EFC 29 is upon us in 2 days and weigh ins tomorrow. I imagine all eyes from the international MMA communities are watching after the first 2 events from this year and with good reason. Regardless of who is to blame, an athlete Booto Guylain passed away and in the following event there were some concerning ref/judging decisions. We can all hope that these issues have been addressed, but seeing is believing. This is definitely an exciting fight card with a lot of strong matchups that should entertain us and go the distance. First up is a change to the fight card and we will not be seeing Iakobidze. We have not received any reason for his pulling out, but will assume an injury. He will be replaced by Mbulelo Swekile. Tyson Cheslin comes into this bout with a 2-3 pro MMA record versus Swekile’s 1-1 pro record. Swekile comes from a Jiu Jitsu back ground and seems to prefer the ground in complete contrast to Chelin’s kickboxing background. I am imagining this will go to the ground and Swekile will get the win with a submission.
Next we up we have a ‘prodigy’ in the form of Saxon Delafield versus Pietie Coxen. While I am not that excited for this fight, I am interested to see how Delafield does in his EFC debut. Lately debutants have been performing very well and getting the W. Although I am highly doubting he will keep his name of of ‘One minute Monstor’ and going more than 1 minute will be his first test.
Next we have Pupanga Tresor vs Gordan Roodman. Tresor had a strong challenge in his EFC debut and lost by TKO in the first round. His over aggression was his downfall. While this might be Roodman’s EFC debut, he has a very large amateur record and has been ringside for most EFC events as an official. I feel Roodman’s superior experience will be to his advantage and he will take this one on points, unless Tresor comes in overly aggressive and makes a mistake again.
Two heavy hitters as with most heavyweights in combat sports. Ricky Misholas is known for having heavy KO power, but little in the ground department as we saw against former champ Ruan Potts. We have not seen Dewald in action in a long time and that was at Super Heavyweight. He has now made the cut to heavyweight and will probably be coming into this an strength advantage. I see this going the way of Botes if he can move fast enough to keep up with Misholas.
Mark Hulme in his debut out pulled off stunning victory over Josh Muller with a rear naked Choke in the first round. Morne also has a victory over Josh Muller via verbal submission back in EFC 24. While I believe Prinsloo does have the superior wrestling skills I do not think it will be enough, much the same as it went when he lost to Cape Town’s Marcel Teniers. Hulme just seems to have a much better all round game and able to deal with most situations. I expect a points decision by Hulme.
Next we have Francois Groenwald vs Leo Gloss. ‘King’ Leo is coming off a loss to Irshaad Sayed, where as Groenewald is on a 3 fight win streak having finished all his opponents with a submission. This is another striker vs grappler battle and once again I don’t feel Gloss has the ground game to defend himself enough to implement a sprawl and brawl tactic. I see this going via a submission late in the first round.
The Buirski’s always seem to provide us with entertainment and this promises to be another bout of big exchanges. Gareth is on a 2 fight lose streak and will be hungry to get back to winning ways. Whereas Peter Nyide is coming off a big win over former title contender Alain Illunga. Even though both guys will be swinging, I see it being controleld and not enough to get the KO and this goes to points in favour of Nyide.
i don’t know about anyone else, but I really dig Cheboub’s style. He just manages to find sneaky escapes and get the wins and often the most entertaining fight of the night. Groth has some stand up skills, but has not fought since his win back in EFC 16. I don’t think he has enough to deal with Cheboub’s versatility and this will go to points in favour of Cheboub.
2 former champions one at Welterweight and one at middleweight. I am not quite sure on how this would affect the rankings as Opperman is now moving up from welterweight but this should be an interesting fight. I still see this going to Smith with wild but superior boxing skills. One thing is for sure, he sin’t just going to lie on top of Opperman if he gets the takedown.
For me this is the main event for the night. I am a big Brenan Katz fan and am probably bias because of it. I see his heavy hands catching Nienaber with some heavy strikes and finishing via TKO. But i do not believe it is going to be quick. This might come down to who has the better conditioning as both men have a complete skillset and able to fight anywhere.
Lastly, is the main event and I am really struggling to come up with a accurate prediction. Dino Bagattin and Henry Fadipe both dominated Opperman in their respective fights. Fadipe’s hands are definitely heavier but who has the better ground game? Is it even going to go to ground? I am gonna give this to Fadipe with a TKO victory, but it is going to be close.
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