Thursday, 18 October 2012

EFC 16 Fight Predictions

Following a longer lay-period than usual, both between events and blog posts, EFC Africa 16 is now just around the corner. The event will play host to three title fights from across the weight division spectrum – featherweight, welterweight and heavyweight.

The much anticipated sixteenth edition of Africa’s biggest MMA spectacle has had many changes to the fight card since it was initially announced and there are many new names on the roster, here is the latest rendition and my predictions for the fights.

EFC 16 fight predictions

Ruan Potts vs Bernardo Mikixi (Heavyweight title fight)

Winner: Ruan Potts via Submission

If Bernardo Mikixi is going to win this fight, he has one way to do it – swing and swing hard. The Black Panther has shown impressive knock-out power in his last few fights, but his ground game appears to have some serious holes.

Though Ruan Potts has the tools to exploit this weakness in Mikixi, the undefeated champion has also shown a willingness to stand and trade, confident in his own abilities. Though likely still a favourite in the stand-up, should Potts choose to trade with Mikixi he will afford his opponent a much greater chance in this bout.

Ruan Potts is an experienced fighter, too experienced I feel to let Mikixi into the fight. Potts will close the distance early, get the fight to the ground and submit Bernardo Mikixi in the first round to retain his EFC Africa heavyweight title.

Jadyson Costa vs Michiel Opperman (Welterweight title fight)

Winner: Michiel Opperman via TKO

Jadyson Costa has proven his mettle in the EFC. The current welterweight champion is a wizard on the ground, has great striking skills and experience second to none in the promotion. Costa is on a three fight winning streak and has shown no signs of slowing down. The former Pride fighter has even begun to showboat and toy with his opponents, signs that his confidence is at an all time high.

Michiel Opperman is the polar opposite of Jadyson Costa - a technical striker who, over the last few years, has worked tirelessly improving his ground game. Opperman is methodical in the Hexagon and doesn't appear to show any emotion.

Jadyson Costa will be the hands down favourite going into this fight, but I believe that Opperman has the skillset to upset the Brazilian champion. Using his size, reach and ever improving wrestling skills, I believe Opperman will be able to keep the fight standing, a domain where he will likely hold the advantage. One can never write off the champion, but I am going to predict the Opperman wins via second round TKO.

Demarte Pena vs Terrence Griessel (Featherweight title fight)

Winner: Demarte Pena via Submission

Demarte Pena has shown that he knows how to win fights. The young champion has not had an easy run to the top, but has overcome adversity like a true champion, and gained a wealth of experience doing so. Pena looks better every time he steps into the Hexagon, a dangerous thought for featherweight division fighters.

Terrence Griessel’s recent drop to featherweight was a successful one, besting Gareth Buirski en route a title shot (after Nel was unable to fight). Griessel is a strong, tenacious featherweight, who has been given a great opportunity to make a statement.

Both fighters are grinders, and I don't expect this fight to end quickly. I believe Pena will be a little quicker in the stand-up and more fluid on the ground. I predict that, after a few long rounds on the mat, Demarte Pena will seize an opportunity to finish Griessel via submission in the later rounds.

EFC 16 Non–title fight predictions

Wade Henderson
Tumelo Maphuta
Markus Taljaard
Gareth Buirski
Francois Kabulu
Nicholas Radley
Andrew van Zyl
Ian Visser
JC Lamprecht
Daniel Sinclair
Danie van Heerden
Dain Neveling
Jean-Luc Kazadi
Francois Groenewald
Wade Groth
Khalil Akleker
Brendon Groenewald
Sors Grobbelaar