Tuesday, 17 January 2012

5 South African MMA title fights I want to see in 2012

2012 promises to be a big year for MMA in South Africa. Spearheaded by EFC Africa, the sport has been taken to the masses, and continues to grow and evolve at a rapid rate. There are also a few new productions which will hopefully add to the momentum that Mixed Martial Arts currently has within the South African community.

The year has already seen some titanic fights inked, which are most welcome. Here is my list of additional dream title fights I hope to see in the coming year. Here’s to hoping that the necessary contract work can be sorted out to make them happen, though I won’t hold my breath.

5. Demarte Pena vs Denzil Wait / Wesley Hawkey Winner (Featherweight)
Denzil Wait and Wesley Hawkey will compete in a number one contender match at EFC Africa 12 in March 2012. The winner of which will no doubt be first in line for a crack at Reigning EFC Africa Featherweight Champion Demarte “The Wolf” Pena. The young champion will have a tough challenge in either fighter, as both Wait and Hawkey bring a wealth of experience to the Hexagon.

4. Dallas Jakobi vs Martin van Staden / Dino Bagattin winner (Welterweight)
Having dropped from Middleweight, EFC Africa Welterweight Champion Dallas Jakobi still has a lot to prove in the Welterweight division. This fight offers the perfect chance for the new champ to silence his critics with a convincing win over one of the divisions stalwarts. Bagattin and Van Staden will have a chance to put up their hands for this fight when they meet at EFC Africa 12 in March, and the winner certainly deserves a chance to take the Welterweight belt from Jakobi.

3. Garreth McLellan / Jeremy Smith winner vs Donavin Hawkey / Tyron Rightford winner (Middleweight)
The Middleweight division is possibly going to be the hottest division of the year. Already we have two cracker fights set for EFC Africa 12, the winners of which must certainly square off within the year in yet another premier title bout. Throw Darren Daniel into this mix and we certainly have a plethora of blockbuster fights to keep the fans coming back for more.

2. Ruan Potts vs Rico Hattingh (Heavyweight)
This colossal bout between two of the top South African heavyweights is impossible to call, and that is exactly what makes it so exciting. Both Ruan Potts and Rico Hattingh have had stellar runs in the heavyweight division and are both considered by some to be the best, it is however time to put the theory aside and determine just who the best heavyweight in South Africa is.

1. Costa Ioannou vs Chris Bright (Lightweight)
This is the title fight I would most like to see in 2012. Costa Ioannou has looked almost invincible in his recent fights, especially when things move to the ground. Bright however, brings a world class grappling pedigree to the fight, which raises many questions about how the fight would play out if it goes to the ground, as I  suspect it would. Will the immensely talented young champion be able to defend his crown against the class and experience of Bright and in doing so effectively clean out the lightweight division? That is the question I would like answered.


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