Wednesday, 8 February 2012

EFC Africa 12 - What a difference a month makes

When EFC Africa 12 was announced last year, I found myself thinking that the event sported the best South African fight card I had seen to date. The main card especially housed some colossal bouts between the some of the country's finest athletes.

Headlined by arguably the biggest MMA fight on African soil, a Middleweight title fight pitting reigning champion Garreth McLellan against Jeremy Smith, the card could not get a bigger main event. The main card was further bolstered by two number one contender fights - a Welterweight scrap between Dino Bagattin and Martin Van Staden, and a Middleweight grudge match between Donavin Hawkey and Tyron Rightford. The main card was to be rounded up by a Light Heavyweight strikefest between Sean Robinson and Tumelo Maphutha.

The last few weeks have not been kind to athletes and fans alike, as two of the main card fights
 have been pulled due to fighter injuries. Martin Van Staden and Tyron Rightford both suffered neck injuries in training and will be unable to compete at the event. The EFC were quick to react and find replacement fighters in Michiel Opperman and Danie van Heerden.

EFC Africa 12 revised main fight card
Garreth McLellan vs Jeremy Smith (Middleweight Title fight)
Donavin Hawkey vs Danie van Heerden (Middlweight fight)
Dino Bagattin vs Michiel Opperman (Welterweight fight)
Sean Robinson vs Tumelo Maphutha (Light Heavyweight fight)

The revised fight card still looks respectable, but certainly lacks the overall appeal of the previous edition, and while EFC Africa 12 still looks to be an entertaining event, the ensuing disappointment that fight cancellations bring has cast a shadow of the event and it has definitely lost its "best fight card in South Africa" status.

With many of the EFC champions well rested and surely hungry to return to the hexagon, we can look forward to EFC Africa 13 in Cape Town, in a hope that the match makers will be able to conjure up something spectacular.


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