Igeu “Smiley” Kabesa
29 | 5’9″ | Sunninghill, Johannesburg, South Africa | 15-2 | 10 Finishes | 6 KO/TKOs, 4 Submissions | Combined Opponents’ Record: 87-41-2 | Best Win – Danny Henry (7-1)
Kabesa has been featured on this list a few times but keeps getting passed by. He did suffer a loss in mid-2021 but rebounded and has won three since. Kabesa is the current EFC bantamweight champion and is a three-time champ for the promotion. Kabesa is a very decorated wrestler being a 10-time Wrestling Nationals Champion. Kabesa is arguably the best prospect out of South Africa.
Kabesa has amazing wrestling and grappling, he can move well on the mat and can reach the mount fairly easily. His striking is good too, moving in and out with explosive punches quickly and his slips and counters are solid. South Africa in the UFC in 2022 got the ball rolling with the success of Dricus du Plessis. Kabesa should be next.
“In the last article, you expressed your opinion I am on a different level than some of my fellow South Africans, who at the time, struggled to perform abroad. Since then, Dricus du Plessis and Don Madge gave many people serious grounds to reconsider such a view,” Kabesa told Cageside Press. “I believe that I have a good if not an even better background to become a top international performer. That, combined with my new situation, makes me very excited to go into 2023. I am convinced that your earlier vote of confidence will not have been in vain, and I am as ready as ever to kick off my international career – Watch this space!”