Monday, 23 July 2012

EFC 15 fight predictions

On Friday 27 July EFC Africa 15 will take over Carnival City in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event will be headlined by the promotions first ever light heavyweight title fight. With this and twelve other professional MMA bouts on the cards, the event is all set to be another night to remember. Here are my predictions for the fights:

EFC 15 fight predictions

Norman Wessels vs JP Joubert (Light heavyweight title fight)

Winner: Norman Wessels via TKO

Both Norman Wessels and JP Joubert are big men who have proved to be aggressive fighters at light heavyweight. Joubert has steamrolled him last two opponents, Wessel’s his last one. As a result, I don’t think this fight will take too long to get going.

Joubert will likely be the early aggressor, confident in his knock-out power. Chef will be a little more cautious and will look to avoid trading punches with The Bull while looking for the take down. Wessels has shown impressive grappling skills in his MMA career and I believe that taking the fight to the ground will greatly favour him.

I don’t see this fight going the distance. Either Joubert will land a big shot, or Wessels will land a takedown and finish the fight on the ground. With the wealth of experience and tactical brilliance that Norman Wessels brings to the Hexagon, I predict he will be the sharper fighter on the night and will end the fight in the second round via TKO.

Tyron Rightford vs Darren Daniel

Winner: Tyron Rightford via KO

Rightford vs Daniel is the most anticipated fight on this card for sure. The two middleweights have had very different paths to this point, but are both gunning for the same thing – a shot at the EFC Africa middleweight title.

Darren Daniel has been absent from the Hexagon for so long that he is somewhat of an unknown. He is however a seasoned professional training with a professional fight team, so I expect him to be ready. How rusty he may be, if at all, will only be evident on the night.

Conversely, Tyron Rightford is riding the crest of a wave and will bring great momentum to this fight. The Rush has rattled through his EFC opponents, winning his last two fights in mere minutes.

I believe that Darren Daniel will have the advantage on the ground and will look to take the fight down as soon as possible, thus negating Rightford’s clinical striking. Rightford in turn will look to be elusive and pick his shots, keeping the fight standing and fighting from the outside. This fight could go either way, but I predict Tyron Rightford will be able to take advantage of a slightly rusty Daniel to land a few key strikes early on and swing the fight in his favour. Rightford will be able to fight his fight and eventually land a clean shot to finish Daniel late in the first round.

Garreth McLellan vs Armand de Bruyn

Winner: Garreth McLellan via TKO

Armand de Bruyn will be thrown into the deep end at EFC 15 against Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan. The former Middleweight champion has been on the warpath ever since he lost his title at EFC Africa 12. I predict Garreth McLellan will be too good for Armand De Bruyn and finish the fight via TKO in the second round.

Raymond Ahana vs Jason Culverwell

Winner: Jason Culverwell via Submission

Jason Culverwell impressed me at EFC 13. He showed he can take a punch and displayed great composure on the ground. Culverwell will want to avoid Ahana’s reach and test him on the ground. I predict he will be able to do this and will win via second round submission.

Chett Meyer vs Donavin Hawkey

Winner: Donavin Hawkey via Submission

This is a tough fight to call as there are a lot of unknown elements, the biggest of which is Chett Meyer’s move to middleweight. Both fighters were formerly ranked light heavyweights, so they should be comfortable with each other. Hawkey however has been the more active of the two and has fought 4 more fights in the last two years.

Although Meyer is coming into this fight with a three fight winning streak, I believe Hawkey will have the upper hand due to his abundance of experience, his familiarity with fighting at middleweight and his hunger to avenge his recent loss to Danie van Heerden.  I predict Donavin Hawkey will submit Chett Meyer in the second round.

Martin van Staden vs Dino Bagattin

Winner: Martin van Staden via Submission

Martin van Staden and Dino Bagattin are both looking to rebuild their way to welterweight title contention. Bagattin is the more decorated striker but has looked a little vulnerable on the ground in his last two fights and I believe Martin van Staden will exploit this effectively to win the fight via first round submission.

Leon Mynhardt vs Alex Cheboub

Winner: Leon Mynhardt via KO

With no clear lightweight title contender in sight, Leon Mynhardt vs Alex Cheboub will be watched very closely by the EFC Africa matchmakers. Both fighters won their last bouts and will look to make a case for a title shot.

This is a clear case of a striker versus a ground specialist and should make for a very interesting fight. Alex Cheboub has submitted some of the divisions best fighters and in recent times has only been bested by Costa Ioannou. In contrasting style, Leon Mynhardt has knocked out some of the best fighters from two different divisions. Mynhardt however has worked tirelessly at his ground game and has improved dramatically. I believe that Mynhardt therefore has the better chance of winning this fight as he is now a very well rounded fighter.

I predict Leon Mynhardt will KO Alex Cheboub in the second round.

Francois Kabulu vs David Buirski

Winner: David Buirski via Submission

In my opinion this fight favours David Buirski, who showed impeccable ground control in his early professional bouts. While Kabulu has shown good stand-up and great heart, his ground game has  been rather ineffective.  I predict that Buirksi will take this fight to the ground at will, neutralise Kabulu and eventually submit him in the second round.

Andrew van Zyl vs Mohmed Karim

Winner: Andrew van Zyl via Submission

I must admit I do not know much about Mohmed Karim, but in general the EFC’s Egyptian exports have shown a deficiency in ground skills. I predict that Andrew van Zyl will get Mohmed Karim to the ground and submit him in the first round.

Boyd Allen vs Alain Ilunga

Winner: Boyd Allen via decision

Both Boyd Allen and Alain Ilunga impressed me in their last fights. I do believe Boyd Allen is the more well rounded and technical fighter and I think he will enough skill and experience to defeat the younger fighter over the three rounds.

Liam Cleland vs Tumelo Maphutha

Winner: Liam Cleland via Submission

Liam Cleland is an extremely talented grappler and I believe he will simply outclass Tumelo Maphutha on the ground. I predict Liam Cleland to take this one via first round submission.

Hector Britts vs JC Lamprecht

Winner: Hector Britts via decision

I am not au fait with either of these fighters, having not seen either of them fight, and have only their records to work off. Hector Britts holds notable wins over Paul Vosloo and Boyd Allen, while JC Lamprecht had an impressive 8-0 amateur record.  Both fighters will be making their EFC Africa debut.

Having already fought professionally, I think that Britts will be a little less nervous and a little more composed in the Hexagon. I predict that Hector Britts will win a unanimous decision victory, though I really do have very little to base this on.

Lance Ceronio vs Mahmoud Salama

Winner: Mahmoud Salama via TKO   
Mahmoud Salama is a specialist kickboxer, a department where Ceronio has struggled in his last two fights. I predict Salama will be sharper in the stand-up and will finish Ceronio in the first frame. 


Rightford pick his shots against Darren? You must be joking! I think you have forgotten just how good a striker DD is (ringrust or not). Darren to win where ever the fight goes. Rightford has only fought one quality opponent on the pro circuit, he's gonna drop to welter weight after this. He could be a contender there, possibly

mynhardt, but wishful thinking
van staden, no brainer
de bruyn, upset of the year
chef, no brainer

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