Tuesday, 31 January 2012

EFC Africa 13 - Matches to make in Cape Town

We are only a month into the new year and already there has been talks about the EFC's much anticipated venture into the Cape Town MMA scene at EFC Africa 13. Already a staple in Johannesburg, it is no surprise that the promotion has opted to head into the second largest city in South Africa. 

There has been a lot of speculation as to who will fight in this inaugural event, especially considering that some of the country’s biggest names in MMA hail from the Mother City. Unfortunately, the EFC have already stated that the highly anticipated bout between heavyweight Capetonians RuanPotts (the current EFC Heavyweight Champion and #2 Heavyweight Rankings) and Rico Hattingh (#1 Heavyweight Rankings) will not headline the event as Hattingh is injured. This almost certainly rules out a heavyweight title bout, as short of Hattingh, no viable contender has yet been established.

While injuries have halted the possibility of a Heavyweight clash, they have done the inverse for the Welterweight division. A neck injury to Martin van Staden forced him to pull out of his EFC 12 fight with Dino Bagattin, but has ultimately thrown him into the mix for EFC Africa 13, an event he has already expressed an interest in participating in. With Bagattin stating that he will fight at EFC 12, van Staden will have to find a new opponent to enter the Hexagon with come April.

No official fights have been released, but here are some potential matchups I would like to see at EFC 13

Don Madge vs Leo Gloss (Featherweight)
Don Madge made an impressive EFC debut at EFC 11 against Wade Groth. The Muay Thai standout has an impressive resume and this would prove to be a great standing battle against two traditional strikers. Gloss will be looking to bounce back from his loss against Demarte Pena in their title fight at EFC Africa 10, and this fight will be the perfect opportunity against another hungry young fighter. Madge, a Cape Town local, would enjoy the prospect of fighting in front of his home crowd at EFC 13.

Wentzel Nel vs Alex Cheboub (Lightweight)
Both Wentzel Nel (#4 Lightweight Rankings) and Alex Cheboub (#5 Lightweight Rankings) have had an impressive run halted by Costa Ioannou and will be looking to build their way towards another shot at the Greek champion. This fight will be a great match between a talented wrestler and a talented Jiu-Jitsu player and will almost certainly be won on the ground. The winner will move one step closer to that coveted title rematch.

Martin van Staden vs Adam Speechly (Welterweight)
The aforementioned injury in the history books, Martin van Staden (#3 Welterweight Rankings) will be keen to challenge a high level contender in a bid to get a crack at Welterweight Champion Dallas Jakobi. There are few bigger than Adam Speechly (#2 Welterweight Rankings), who will certainly be looking to return to his winning ways and earn a rematch with the man who took his belt.

Darren Daniel vs Liam Cleland (Middleweight)
Liam Cleland looked slick in his fight versus middleweight title contender Jeremy Smith at EFC Africa 9. The ground specialist will be a perfect test for fan favourite Darren Daniel (#4 Middleweight Rankings) upon his return to the Hexagon. A win will certainly move both men a step closer to a title shot in the stacked middleweight division. A title which will be on the line at EFC Africa 12 McLellan vs Smith.

Normal Wessels vs JP Joubert (Light Heavyweight)
Former heavyweight champion Norman Wessels will have his decision to move to light heavyweight put to the test in this bout against Joubert, who is currently on a three fight tear. The Light Heavyweight title is still up for grabs and this would be a perfect number 1 contender match to find an opponent for Chett Meyer, who is all but guaranteed a first shot at the title. 

Andrew van Zyl vs Dain Neveling (Heavyweight)
Following his first professional loss to Ruan Potts at EFC Africa 11, Andrew  van Zyl (#4 Heavyweight Rankings) will surely be anxious to get back into the Hexagon. The former heavyweight title contender will look to rebuild his impressive winning streak, while EFC rookie Dain Neveling will look to begin a legacy in South Africa’s top MMA promotion


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