This is without a doubt the biggest event that EFC is having with probably one of the more exciting fight cards. Personally I have never been into the hype that we see going on, with crude viral videos being put up to play games with their opponents. How ever I also realise the necessity for this to help grow the sport/promotion and find new audience members. I just feel that this could be done more tactfully and show that we as a community are not just steroid freak fighters without intelligence or a sense of humour.
I just feel I want to use this space to give my thoughts on some of my highlight upcoming fights at EFC 20 and see if anyone agrees with me out there.
Bantam weight: Buirski VS Cutendana
I don’t know anything about his opponent, but Matt is part of the Buirsky army and this is his 2nd professional MMA fight. I was impressed with what I saw at the Khmer championships where he took it to the ground and dominated. However, it was noted that his opponent had no ground experience at all. Should be an interesting bout nonetheless as all the Buirski boys come to fight and hopefully Matt will be challenged and made to work for this victory. Niot that it is a forgone conclusion, but i think Matt will win via TKO in the 2nd.
Bantamweight: Weyer VS Ninow
You might have noticed now, that I have a liking to the smaller weight divisions. This is probably cause it is where i am size wise, so always checking out the competition. Ninow is coming into this fight with an excessive amount of experience in comparison to Weyer and I’m not sure if Weyer will have the ability to overcompensate for this experience. I see this going deep into the 2nd round or even possibly the third when Ninow will take the victory via TKO/Tap Out.
Lightweight: Cheboub Vs Mdoko
Sibusisu might be outclassed in terms of professional experience here, but I have seen him fight countless times and this guys conditioning is unparalleled. I don’t know where it comes from, but in every fight, he just gets stronger and stronger with each passing round. He has ample stand up experience and some decent ground work. I think Cheboub’s going to under estimate Sibusisu and we might even be in for a surprise KO here. However, I see Sibusiso winning this one on points.
Heavyweight: Potts vs Misholas
Everyone wants to know whats going on with Mr. Ruan Potts since his points decision loss to Van Zyl. I imagine he has been super revved up to start building towards another title shot and get his belt back. Misholas has shown to have some heavy hands when he KO Tiny Struass. How ever I do not believe one heavy hit is going to be enough here. I see Ruan taking this to the ground and controlling it from there and ending it late ion the first round with a a choke or armbar.
Main Event: Lightweight: Ioannou vs Madge
First off experience. Maybe in professional MMA, Costa has more experience, I think it was 3 fights more than Don. How ever, Don has had over 70 professional Muaythai fights in Thailand and fought at the Izuzu Cup and Kings Cup. There is something about living and fighting in Thailand that just makes you hard and able to take what ever needs to be done to get the job done in a fight. Maybe it is the focus on ‘heart’ that drives fighters to keep pushing through there. In the stand up side of things, Costa has Richie Quan ,who also has Thai experience, in his corner. However, I do not believe Costa has the ability to translate this corner experience into a favorable situation for him. I see him trying to take this to the ground. Once we are on the ground, I don’t think the majority of the country really gets this, but Don is no amateur. I have seen him at Jiu Jitsu comps and he dominates as he does standing up. He has also been training with one of the top wrestling coaches in the world, never mind South Africa; and I am sure his wrestling is superb too now. No doubt, these 2 are probably two of the most complete fighters in the EFC, but I honestly can’t see this going any way other than Don winning. Surprisingly, I do not think he will get the KO, but will either ground and pound or get the tap out in the 2nd round.
I might be a little biased with these predictions as I am from Cape Town, but this is what I honestly think. Best of luck to all the fighters competing on Thursday.