Sunday, 4 March 2012

Welterweight Rankings - March 2012

Dallas Jakobi
EFC 12 featured two welterweight bouts, but they were enough to cause some adjustment to the welterweight rankings and reveal a new elite welterweight contender. With the title up for grabs at EFC 13, the welterweight division is looking extremely stacked and there are many who will feel deserved of a title shot in 2012. 

1. Dallas Jakobi (12–4)
Dallas Jakobi is currently on a 4 fight tear across two weight divisions in the EFC. The former Middleweight recently found a home at Welterweight, where he bested Adam Speechly in a 5 round decision to become the EFC Africa Welterweight champion. Jakobi has fought some of the best in the business and has notable wins over Wade Henderson (twice) and Paul Cunningham. Having come from a different weight division, Jakobi has a whole host of interesting matchups available to him as he defends his Welterweight title. First up is a title fight against BJJ ace Jadyson Costa at EFC Africa 13.

2. Adam “The Prodigy” Speechly (12-3)
Grappling wunderkind Adam Speechly is widely regarded as one of the top ground specialists in South Africa. The prodigy is used to big fights and has submitted many of the country’s finest including Dallas Jakobi, Nolan Swanepoel (twice) and Dino Bagattin. He has also faced two of my top ranked fighters in Dallas Jakobi (WW) and Jeremy Smith (MW). Speechly, a staple on this list, was recently defeated by Dallas Jakobi in a 5 round title fight at EFC Africa 10. A rubber match may yet be in the future for these two fighters.

3. Michiel Opperman (9-6)
Currently on a 6 fight winning streak (2-0 EFC), Michiel Opperman looked extremely impressive in his welterweight debut against Dino Bagattin. The Kickboxer has worked hard on his ground game, previously a huge weakness, and is looking like a complete fighter. Opperman is a legitimate contender for the welterweight title.

4. Martin “The Punisher” van Staden (18-5)
Martin van Staden is one of the most experienced fighters in the Welterweight division, having fought both national and international professionals. The punisher has notable wins over Nolan Swanepoel, Ronald Dlamini and Leon Mynhardt. He also has notable fights against Brian Ebersole (currently fighting in the UFC), Ali Maclean and Jeremy Smith. Undefeated in 3 fights in the EFC, van Staden was forced to withdraw from EFC 12, but is said to be making a return to the Hexagon in April 2012 at EFC 13.

5. Dino “The Lion” Bagattin (8-2)
Dino Bagattin is one of the finest strikers in the EFC, with a decorated Muay Thai background.  Bagattin looked relaxed, confident and fluid when standing in his EFC 12 clash with Michiel Opperman and the two fighters traded nicely. The Lion however had a distinct disadvantage when the fight went to ground, an area he will need to address in the future.


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