EFC AFRICA Middleweight Championship
GARRETH MCLELLAN vs. JEREMY SMITH
SEAN ROBINSON vs. TUMELO MAPHUTHA
DONAVIN HAWKEY vs. DANIE VAN HEERDEN
DINO BAGATTIN vs. MICHIEL OPPERMAN
WESLEY HAWKEY vs. DENZIL WAIT
PAUL KIETZMANN vs. RICKY MISHOLAS
WADE HENDERSON vs. JOSH MULLER
FRANCOIS GROENEWALD vs. DINO BERTOLIS
DONALD NZIRAWA vs. BOYD ALLEN
PETE MOTAUNG vs. JP KRUGER
RYAN VAN NIEKERK vs. STEVEN MOMAH
KOBA IAKOBIDZE vs. GARETH BUIRSKI
Johannesburg (South Africa) – Thanks to EFC AFRICA’s rapidly growing popularity, top martial artists from around Africa have flocked to become a part of the continent’s most prestigious fighting championship. Of the 24 MMA athletes on the EFC AFRICA 12 fight card, eight will step into the EFC AFRICA hexagon for the first time on 2 March.
These athletes are:
Ryan ‘The Lion’ van Niekerk – Van Niekerk has already achieved the title of lightweight champion outside of EFC AFRICA, but must now work his way up from the bottom against the continent’s greatest MMA fighters if he wants to become EFC AFRICA champion. He feels most comfortable when he can ‘stand and bang’ and has a professional MMA record of 19 wins, 6 losses. Van Niekerk is 28 years old, fights out of Combat Coaching in Amanzimtoti, Durban, and will face Nigeria’s Steven Momah at EFC AFRICA 12.
Ricky ‘Apocalypse’ Misholas – With a boxing and Judo background, Misholas has formidable tools to bring to his pro MMA debut. He’s trains at the respected Hot Box gym and works in the security industry. He is now 30 years old, fights out of Glenhazel, Johannesburg, and makes his pro MMA debut against Paul Kietzmann at EFC AFRICA 12.
Gareth Buirski – After taking 9 wins, 1 loss as an amateur and 1 win so far as a professional, Buirski now enters Africa’s most acclaimed combat arena. Over the past two years he has cut down from 91kg to 65kg for featherweight, but insists that much of his strength remains. Buirski is 26 years old, fights out of Shido Fighting Systems in Centurion, Pretoria, and will face Koba Iakobidze at EFC AFRICA 12.
Koba Iakobidze – Originally from Georgia in Eastern Europe, Iakobidze was 5x state boxing champion with a record of 92 fights, 90 wins. He believes boxing is his greatest weapon in MMA and constantly seeks to deliver a knockout. He currently has a professional MMA record of 1 win, 1 loss. Iakobidze is 23 years old, fights out of Team CIT in Silverton, Pretoria, and will face Gareth Buirski at EFC AFRICA 12.
Dino Bertolis – Studying actuarial science at Wits University doesn’t leave much time for training, but Bertolis has maximised his talent in the five years he’s been involved in MMA. A strong grappler, he went 6-1 as an amateur. Bertolis is 20 years old, fights out of Tapout Academy in Northcliff, Johannesburg and makes his pro MMA debut against Francois Groenewald.
Pete Motaung – Training in the striking art of Muay Thai since 2000, Motaung has a record of 53 fights, 49 wins, and is a former World Thai Boxing Heavyweight Champion and 8x SA Thai Boxing Champion. After dominating Thai Boxing for so long, Motaung has come to MMA to find new challenges. Motaung is 32 years old, fights out of Tapout Academy in Northcliff, Johannesburg and makes his pro MMA debut against JP Kruger at EFC AFRICA 12.
JP Kruger – Kruger began kickboxing in 2003 after being bullied at school. He soon started competing and became SA champ with less than a year’s experience. He took up the similar K1 style (kickboxing plus knee strikes) and was SA Champion three times. Kruger joins EFC AFRICA in an effort to reach international acclaim in the world’s fastest growing sport. Kruger is now 25 years old, fights out of Xtreme Kickboxing Technologies in Boksburg, Johannesburg, and makes his pro MMA debut against Pete Motaung.
Boyd Allen – Allen began boxing at the age of 18, four years ago, and had an amateur record of 28 fights, 24 wins. He started MMA in 2010 after discovering Brazilian jiu-jitsu at a club in his hometown of Springs. After an excellent amateur career Allen has made the transition to the pro ranks and has a record of 4 wins, 2 losses. Allen is now 22 years old, fights out of Fight Fit Militia in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, and will face Zimbabwe’s Donald Nzirawa at EFC AFRICA 12.
EFC AFRICA 12 takes place at the Carnival City Big Top Arena on 2 March. Tickets on sale now at Computicket www.computicket.com and tickets for the live broadcast to Nu Metro Cinemas available at www.numetro.co.za