Don Madge winning the EFC Lightweight Title. Courtesy - EFC Worldwide/Anton Geyser
JOHANNESBURG – In news that has set the South African combat sports community alight, EFC lightweight champion Don Madge (7-3-1) has signed a contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion and global MMA leader the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Madge was recently hired as the sparring partner for legendary UFC women’s featherweight champion Christiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino, assisting in her victorious title defence over Holly Holm at UFC 219 in December.
While there, UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby had shown interest in the EFC Champ and on Tuesday offered him a contract with the promotion. Madge posted the news on his Instagram account:
Since I started my MMA career, this has been my dream to sign with the @ufc - today I realized that dream!! I’m very proud to say that I am officially a UFC athlete. Thank you to everyone that has supported me from day one. This has been a crazy ride so far, can’t wait to show off my skills in this next venture Thank you to @efcworldwide for all the years of support and promotion. You’ve given many guys just like me the opportunity to showcase their skills. MMA UFC MagicMan KnowYourWhy QuanDeathSquad CoachQuan YoungSavage:@theotainmentp
eNCA last spoke to Madge in 2016 in an episode of The Clinch in which he said “The UFC is every MMA fighter&39;s goal, it’s the pinnacle of the sport. It’s like the Premier League and it feels like it’s just around the corner, it feels like I’m right there. I think that I’m ready for the step-up in competition.”
Madge has relinquished his EFC title, which will now be contested between his teammate and fellow South African MMA legend, Martin van Staden (19-9), and the number one contender who was originally slated to face Madge, England’s undefeated Gavin Hughes (9-0), at EFC 68 in Cape Town on 31 March.