Wednesday, 29 February 2012

EFC 12 - Van Niekerk vs Taljaard

Prior to setting foot in the Hexagan at EFC 12, Ryan Van Niekerk's EFC Africa debut has been a tumultuous one.

Van Niekerk's original opponent Paul De Vos was forced to withdraw from their bout due to injury, but was quickly replaced by Nigerian fighter Steven Momah. Although this would no doubt have upset Van Niekerk's training camp, there was enough time for the lightweight to adjust and prepare for his new opponent.

Now, 2 days prior to EFC 12,Van Niekerk has been thrown another curve ball as his replacement opponent, Steven Momah has also withdrawn from their upcoming bout due to health concerns. The EFC once more have worked swiftly to find a replacement opponent, but this does not either fighter any real time to prepare... at least they are in the same boat.

Ryan Van Niekerk's new opponent, Markus Taljaard is a very dangerous fighter indeed. Taljaard is undefeated in his MMA career, sporting an amateur record of 9-0 and a professional record of 3-0.  Markus Taljaard also holds a notable win over fellow EFC 12 combatant Francois Groenewald.

On paper this is a fantastic bout between two of the best new lightweight prospects in the EFC. It is just a pity that the fighters have not had the appropriate camps to prepare for one another. Lets hope we will still see them at their best and get a fantastic fight as a result.

EFC 12 - Robinson vs Ahana

Just days before EFC 12, an injury to Tumelo Maphuta has forced him out of his scheduled Light Heavyweight bout against Sean Robinson. This is the third main card fight which has been forced to change since the original slating of the event many months ago.

Sean Robinson will now rematch against Raymond Ahana, a man he defeated via unanimous decision almost 5 months ago. While this may be a little disheartening to fans, who were expecting a striking display when Robinson clashed with Maphuta, both fighters are positive about the fight. Ahana is looking for a chance to avenge his loss to Robinson, while Robinson himself is looking to improve on his previous performance and in doing so see how far his MMA game has progressed since his recent move to Gauteng.

Fortunately for the fans, we can be sure that having already fought each other in the last few months, both fighters should have an understanding of the others strengths and weaknesses, and possibly a game plan already prepared and drilled from the past. This could be just about the best fight to make on such short notice.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

EFC Africa 14 in Durban?

The Extreme Fighting Championship has come a long way since its maiden event in November 2009. Since then the promotion has managed to grow from strength to strength and has produced eleven spectacular MMA events in Johannesburg, South Africa. During this time, the EFC has unsurprisingly  built up a huge fan following in the city. 

The EFC has also very obviously had expansion plans, but to successfully execute these plans, they needed to ensure that they never ostracised the audience that they had worked so hard to build. This meant that they needed to overcome the technological barriers which prevented remote fans from watching MMA events. 

EFC 12 is the first event where this has truly been achieved. With coverage on eTV, in Nu Metro cinemas nationwide and online via PPV, fans from across South Africa and the world are now able to tune into EFC events live! Apart from enabling the EFC to broadcast to interested fans worldwide, this has also enabled the EFC to be mobile and to aggressively seek out and earn new fans, all while sufficiently nurturing their current fans with broadcast coverage.

Quick to act, the EFC has already announced their first non-Johannesburg event, EFC Africa 13 – Jakobi vs Costa, which will take place in Cape Town in April 2012. But where to from there?
With an already thriving MMA community, producing some of the top MMA fighters in the country, including EFC Africa fighters Dallas Jakobi, Wentzel Nel, Donavin Hawkey, Wesley Hawkey and Sean Robinson to name but a few, Durban seems a very likely candidate for EFC Africa 14. The seaside community has also been at the fore of MMA in many regards, and currently hosts many professional and amateur MMA events, though nothing quite the size of EFC. This gives the promotion a great foundation to enter into Durban and build on the already flourishing sport and MMA fan base. This in turn can only be good for the sport in Durban and good for the EFC.

I think it is very likely that we will see the EFC venture into Kwazulu Natal and more specifically Durban in the near future. Will EFC Africa 14 be the first event in the Zulu kingdom? Only time can tell, but I have a hunch that if not EFC 14, it will not be long before we see the EFC coming to Durban.

EFC Africa 12 in the Media

With just 72 hours to go until EFC Africa 12, things are definitely heating up. Today the EFC announced a schedule of mainstream mass media appearances for the coming days, with the focus squarely on the headline fight between Garreth McLellan and Jeremy Smith. Be sure not to miss these publicity events to keep in the loop of what is happening in the fighters camps leading up to fight night.

EFC 12 TV Publicity Schedule 
eTV (e News channel 403)
28 February 2012 - 19:30
eTV will feature a segment on EFC AFRICA President Cairo Howarth and EFC 12 Middleweight challenger Jeremy Smith

Top Billing (SABC 3)
28 February 2012 - 20:00
South Africa's favourite magazine show will feature a segment on Garreth McLellan as he prepares to defend his EFC Africa Middleweight title.

29 February 2012 - 07:00
Wake up to EFC AFRICA President Cairo Howarth and Garreth McLellan featured on eTV's sunrise at 7 program.

EFC 12 Radio Publicity Schedule
UJfm 95.4
28 February 2012 - 18:30
Middleweight champion Garreth "Soldierboy" McLellan and challenger Jeremy "Pitbull" Smith will both be featured on UJfm ahead of their EFC 12 clash.

Monday, 27 February 2012

5 Reasons to watch EFC Africa 12 live

EFC 12 fight week has arrived!
With less than 5 days until the first EFC event of 2012, things are definitely beginning to heat up. Fighters and organisers alike will be in their final phases of preparation, while MMA fans are probably just beginning to plan out their Friday night. With so much choice afforded the fans these days, where to watch the fights is a huge consideration. Nu Metro cinemas, Pay per view online and the recent eTV deal go a long way to bringing the action to fans across the country and the globe, but there is still no substitute for watching the event live. If you are in Johannesburg, here are 5 reasons why you should be aiming to pick up one of the few tickets still available for EFC Africa 12 at Carnival City.

The EFC Atmosphere
Nothing quite compares to the atmosphere of a full stadium. The seats surround the Hexagon, which incessantly draws the attention of all present. The fixated fans seem to connect with each other and with their fighters, they feel their success and their failure, their joy and their pain. The night becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from the anxious moments leading up to the fight to the jubilation or depression of the knockout blow. This usually translates into both deafening silence or outbursts, depending on the moment. MMA events are so spectacular because of this connection, this atmosphere and no TV camera can truly capture it.

Witness MMA History
We all want to be a part of something big, something that shapes the future and EFC Africa 12 affords us just that. As one of the most momentous MMA events in the short history of the sport in South Africa, EFC 12 is not only the first MMA event to be televised live in the country, but it also showcases arguably the most anticipated MMA fight to ever transpire on African soil when Garreth McLellan enters the Hexagon against Jeremy Smith to defend his EFC Africa Middleweight belt. Be there so that you can say you were.

Don’t miss a single punch
While technology is doing wonders for the sport of MMA, it has limitations. eTV is only providing the main card fights in its EFC 12 coverage, which means that diehard fans will need to look elsewhere should they wish to watch the rest of the talent packed fight card. Streaming too has its shortfalls and technical problems are not uncommon. Watching the event live guarantees that you will be able to catch all 12 fights, in perfect quality and in real time, leaving nothing to chance.

Watch EFC live while you still can
EFC Africa has already announced that EFC Africa 13 will be its first event in Cape Town. This will certainly be the first of many events which will be held in different cities across South Africa. In the past, Joburgers have been spoilt for choice where the EFC is concerned, and while the city of gold will undoubtedly remain the headquarters of the EFC, the number of events held in our lovely city will surely be diluted in the future. This will make it all the harder to get our require live MMA fix.

The lovely EFC Africa hexagon girls
EFC Africa Hexagon girls
See EFC Africa hexagon girls Victoria De Lima, Riana Roberts, Alyssa Rebelo, Eno Akpan and the twins Candace and Cindy Faul. EFC 12 also welcomes the newest EFC Africa hexagon girl Naomi Das to the fold.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Demarte "The Wolf" Pena - Fighter Profile

About Demarte Pena

Demarte “The Wolf” Pena has been involved in Martial Arts for most of his life. As a youngster he dabbled in Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate and Judo, but discovered MMA in high school when he was armbarred by a friend. Since 2005 Pena has been working on his MMA skills and has evolved beyond his years.

Demarte Pena originally trained and fought out of Undisputed Fight Club in Pretoria, but has since moved to Fight Fit Militia, one of South Africa’s premier fighting teams. A well rounded fighter, Pena continues to work on all elements of his game so that he is always free to fight his own fight.

Demarte Pena - MMA Career

Fighting for the EFC

After a successful amateur career (4-1), Demarte Pena began his professional career in the EFC. His debut fight against Mawande Mazithambe lasted 24 seconds, with Pena securing his maiden professional victory via Rear-naked choke. Pena then fought and defeated dangerous featherweight prospect Jean-Luc Kazadi via unanimous decision. The fight was a closely contested three round war, but Pena managed to use his take-downs effectively and largely neutralise Kazadi. The win earned Demarte a shot at the vacant EFC featherweight title.

Fighting for the EFC Africa featherweight title

At EFC Africa 10, Demarte Pena  fought Leo Gloss in the first ever EFC Africa featherweight title fight. Gloss, a seasoned campaigner had already fought for an EFC title in the lightweight division and had an impressive MMA record.
Demarte Pena managed to execute a flawless game plan, taking Gloss to the mat repeatedly and frustrating the ex-boxer. After five rounds, Pena earned a unanimous decision to become the first EFC Africa featherweight champion. Demarte Pena is also credited with being the youngest fighter to ever hold an EFC Africa title.

Defending his EFC Africa belt

Demarte Pena will defend his EFC title for the first time against rampant challenger Wesley Hawkey at EFC Africa 14. The match-up will be a great test for both fighters, who have yet to be defeated in the EFC Hexagon. Pena hopes to secure himself as the most dominant fighter in the EFC division with a win over the ever dangerous Hawkey.

Demarte Pena stats

Nickname: The Wolf
Age: 22
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Weight: 65 Kg
Weight division: Featherweight
Stance: Othadox
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fight team: Fight Fit Militia
Twitter profile: @thewolfpena

Demarte Pena fight stats

EFC Stats – 3 wins ,0 losses
All time stats – 3 wins, 0 losses

Demarte Pena EFC fights

Mawande Mazithambe
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
EFC Africa 7
Jean-Luc Kazadi
Decision (Majority)
EFC Africa 8
Leo Gloss
Decision (Unanimous)
EFC Africa 10

Demarte Pena Fighting Achievements

2011 – EFC Africa Featherweight Champion
2011 – Youngest ever EFC Africa Champion
2010 – SASCA Grappling Champion
Undefeated in amateur Muay Thai – 6 wins

Demarte Pena MMA South Africa Awards

Demarte Pena Articles 

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EFC 13 - Mikixi vs Robinson

The Extreme Fighting Championship has announced its first heavyweight clash for the upcoming EFC Africa 13 event in Cape Town. The fight will see Cape Town resident Bernardo Mikixi take on Durbanite Calven Robinson.

Bernardo "The Black Panther" Mikixi (#5 SA heavyweight rankings) has fought many of the top heavyweights in South Africa, including former heavyweight champion Normal Wessels and title contender Andrew Van Zyl. Fighting out of Parklands, Cape Town, the Judoka will look to put on a show for his home fans.

Calven "The Butcher" Robinson retired after his fight against Ruan Potts a year ago, incidentally this was also his first professional MMA loss. His MMA career it seems is not quite done as he once more returns to the Hexagon to fight Mikixi. A win for Robinson could put him right back in the top contender list and help him build his way towards a title shot.

This fight promises to be a slug-fest between two of the strongest and hardest hitting men to set foot in the EFC Hexagon.

EFC 13 - Don Madge vs Leon Mynhardt announced

EFC 13, set to take place in Cape Town on 13 April 2012, has already begun to cause waves of excitement in the South African MMA community. One of the big fights added to the roster is a lightweight clash between dangerous strikers Don Madge and Leon Mynhardt.

Leon " The Iron Lion" Mynhardt is widely reknowned for his kickboxing, a sport in which he reached the highest levels in South Africa. Over the past few years however, Mynhardt has worked tirelessly at his MMA and has evolved into a much more complete Mixed Martial Artist.

Don "Magic Man" Madge is a top Muay Thai contender, both in South Africa and Thailand. A youngster and relative newcomer to the sport of MMA, Madge brings with him a wealth of stand up experience earned in one of the toughest fighting sports in the world. A Cape Town local, this will be his first MMA fight in front of his home crowd.

This fight promises to be a brutal stand-up war between two of the Lightweight divisions top strikers and on paper is certainly a contender for fight of the night.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Costa Ioannou - Fighter Profile

Costa Ioannou has a long history in martial arts, having started at a young age with more traditional martial arts like Karate and Wushu Kung Fu. This lead him to boxing and ultimately to MMA.

At 25, Ioannou made his professional MMA debut in the EFC hexagon against Brendon Katz, a fight which earned him fight of the night honours and was later dubbed “The best fight on African soil”. This set the stage for his rise to fame, as he outclassed everyone the EFC put in front of him en route becoming the EFC Africa Lightweight champion, a title he won from Wentzel Nel in convincing fashion. Costa has since defended his title successfully against Alex Cheboub.

Costa Ioannou is an exceptionally gifted athlete, being freakishly quick and strong in his weight class. He is also extremely aggressive and backs this up with a very well rounded MMA game which is underlined by one of the best MMA ground games in the country.

Costa Ioannou stats
Age: 26
Height: 5’8” (172cm)
Weight: 70 Kg
Weight division: Lightweight
Stance: Othadox
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fight team: Fight Fit Militia & Crazy Monkey Defence
Twitter profile: @costamma

Costa Ioannou fight stats
EFC Stats – 4 wins ,0 losses
All time stats – 4 wins, 0 losses

Costa Ioannou EFC fights
Brendon Katz
Decision (Unanimous)
EFC Africa 3
William Bentley
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
EFC Africa 5
Wentzel Nel
Submission (Triangle Choke)
EFC Africa 8
Alex Cheboub
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
EFC Africa 11

Costa Ioannou Fighting Achievements
2011 – EFC Africa Lightweight Champion
Gi & No-Gi submission champion

Costa Ioannou MMA South Africa Awards

Costa Ioannou ranks achieved
Costa Ioannou holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Costa Ioannou Articles 
Click here to view all articles on Costa Ioannou on MMA South Africa: Costa Ioannou Articles

Dallas Jakobi - Fighter Profile

Dallas Jakobi has been involved in MMA for over 5 years. Something of a veteran in the sport, he has competed in a number of different promotions, but has recently found a home in the Extreme fighting championship.

Originally a Middleweight, Jakobi started slowly in the EFC with a loss to Darren Daniel, but soon found has groove and strung together and impressive 3 fight streak in the middleweight division, which earned him a title shot, ironically in the welterweight division. Jakobi took the opportunity and looked extremely comfortable at welterweight. He managed to defeat grappling wizard Adam Speechly at EFC Africa 10 in a five round battle to become the second EFC Africa welterweight champion.

Jakobi will now face a similar ground threat in dangerous Brazilian fighter Jadyson Costa at EFC 13 in April 2012.

Dallas Jakobi stats
Age: 30
Height: 5’9” (175cm)
Weight: 80 Kg
Weight division: Welterweight
Stance: Othadox
Hometown: Durban, South Africa
Fight team: Gorgeous Boyz
Twitter profile: @dallasjakobi

Dallas Jakobi fight stats
EFC Stats – 4 wins , 1 losses
All time stats – 12 wins, 5 losses

Dallas Jakobi EFC fights
Darren Daniel
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
EFC Africa 4
Janus de Lange
TKO (Punches)
EFC Africa 5
Gina Ifuki
Submission (Armbar)
EFC Africa 6
Wade Henderson
TKO (Elbows)
EFC Africa 8
Adam Speechly
Decision (Unanimous)
EFC Africa 10

Dallas Jakobi Fighting Achievements
2011 – EFC Africa Welterweight Champion

Dallas Jakobi MMA South Africa Awards

Dallas Jakobi ranks achieved
Dallas Jakobi holds a black belt in Karate

Dallas Jakobi Articles 
Click here to view all articles on Dallas Jakobi on MMA South Africa: Dallas Jakobi Articles

Friday, 24 February 2012

Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan - Fighter Profile

Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan is a fantastic athlete. Originally a talented rugby player, he got involved in Mixed Martial arts as a means of improving his fitness and was hooked. Since then he has fought his way to the very top of Mixed Martial Arts in South Africa.

Fighting for the renowned Fight Force Militia team, McLellan has a  single blemish on his record, a TKO loss to Wade Henderson at Fight Force 1. Since then Garreth McLellan has worked tirelessly on his complete game and has managed to string together 5 straight wins, including a victory over Henderson to avenge his only loss. In 2011, McLellan defeated Jacques Joubert in a 4 round war to become the EFC’s first middleweight champion and sit himself firmly atop the middleweight division.

Garreth McLellan will face off with dangerous middleweight veteran Jeremy Smith at EFC 12 in March 2012.

Garreth McLellan stats
Nickname: Soldierboy
Age: 30
Height: 6’0” (183cm)
Weight: 84 Kg
Weight division: Middleweight
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fight team: Fight Fit Militia
Twitter profile: @Soldierboyinc

Garreth McLellan fight stats
EFC Stats – 5 wins, 1 loss
All time stats – 6 wins, 2 losses

Garreth McLellan EFC fights
Barry Britz
TKO (Punches)
EFC Africa 1
Juan Lubbe
KO (Punch)
EFC Africa 2
Warren Allison
Submission (Armbar)
EFC Africa 3
Wade Henderson
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
EFC Africa 5
Jacques Joubert
Submission (Guillotine Choke)
EFC Africa 8
Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Garreth McLellan Fighting Achievements
2011 – First ever EFC Africa Middleweight Champion

Garreth McLellan MMA South Africa Awards

Garreth McLellan Ranks Achieved
Garreth McLellan holds a black belt in Karate
Garreth McLellan holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu

Garreth McLellan Articles 
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