In the blink of an eye, anything can change in mixed martial arts. We see it happen inside the cage all the time. A fight can be won or lost within a split second. It doesn’t take that much to change the scope of what is happening in a fight, and even the slightest change in position can be the difference between victory and defeat. Outside of the cage, in the lead-up to a fight, the same formula applies: it only takes one wrong movement to see a much-anticipated title fight scrapped.

Don “Magic Man” Madge was on the cusp of an opportunity to reclaim his lightweight title at EFC Africa 30 on June 5 against the only man that has ever beaten him inside the EFC Africa cage. It was going to be a chance for Madge to avenge not just one prior loss, but two losses. It was also going to be his opportunity to show that he is in fact the best lightweight fighter in South Africa. As luck would have it, though, his prospective opponent, Leon Mynhardt, suffered an injury as he trained for their bout. Madge, true to his fighting spirit, didn’t want to wait around for a title shot, so he signed on to fight Boyd Allen, who enters the contest on a six-fight winning streak.

The change hasn’t put a damper on Madge’s EFC Africa 30 plans. He still has all intentions of going out and fighting the same fight that fans have come to know and love.

“It was disappointing because I really wanted to get my title back,” Madge revealed to The MMA Corner. “But I’m happy with the opponent I have now, and I’m sure we will put on a great show for everyone. This will be my third main event for EFC. I love the high-pressure fights, I feel like it makes me perform better. It’s always an honor to be considered for the main event. I think, regardless of this result, I’ll still get a shot at my title. But a win wouldn’t hurt [laughs].”

Madge (Anton Geyser/EFC Africa)

Madge (Anton Geyser/EFC Africa)

With a love of fighting from an early age, Madge’s transition into the sport of mixed martial arts made sense. However, it was more of a case of doing what was necessary that saw him change his combat-sporting arena so that he could continue to fight and train at home.

“I was competing in Muay Thai from a young age, but there were very few opportunities for me to compete in South Africa,” Madge said. “So, I either had to stay in Thailand or not compete anymore. MMA was exploding in South Africa, so I decided to give it a try, and I just fell in love with the sport.”

A day job is a necessity for many fighters who need to make ends meet. Madge has been fortunate enough to fight professionally for a living, though. But if his fight career wasn’t enough to pay the bills, what would Madge do for a living?

“I really don’t know,” he admitted. “I’m sure it would be something sports related, as I’ve always been a sportsman. Fighting is my full-time job. I put in all the time and work on [improving] my ability to hopefully one day soon be fighting in the UFC.”

Madge’s new opponent, Allen, is undefeated inside the EFC Africa cage, but sports two losses on his overall record. The last of those losses came in 2011, and Madge has the opportunity to deal Allen his first professional loss in over three years. One could say Allen has forgotten how it feels to lose.

“I think he’s about to see what that’s like,” Madge exclaimed. “I always look to finish fights. I know I have the ability to stop anyone on the feet or the ground. I’m always looking to stop my opponents. [Fans] can expect what I always bring—fire, aggression, excitement and no damns given. Don’t expect a long fight.”

Although his opportunity to reclaim the lightweight title must wait, Madge still plans to show the fans in Cape Town why he should be the EFC Africa lightweight champion. Although things can change so quickly in the sport, Madge’s attitude towards fighting never will. It’s always an opportunity to put on a show, and that’s what he enjoys the most. The title may one day make its way back around his waist, but for the time being it’s about fighting.

Don would like to thank everyone on his team, and his coaches: Mike, Matt, Coennie, Khalil, Brandon and Charl. He would also like to thank his sponsors: Bad Boy, Glamcam, Trace Water, Biogen and Mirage Tattoos. Follow Madge on Twitter: @DonMadgeMMA

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.