda by submission to claim the title, Sports Brief earlier reported.

Smiley has further cemented himself as a GOAT of African MMA, but the dream of competing overseas still eludes him.

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Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
South Africa