Sunday, 17 June 2012

Best MMA featherweights in South Africa - June 2012

EFC Africa 14 was jam packed with featherweight talent. The event saw two top lightweight fighters dropping to featherweight, featured three of the top five featherweights in action and was co-headlined by a brilliant featherweight title fight between Demarte Pena and Wesley Hawkey. With all this activity, the featherweight division is shaping up to be one of the most exciting divisions in the EFC.

Post EFC 14, here are my South African MMA featherweight rankings:

SA MMA featherweight rankings

1. Demarte “The Wolf” Pena (4-0)

Demarte Pena managed to weather the storm that was Wesley Hawkey at EFC 14. The young champion held his nerve and seized his opportunity to submit Hawkey late in the fourth round via rear naked choke. With this victory, Pena took his EFC winning streak to 4, defended his featherweight title for the first time and secured his spot atop this ranking list.

2. Wesley “The Young Assassin” Hawkey (7-3)

After executing a near perfect game plan, Wesley Hawkey was punished by Demarte Pena for a mistake late in the fourth round of their EFC 14 featherweight title fight. Hawkey was ahead on my scorecard at the time, and can be proud of his performance. Hawkey will now have to go back to the drawing board, but has shown that he is a serious contender in the featherweight division.

3. Wentzel “The Animal” Nel (10-3)

Wentzel Nel made a huge statement by defeating Denzil Wait at EFC 14. The former lightweight champion looked comfortable at featherweight and with his wealth of experience will be a great test for any of the fighters on this list. Wentzel Nel will likely challenge Demarte Pena for his title in the near future.

4. Denzil “Redstarr” Wait (5-3)

Denzil Wait put up a solid performance against Wentzel Nel in what was one of the fights of the night. Wait had the former champion in trouble a few times, but was unable to finish the fight and ultimately succumbed to Nel’s elbows in the second frame. Denzil Wait showed that he is a high level featherweight, worthy of a spot on this list.

5. Abdul “Hollywood” Hassan (18-5)

Abdul Hassan (2-1 EFC) managed to neutralise Leo Gloss and earn himself a split decision victory at EFC 13. Hollywood was effective on the ground, especially in the first round when he landed some huge ground and pound punches. Having toppled the King and only lost to Denzil Wait in the EFC,  Hassan has earned himself a spot on this list. 

To view rankings for all divisions, visit my MMA Rankings page.


As I understand it Wes Hawkey also lost to Francois Groenewald.

Dino Bartholis has only had one fight but it was a brilliant one at EFC 12 against Francois Groenwald.

Would love to see more of the two of them going forward.

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