Saturday, 19 May 2012

Demarte Pena vs Wesley Hawkey EFC 14 featherweight title fight preview

EFC Africa 14, which takes place at Carnival City on 1 June 2012, will be co-headlined by a much anticipated featherweight title fight. Undefeated featherweight champion Demarte Pena will put his EFC title on the line against rampant challenger Wesley Hawkey to determine who is the best featherweight MMA fighter in Africa.

Demarte Pena (3-0)

Demarte Pena (#1 Featherweight rankings) has experienced some wars in the EFC Hexagon. The featherweight fighter has gone the distance in his last two fights against Jean-Luc Kazadi and Leo Gloss, one of which was a five round title fight. Pena, who is still only 22 years old has shown much composure in the cage and executed effective game plans to nullify his opponents and grind out wins. On paper, Hawkey is certainly Pena’s toughest test to date.

Demarte Pena road to EFC Africa 14

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

Wesley Hawkey (7-2)

Wesley Hawkey  (#2 Featherweight rankings) has been destructive in his short EFC career. The Young Assassin has torn through his first three opponents and has yet to see the third minute in any of his fights. At EFC Africa 12, Wesley Hawkey defeated Denzil Wait in convincing fashion to become the number one contender in the featherweight division. Now, months later, Hawkey will get his shot at Demarte Pena for the featherweight title.

Wesley Hawkey road to EFC Africa 14

Jean-Luc Kazadi
Submission (Guillotine Choke)
EFC Africa 10
Victor Anyaogu
TKO (Punches)
EFC Africa 11
Denzil Wait
Submission (Armbar)
EFC Africa 12

Demarte Pena and Wesley Hawkey - Fighter Comparison

This is a classic case of an aggressive fighter taking on a defensive fighter. Hawkey has ample ways of finishing a fight, whilst Pena executes his game plans well and avoids making mistakes. The longer this fight goes on, the more it favours Demarte Pena's style.

Stand-up advantage

While Demarte Pena has not been outclassed standing by high level boxers Kazadi and Gloss, his striking has been more of a means to an end and has yet to seriously threaten an opponent. Wesley Hawkey on the other hand has a boxing background which has stood him in good stead on the feet. Hawkey also has proven that he has knock-out power, which is a concern for all his opponents. I believe the stand-up will favour the much more aggressive Hawkey.

Ground advantage

If there is a strength in Demarte Pena’s game, it is the ability to get opponents to the ground and keep them there. Pena’s top ground game, while cautious and deliberate, is effective and earns him rounds and titles. Hawkey on the other hand has a less methodical and more explosive approach, but  has also proven himself a dangerous ground fighter, submitting 4 of his previous opponents. If this fight goes to the ground, we are likely to see Pena on top of Hawkey, putting both men in their element and making for an interesting chess match. 

Physical advantage

Demarte Pena and Wesley Hawkey are both extremely strong fighters in great physical shape. Pena did gas in his fight against Kazadi, but showed improved cardio against Leo Gloss where he went five rounds. Hawkey has yet to be tested cardiovascularly in his recent fights, having never left the first round, so it will be interesting to see how he fairs should the fight be drawn out. Physically I believe neither fighter will own a significant advantage.

Mental advantage

For such a young man, Demarte Pena has been tested thoroughly. The featherweight champion has spent over 40 minutes in the EFC Hexagon, compared to Hawkey’s 5 minutes. Pena has also fought an EFC title fight, experience which will be hugely beneficial, and trains at the Fightfit Militia camp, home to many current and former EFC champions. Pena in my mind will be the more mentally prepared fighter,  even though Hawkey has more fights, and has fought for a Fight Force title..

Demarte Pena  – Keys to victory

Demarte Pena should look to execute a game plan which will nullify Hawkey and slowly wear him down. This will likely create opportunities in the latter rounds to finish, but certainly earn him a decision victory.
  • Utilise leg kicks in the stand-up to wear Hawkey down
  • Use strikes to set up take downs
  • Be methodical on the ground. Work for dominant position, wear Hawkey out and work effective ground and pound.
  • Be wary of submissions

Wesley Hawkey – Keys to victory

With an impressive stoppage arsenal, Hawkey should look to be aggressive in the stand-up and on the ground and look for the finish.
  • Avoid take-downs - keep the fight standing
  • Use effective striking to take control of the fight
  • Maintain an aggressive attitude – look to finish

Demarte Pena vs Wesley Hawkey – EFC 14 fight prediction

Wesley Hawkey will come out aggressive, of that you can be certain. The Durbanite will favour his striking and want to put Demarte Pena under pressure from the get go. Pena will be more patient, looking to counter strike and settle himself into his routine.

I believe Hawkey will get the better of the early exchanges, forcing Pena to look for the take-down. Hawkey will want to keep the fight on the feet, and this battle will be crucial to the outcome of the fight. After working hard, I foresee Pena being able to complete a takedown and maintain a dominant position for the rest of the round, but not without a few hair-raising moments, as Wesley Hawkey works for submissions off his back.

Round two will see the same script unfold, as the two featherweight fighters look to fight in their favoured realm. I believe that Hawkey will be able to do some damage to Pena on the feet, before another take down is completed, and the fight is once more taken to the ground. Round two however will play out rather differently, and I predict that Hawkey will be able to submit the champion via Guillotine choke to make Wesley Hakey the new EFC Africa featherweight champion.

Wesley Hawkey vs Demarte Pena EFC Africa 14 promo vĂ­deo


I fancy your predictions, but I reckon Pena is going to work Hawkey hard on the ground to gain a physical advantage, after that Pena will play with his food and end Hawkey with a rear-naked choke, that's my prediction, but then again, you never really know.

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