Sunday, 4 March 2012

Middleweight Rankings - March 2012

Jeremy Smith
EFC 12 was largely a middleweight affair. Headlined by the biggest middleweight bout on South African soil, the event featured 3 of the top 5 middleweights in the country. The rankings were shaken up somewhat by a big upset, and we have a new name in the top 5. The middleweight division is proving to be a highly competitive division in the EFC.
1. Jeremy “The Pitbull” Smith (11–1)
With his title fight win against Garreth McLellan at EFC 12, Jeremy “The Pitbull” Smith solidified his position atop this South African Middleweight division. Smith is now on an 11 fight winning streak, and holds notable wins over some of the country’s finest MMA athletes. Now The Pitbull must face a long line of dangerous challengers who wish to dethrone the new middleweight champion.

2. Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan (6-2)
Garreth McLellan turned in an impressive performance against Jeremy Smith at EFC 12. Soldierboy, who suffered his first loss in the EFC Hexagon this weekend, will likely improve as a fighter from the experience. McLellan and his team will have to rebuild their way to a title shot in a hope to reclaim Middleweight gold.

3. Darren “Double D” Daniel (5-1)
Darren Daniel is highly respected amongst the MMA elite. With notable wins over some of South Africa’s top MMA fighters, including current EFC Africa Welterweight champion Dallas Jakobi, Daniel is surely one of the greatest fighting talents South Africa has produced. Another Fight Fit Militia product, Daniel is ever improving as a fighter. Although quiet of late, there are whispers of Daniel’s return to the EFC and upon his return, is at most one win away from an EFC Africa Middleweight title shot.

4. Tyron “The Rush” Rightford (3-0)
A newcomer to MMA and the EFC, Rightford has quickly risen through the Middleweight ranks, besting everyone put in front him. The Rush’s recent demolition of MMA veteran Jacques Joubert at EFC Africa 11 earned him a position on this list and identified him as genuine contender in the Middleweight division. With a style similar to former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Tyron Rightford uses his explosive Karate to simply outclass his opponents on the feet. If his, as of yet untested, ground game is solid, Rightford  could very well be a future EFC Africa Middleweight champion.

5. Danie “Pitbull” Van Heerden (9-4)
Danie van Heerden was afforded a golden opportunity in Donavin Hawkey at EFC 12. Hawkey, a top middleweight contender, was a firm favourite going into the bout, but this did not stop van Heerden from pulling off an impressive upset victory and catapulting up the Middleweight rankings. Van Heerden will certainly face a high level opponent on his next outing.

View all: MMA Rankings


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