2017 South African MMA Wrap
Written by Emjay on December 19, 2017
With 2017 now well and truly consigned to the record books, here is my take on the South African MMA scene in 2017:
1) The International Onslaught Continues – if EFC was not already a serious player in the global MMA arena then this year they certainly left their mark with no fewer that 27 international fights – Fighters that are not training on the African continent. This was not only evident in the professional promotions, both Fightstars and EWC showed an increase in the number of international athletes competing with EWC seeming to be the major driver at the amateur level.
2) The SA migration finally began after all those many years of promises; JP Buys, Jeremy Smith and Chad Hanekom all showed what SA MMA is all about with all of them giving superb accounts of themselves in their respectives fights. Both Martin van Staden and Dricus du Plessiswere unable to showcase their respective skill sets – here’s hoping that 2018 allows them to do what they do best!
3) The emergence of Bokang Masunyane as not only a serious flyweight and bantamweight contender but also as an incredibly agile entertainer in the cage.
4) The emergence of a strong Heavyweight Division, especially with the arrival of the LARGE international contingent namely, Mustard; Ertherington; Vanderaa and SA’s Koekemoer.
5) The Role of the Officials – Judges & Referees in the outcomes of many fights, most notably in the following fights:
– EFC59 Thomas vs Botha
– EFC65 Austin vs Dalcha
– EFC66 Van Zyl vs Vanderaa
6) My KO for 2017 is Ilunga over Nienaber (EFC59) with Dalcha Over Baudot (EFC61) a distant second.
7) My FOTY has to go to Bagattin vs De Lange (EFC58) with Misholas vs Koekemoer (EFC66) a very close second.
What were your favourite moments from 2017?