Sunday, 2 December 2012

2012 Fight of the year - McLellan vs Smith - MMASA Awards

The MMA year started with a bang when EFC Africa middleweight champion Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan and decorated challenger Jeremy “Pitbull” Smith squared off for the middleweight title in a fight which was billed as the biggest fight ever on African soil. The fight didn't disappoint.

Both fighters came into the fight after a long training camp and looked well prepared, fit and strong. What ensued after the bell rang, was a tactical battle which seesawed in favour of each of the fighters in turn. The game plans were spot on and neither fighter seemed to gas – a sign of an ever increasing professionalism within the South African sphere of the sport. Lasting almost four rounds the fight showcased some of the best skills that South African MMA has to offer and set the stage for a great MMA year.

Jeremy Smith eventually won the fight via Guillotine choke in the fourth round to become the new EFC Africa middleweight champion.
In search of a rematch McLellan went on a rampage which set the middleweight division alight.

For all of these reasons – Garreth McLellan vs Jeremy Smith is my 2012 fight of the year.

Fight of the year - Notable mentions

Don Madge vs Leon Mynhardt

The lightweight clash between striking legends Don Madge and Leon Mynhardt at EFC 13 was a brutal striking masterclass. Madge started strong and almost finished the fight in the first frame, but Mynhardt rallied in the second and took the fight to the Muay Thai standout. Although the two warriors delivered a spectacular show, the fight was shrouded in controversy after a rather anticlimactic finish in the third round which saw Mynhardt the victor and Madge somewhat confused and disappointed.

Costa Ioannou vs Adam Speechly

The lightweight title fight between EFC titans Costa Ioannou and Adam Speechly at EFC 14 was always going to be a grappling extravaganza. Speechly weathered a strong start by the champion and turned the tides on a exhausted Ioannou in the middle rounds. Ioannou however dug deep and eventually managed to eke out a unanimous decision victory after a five round grappling war.

To see all award winners, visit my 2012 MMASA Awards page


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