Wednesday, 25 April 2012

McLellan vs Van Heerden at EFC 14


Today the Extreme Fighting Championship announced another huge addition to their EFC 14 fight card. Former EFC Africa middleweight champion Garreth "Soldierboy" McLellan will face Danie "Pitbull" van Heerden in a fight I have been hoping the EFC matchmakers would create (5 matches to make after EFC 12).

Garreth "Soldierboy" McLellan

Garreth McLellan (6-2) has proved his worth inside the Hexagon time and time again. The former champion, who had an impressive 5 fight win streak ended by Jeremy Smith at EFC 12, will look to once more assert his dominance in the middleweight division. McLellan currently holds the second spot on my latest South African middleweight rankings, but has made no secret of the fact that he wants his middleweight belt back and is ready to deal with anyone the EFC puts in his way. 

Danie "Pitbull" van Heerden

Danie van Heerden (9-4) looked great as a late replacement for Tyron Rightford at EFC 12. The former heavyweight fighter grabbed his golden opportunity and defeated Donavin Hawkey via first round submission. The win did wonders for van Heerden, who was not only my EFC 12 surprise fighter of the night, but also catapulted him up the middleweight rankings. Van Heerden (#5 Middleweight Rankings) will look to build off this platform by defeating an elite middleweight fighter in McLellan.

Garreth McLellan vs Danie van Heerden at EFC 14

Though coming from very different places, Garreth McLellan and Danie van Heerden have the same short term goal - EFC Middleweight Gold. McLellan needs to work his way back to his top, while Van Heerden would like to prove that he is one of the best fighters in a rather stacked middleweight division. With both fighters at most a couple of wins away from a title shot, this fight is a great opportunity for either man to stake his claim. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

All Stars Grappling League Leg 2 - 05 May 2012


The All Stars Grappling League will host the second leg of its inaugural event on Saturday 5 May 2012. The event, aimed at determining the best Gi and Nogi grapplers in South Africa, has been well supported by the local grappling and MMA communities. The first leg of the event, the Quantum Cup, was held in March this year and  was attended by some of the biggest names in South African MMA including:

  • Demarte Pena - Reigning EFC Africa featherweight champion
  • Adam Speechly - Former EFC Africa welterweight champion
  • Chett Meyer - #2 Light Heavyweight Rankings
  • Danie van Heerden - #4 Middleweight Rankings
  • Alex Cheboub - EFC Africa lightweight title contender
  • Leon Mynhardt - EFC Africa lightweight fighter
  • Johan van Staden - EFC Africa featherweight fighter
  • Morne Marais - EFC Africa heavyweight fighter
Click here for full results from leg 1: Quantum Cup Results

All Stars Grappling League Information

When: 5 May 2012
Where: Quantum Tribe, Fisherman's Village, Cnr Marcia St & Glanville Ave, Bruma
Additional information: Contact Sheryl on 082 875 6483

All Stars Grappling League Entry Fees

Single division: R150.00 per entrant
An additional fee of R50.00 will be charged per extra division entered.
Information from leg 1, not confirmed

All Stars Grappling League Weigh ins

Weigh in will take place at Quantum Tribe on Saturday 5 May from 8:30am until 9:00am.
Information from leg 1, not confirmed

UFC 147: Silva vs Sonnen 2 Promo Video


Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are set to face each other in a middleweight title rematch later this year. After highly controversial first fight in which Silva managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, the two fighters will both look to set the record straight at UFC 147.

Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen UFC 147 promo video

This video documents the rivalry between the two middleweight fighters and looks at their first fight, as well as the fights between UFC 117 and their next fight. Silva and Sonnen 2 will be on the tips of everyone's tongues now that Jones vs Evans is done.

Mikixi vs Hassan at EFC Africa 14


The EFC has announced the first non title fight to grace their EFC Africa 14 event. Former EFC Africa heavyweight title contender Bernardo Mikixi will face up and coming Egyptian boxer Mahmoud Hassan in a heavyweight clash with plenty on the line. Mikixi vs Hassan is a fight I was really hoping would materialise, as I discussed in my article Matches to make after EFC 13

Bernardo "Black Panther" Mikixi

After back to back losses against elite heavyweight fighters Norman Wessels and Andrew van Zyl, Bernardo Mikixi (5-3) managed to return to his winning ways at EFC Africa 13 by defeating Calven Robinson. Mikixi (#4 Heavyweight rankings) managed to take "The Butcher" down in the first round and finish him with some heavy ground and pound. 

Mahmoud "Hellboy" Hassan

Mahmoud Hassan (3-0) managed to defeat heavyweight prospect Ricky Misholas via first round TKO at EFC 13. The Egyptian boxer, now 1-0 in the EFC, dropped Misholas with a big right hand and managed to finish him on the floor.

Bernardo Mikixi vs Mahmoud Hassan EFC 14

With heavyweight title contenders hard to come by, this fight could very well determine the next opponent for Ruan Potts, who has been sidelined from the action for far too long. Both Mikixi and Hassan looked good at EFC 13 and both fighters are on a one fight winning streak. A win for either fighter would put them within the EFC's acceptable range for a title shot. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

EFC Africa - Fight Statistics



The Extreme Fighting Championship has done wonders for South African MMA. In a previous article, 5 most momentous EFC events, I summarised the history of the promotion and listed some of its groundbreaking achievements. This article however, is less about the events and more about that which makes the promotion’s events tick – the EFC fights. For the sake of posterity, I have delved a little deeper into this fight data and recorded my findings.

In just over 2 years, the EFC has successfully concluded 157 fights spanning 13 events and  7  weight divisions. Here is some of the information on EFC fights and fighters which has come to light in my initial analysis:

Most active EFC divisions

Each weight division offers something different for the fans and because of this, fight cards are generally divided up amongst the promotions key divisions. In the EFC’s history, here are the weight divisions which have had the majority of the limelight:

EFC Division
Fights
45
32
26
19
19
15
Super Heavyweight
1

Most common EFC fight results

An MMA bout can end in various ways. Some fights are ended by the fighters in the Hexagon, others are left up to the judges to decide. Here are the most common ways in which EFC fights end:

Fight result
Fights
TKO
63
Submission
62
Decision
17
KO
14
Disqualification
1

Most common EFC submissions

The sport of MMA offers fighters many different submission manoeuvres. Some are high percentage, others riskier. Here are the most commonly executed submissions in the Hexagon:

Submission
Fights
Rear-naked Choke
28
Guillotine Choke
10
Armbar
9
Triangle Choke
8
Keylock
2
Kimura
2
Heek Hook
1
Omoplata
1

Most common round for EFC fights to finish

Most EFC Africa fights are scheduled for a 3 rounds of five minutes. Title fights consist of 5 rounds of five minutes. Here are the most common rounds in which fights finish:

Round fight finished
Fights
Round 1
101
Round 2
25
Round 3
26
Round 4
3
Round 5
2

Fighters with the most EFC fights

Since the EFC’s maiden event in 2009, the EFC Hexagon has been graced by 127 fighters from across South Africa and the globe. Here are the faces we see most often in the cage:

EFC Fighter
Fights
Leo Gloss
9
Wade Henderson
9
Jacques Joubert
7
Dino Bagattin
7
Wentzel Nel
7
Nolan Swanepoel
7
6
Leon Mynhardt
6
Garreth McLellan
6
6
Norman Wessels
5
Alex Cheboub
5
Danie van Heerden
5
Raymond Ahana
5
Remo Ralph
5
Bernardo Mikixi
5
JP Joubert
5
Chett Meyer
5
Juan Lubbe
5
Francois Kabulu
5

Fighters with the most EFC wins

Every fighter who sets foot in the Hexagon does so with a similar goal – to win. Of the 75 fighters who have won fights in the EFC, here are the most successful EFC fighters in terms of wins inside the promotion:

EFC Fighter
Wins
Leo Gloss
6
5
Wentzel Nel
5
Dino Bagattin
5
Norman Wessels
4
Jacques Joubert
4
4
Chett Meyer
4
4
Wade Henderson
4
Dallas Jakobi
4
Nolan Swanepoel
4
Adam Speechly
4

Fighters with the most EFC losses

For every winner, there must be a loser and 94 fighters have lost fights within the promotion. Here are the fighters who have lost the most fights inside the EFC Hexagon:

EFC Fighter
Losses
Wade Henderson
5
Remo Ralph
4
Jacques Joubert
3
Francois Kabulu
3
Jean-Luc Kazadi
3
Ashley Calvert
3
Raymond Ahana
3
Ian Swart
3
Chad Hepburn
3
Jake Els
3
Leo Gloss
3
Mawande Vapi
3
Luis Mendes
3
Juan Lubbe
3
Gina Ifuki
3
Nolan Swanepoel
3
Leon Mynhardt
3

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Roberto Atalla BJJ Seminar - 12 & 13 May 2012


Fourth degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former BJJ world champion Roberto Atalla together with Rio Grappling Club will be hosting two seminars in South Africa in May 2012. One seminar will be held in Centurion and one in Springs. The seminars will be for both Gi and Nogi and are open to the public.

Roberto Atalla BJJ Seminar 1: Warrior Sports Academy Centurion

Date: Saturday, 12 May 2012
Time: 11:00 - 13:30
Venue: 120 Edison Crescent, Hennops Park, Centurion
Cost: R300
 

Roberto Atalla BJJ Seminar 2: Rio Grappling Club Springs

Date: Sunday, 13 May 2012
Time: 11:00 - 13:30
Venue: Cnr South Mainreef Road & Angell Street, Springs
Cost: R300

More information on Roberto Atalla Seminar

For more information on Roberto Atalla's seminar, contact:
Jurgen Putter: 071 997 7848
Francois Groenewald: 082 789 5535

5 most momentous EFC Africa events



The Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) has become synonymous with MMA in South Africa. Over the past two and a half years, the promotion has taken the sport to new heights and continues to build on this platform with each event. Here is my list of the most momentous EFC Africa events in the promotions short history.

EFC Africa 1

Date: 12 November 2009
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa event

As the inaugural event for the Extreme Fighting Championship, it is not surprising that EFC 01 opens this list. EFC 01 raised the bar for MMA in South Africa, and rivalled many international promotions with its professionalism. The event, held at the Coca Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, had professional fighters, impressive electronics and a big marketing budget, allowing EFC Africa to target a fan base otherwise overlooked. The fight card featured some of today’s biggest names including Garreth McLellan, Leo Gloss, Norman Wessels, Wentzel Nel, Dino Bagattin and was headlined by a international fight between Chris Bright and Gabriel Casillas.

EFC Africa 03 - Nel vs Gloss

Date: 8 May 2010
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa champion crowned

EFC Africa 03 was the first EFC event to host a title fight. This momentous occasion was a lightweight title fight between Wentzel “The Animal” Nel and Leo Gloss. Both fighters had competed in the previous two EFC events and were 2-0 in the promotion. In the end Wentzel Nel managed to win via first round KO to become the first ever EFC Africa champion. Other notable fighters on the card were Costa Ioannou, Brendon Katz, Garreth McLellan, Adam Speechly and Dino Bagattin.

EFC Africa 11 - Ioannou vs Cheboub & Potts vs Van Zyl

Date: 10 November 2011
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg
Reason: First EFC Africa title defence

They say a fighter is never truly a champion until he has defended his title. EFC Africa 11 saw the first “True EFC Champions” unveiled as both Costa Ioannou and Ruan Potts became the first EFC Champions to successfully defended their belts. Lightweight champion Costa Ioannou defeated Alex Cheboub via rear naked choke and heavyweight champion Ruan Potts defeated Andrew van Zyl via guillotine choke. Ioannou pipped Potts by mere minutes to become the first ever champion to achieve this feat.  This fight card was stacked with great fighting talent.

EFC Africa 12 – McLellan vs Smith

Date: 02 March 2012
Venue: Carnival City, Johannesburg
Reason: First live TV broadcast of an MMA event in Africa

Being the first MMA event to be broadcast live on TV, EFC Africa 12 was a huge leap forward for the both Extreme Fighting Championship and MMA in Africa. The free eTV broadcast, which featured the four main card bouts, took MMA to a far wider audience than had previously been possible. Figures released after the event reported that over 1.6million viewers tuned into the maiden broadcast. The event was headlined by a middleweight title fight between Garreth McLellan and Jeremy Smith and supported by main card fights Wesley Hawkey vs Denzil Wait, Dino Bagattin vs Michiel Opperman and Sean Robinson vs Raymond Ahana.

EFC Africa 13 – Jakobi vs Costa

Date: 13 April 2012
Venue: GrandWest Casino, Cape Town
Reason: First EFC Africa event outside Johannesburg

After twelve consecutive events in Johannesburg, EFC Africa 13 was the EFC’s first event outside of the city of gold. With a fight card stacked with Cape Town’s finest fighting talent, the EFC hoped take their live event to a whole new South African audience. Headlined by a title fight between Dallas Jakobi and Jadyson Costa, EFC 13 was well received and supported by the Cape Town community, who really got behind their fighters – Abrie Valentine, James Le Roux, Francois Kabulu, Don Madge, Bernardo Mikixi and Jadyson Costa. Hopefully this will be the first of many great events to venture into new cities around South Africa.  

MMA Pound for Pound Rankings - April 2012



April brought with it some change to my pound for pound rankings. Firstly, fighters who have been inactive for too long a period were removed, this included local MMA legends Chris Bright, Rico Hattingh and Darren Daniel. EFC 13 too had an effect on the rankings as some fighters really put up their hands as top contenders in their respective divisions and pound for pound rankings. As a result this month’s ranking list is adorned by four new names. Here are my new South African MMA pound for pound rankings:

1. Jeremy “Pitbull” Smith (11-1)

Jeremy Smith has achieved more in his young MMA career than most South African MMA fighters. Currently on an 11 fight winning streak, the Pitbull has defeated local and international talent alike. On 2 March 2012, Jeremy Smith removed any doubt of him being the best fighter in the country by defeating a very game Garreth McLellan to earn the EFC Africa Middleweight title.

2. Costa Ioannou (4-0)

Costa Ioannou has been a dominant force in the EFC lightweight division since his debut in 2010,  manhandling his opponents en route the EFC Africa lightweight title. Ioannou was also the first fighter to successfully defend his EFC title in 2011, and still undefeated,  shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. Costa Ioannou will face former welterweight champion Adam Speechly in a lightweight title fight at EFC Africa 14.

3. Jadyson “Little Wanderlei” Costa (13-12)

Jadyson Costa has looked all but unstoppable in the EFC Hexagon. African Top Team’s Brazilian BJJ black belt has won all three of his EFC fights, and has received two submission of the night awards. At EFC 13, Costa dominated Dallas Jakobi to win the EFC Africa welterweight title and earn himself a place as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the South Africa.

4. Ruan “Fangzz” Potts (14-0)

Ruan Potts has had a dream run in the EFC, finishing every fighter the promotion has put in his path. In 2011 Potts earned himself the coveted EFC Africa heavyweight title, and later that year became the second man to successfully defend his title, mere minutes after Ioannou. Ruan Potts has won an extraordinary 14 fights in a row and has yet to be defeated in professional MMA.

5. Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan (6-2)

Garreth McLellan has evolved as a fighter over the past few years and now shows a completely well rounded game. McLellan, now 5-1 in the EFC, showed just why he is on this list in his titanic clash with Jeremy Smith at EFC 12, a fight in which he had the champion and P4P #1 in trouble on several occasions.

6. Michiel Opperman (10-6)

Riding an impressive 7 fight win streak against some of South Africa ‘s top MMA fighters, Opperman is on the brink of EFC Glory. At EFC 13, Opperman defeated Martin van Staden to become the number one welterweight contender. Opperman is a fighter who looks better each time he steps into the Hexagon and I look forward to seeing him challenging for the welterweight title in the near future.

7. Brendon Katz (7-1)

Brendon Katz’ sole professional loss was at the hands of Costa Ioannou in a fight of the night clash. Shy of that, Katz has racked up 7 wins, won an XFC title and has now made the jump to fighting internationally with great success. 

8. Demarte “The Wolf” Pena (3-0)

Reigning EFC Africa featherweight champion Demarte Pena is undefeated in the Hexagon and has defeated some of the top featherweights in the country. The wolf will face his greatest test when he meets dangerous contender Wesley Hawkey in his first title defence.

9. Wesley “The Young Assassin” Hawkey (7-2)

Wesley Hawkey has spent all of 5 minutes in the EFC Hexagon. In this time he has managed to string together 3 impressive wins, including a number one contender eliminator win against Denzil Wait. The Young Assassin will look to continue his impressive streak when he challenges Demarte Pena for the EFC featherweight title at EFC 14 in June.

10. Norman “Chef” Wessels (5-2)

Norman Wessels eradicated any doubts about his light heavyweight drop when he defeated Dain Neveling at EFC 13 in convincing fashion. Wessels, the former heavyweight champion, looked at his fighting best and sent a clear message of intent to the light heavyweight division. 

MMA Heavyweight Rankings - April 2012



The South African heavyweight division and particularly the EFC heavyweight division has had an influx of new fighters. This should make for some interesting matches going forward and possibly some new additions to this ranking list in the near future. EFC 13 featured 3 heavyweight bouts containing 3 debutants. There was also a high profile fight between Calven Robinson and Bernardo Mikixi which directly affected the current heavyweight standings below.  

1. Ruan “Fangzz” Potts (14-0)

In November 2011, Ruan Potts became the first heavyweight champion to defend his EFC title, when he submitted dangerous contender Andrew van Zyl. With a 14 fight winning streak, including notable wins over Norman Wessels, Andrew van Zyl and Calven Robinson, Ruan Potts is not only the EFC Africa heavyweight champion, but now the #1 heavyweight in South Africa. Unfortunately Potts’ list of potential challengers is dwindling rapidly, as the champion continues to dominate the division.

2. Rico “White Lion” Hattingh (14–2)

A pioneer of the sport, Hattingh still remains undefeated in South Africa, having acquired both his losses in the USA. The Capetonian Heavyweight recently steamrolled Jake Els in his EFC Africa debut, but was forced to put his title hopes against Potts on hold due to injury. We hope to see this Juggernaut of South African MMA back in action soon, where he will no doubt be assured of a title shot and a chance to showcase his skills to the newer MMA fans.

3. Andrew "One Gear" van Zyl (8-1)

Van Zyl will look to bounce back after his defeat to Ruan Potts at EFC Africa 11. One Gear, who suffered his first professional loss to Potts, will take something from the experience and likely be hungrier than ever. I hope to see a much improved van Zyl upon his return to the Hexagon.

4. Bernardo “Black Panther” Mikixi (5-3)

Mikixi has had his stats skewed, largely due to the EFC pitting him against top level opposition with a regularity not common in South Africa. Bernardo Mikixi was able to defeat Calven Robinson via TKO at EFC 13 to displace him in the heavyweight rankings and edge himself closer to another shot at the heavyweight title.

5. Calven “The Butcher” Robinson (8-2)

Calven Robinson returned from retirement at EFC 13 to face Bernardo Mikixi. The Durban-based heavyweight was defeated by Mikixi and now holds a 0-2 record in the EFC Hexagon. Both losses have come via men on this list – Ruan Potts and Bernardo Mikixi.


View all : South African MMA Rankings