July 22, 2011 – It’s a busy weekend for our Texas MMA readers and fight fans around the world! Legacy Fighting Championship 7 and XKO 11 are both on tap here in Texas while Strikeforce: Challengers 17 and Bellator47 are both scheduled elsewhere in the nation!
It’s a blur around here keeping up with all this action but we’re trying our best to bring all this MMA news coverage to you! Rather than break down all these cards in separate articles, we thought we’d make it easy for our readers by providing the pre-fight analysis and predictions right here and make things as convenient as possible!
Keep in mind that I (Mike Calimbas) don’t claim to be an expert and these predictions are entirely subjective. Basically, take these predictions with a grain of salt… Actually, go ahead and bet your life savings. If you win, hook a ninja up. But if you los, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Feel free to post your own fight picks at the bottom of this article also if you’ve got the guts. We can all look back on this thing Sunday and see how we did on our fight picks!
Legacy Fighting Championship 7 (July 22, Houston, TX)
Event Summary: This Friday night in Houston, Mick Maynard’s Legacy Fighting Championship makes its nationwide debut with Legacy FC 7 on HDNet’s Friday Night Fights. Mike Schiavello, Frank Trigg, and crew are all in Houston to cover the event. We’re not sure if Trigg and The Voice will be wearing cowboy hats or astronaut helmets but they’ll definitely be at the Arena Theater ready to commentate the main card starting at 9PM. Speaking of which, Legacy FC 7 is headlined by a match of two surging fighters in Brasilia’s Carlo Prater taking on Colorado’s Cameron Dollar with the card also boasting some other nationwide vets in Chad Robichaux, Pete “The Secret Weapon” Spratt, and Frank Gomez amongst others so it should be a good one!
Quick Analysis – This main event matchup pits Carlo’s lutra livre skills against Cameron’s explosive wrestling. Both fighters head into this one with impressive win streaks and a win could push the victor into the national spotlight. Look for this fight to go into deep waters in a back-and-forth battle. Whoever edges out the striking game will probably win the fight. Carlo’s in a good place right now. We see him edging this one out.
Prediction – Carlo Prater by majority decision.
Daniel Pineda versus Frank Gomez
Quick Analysis – This bout features two very evenly-matched fighters with similar skill sets. Both are hard-nosed grinders who have a strong motor. Gomez has big-league experience in the WEC while Pineda has been on quite the surge fighting for Legacy in the past year. I look for that momentum to be the difference.
Prediction – Daniel Pineda by submission.
Antonio Flores versus Pete Spratt
Quick Analysis – It’s probably safe to safe that neither fighter’s back will tough the ground in this one unless getting hit caused them to fall down. Pete’s got that old-school Saekson training and technical Muay Thai that wears on people, especially with his leg kicks. Flores is a beast at 170 with heavyweight power. The key here is if he can get inside on the wily vet. If so, he definitely has the strength to hurt him. I’m picking Flores by submission because that’s the least likely way this fight will finish for either man. I just want to say I’m right when the crazy thing happens.
Prediction – Antonio Flores by submission.
Chad Robichaux versus Jonathan Mackles
Quick Analysis – Chad Robichaux is a Gracie Barra Black Belt making his Legacy return after fighting Bellator champ Zach Makovsky. Jonathan Mackles is a Bellator veteran I haven’t had the opportunity to see fight but he’s supposed a straightforward aggressive fighter. “Robo” has the clear technical advantage though and that’s what’ll win this one for him.
Prediction – Chad Robichaux by submission.
Rey Trujillo versus Jesus Rivera
Quick Analysis – This is a rematch of last year’s Legacy ‘Fight of the Year.’ It’s safe to say this one probably won’t go the ground with these two opting to slug it out. Expect a flying side kick or two from the KO-minded Trujillo while Jesus will look to use his technical Muay Thai to chop and wear down his opponent.
Prediction – Jesus Rivera by split decision.
Justin Reiswerg versus Marc Ramirez
Quick Analysis –This bout pits two of the best young studs in Houston against each other in a bout that could eventually decide a future title challenger. Hard to call with both guys being strong at what they’re good at. Ramirez has the punching power advantage while Reiswerg has the upper hand with his submission skills. Word is that Justin’s been working on his boxing though so that may give him the edge.
Prediction – Justin Reiswerg by submission.
Jermaine Anugwom versus Larry Crowe
Prediction – Jermaine Anugwom by TKO.
David Armas versus Shelby Sheehan
Prediction – David Armas by unanimous decision.
Alex Black versus Jared Chaffee
Prediction – Alex Black by unanimous decision.
Tony Orozco versus David McClung
Prediction – Tony Orozco by TKO.
Strikeforce Challengers 17 (July 22, Las Vegas, NV)
Event Summary: Hoping to build up the stars of tomorrow, Strikeforce brings forth the latest rendition of their in-house minor league with Strikeforce “Challengers 17,” set to take place at the Palms Casino Resort this Friday in Las Vegas. Headling the card is a rubber match between Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelkner along with an exciting female welterweight matchup between Sarah Kaufman and Liz Carmouche. Heavyweight prospect Lavar Johnson was supposed to be on this card as well but with him sidelined due to injury, Devin Cole now takes his place opposite Shawn Jordan. Truth be told, I’m not that jazzed about this card except for one reason and one reason only…. The Strikeforce debut of Bill “THE GRILL” Cooper!
Quick Analysis – These two split their first two bouts and will look to end things conclusively in this main event. Voelkner’s got quite a bit more expereince but Bowling is looking to come up in his own career after a hard loss. This is a pivotal fight for these two and a tough on to call at that. Let’s go Bowling via strikes. (see what I did there?)
Prediction – Bowling by TKO.
Sarah Kaufman versus Liz Carmouche
Quick Analysis – The Strikeforce women’s division isn’t going aground yet after all! Both of these ladies have only lost to Strikeforce 135 champ Marloes Coenen and are looking to get back to a title shot in this one. They’re both specialists on the ground but Kaufman has proven to be quite the scrapper in her fights.
Prediction – Sarah Kaufman by decision.
Ovince St. Preux versus Joe Cason
Quick Analysis – Not to be confused with Georges St. Pierre, Ovince St. Preux is a hard-hitting Haitian heavyweight that should be way out of his opponent’s league. Look for him to connect early and often en route to a TKO victory.
Prediction – Ovince St. Preux by TKO.
Shawn Jordan versus Devin Cole
Quick Analysis – Devin Cole is replacing LaVar Johnson and that’s probably good news the former LSU fullback, Shawn Jordan. Still, he’s taking on a tough opponent who’s got more experience than him. I don’t know how taking the fight on late notice will be for Cole’s cardio but I still see him landing a finishing blow to finish things late in the fight.
Prediction – Devin Cole by KO.
Adlan Amagov versus Ronald Stallings
Quick Analysis – Both these guys are making their Strikeforce debut and I know little about either of them. Coin flip here for me but I’m going with Stallings by virtue of hacing a supposedely better ground game.
Prediction – Ron Stallings by decision.
T.J. Cook versus Lionel Lanham
Prediction – T.J. Cook by TKO
Ben Lagman versus Anthony Smith
Prediction – Ben Lagman by TKO
Bill Cooper versus Maka Watson
Prediction – Bill “The Grill” Cooper by submission
Xtreme Knockout (XKO) 11 (July 23, Arlington, TX)
Event Summary: Saturday night at Arlington’s THE GYM aka XKO Arena, Thomas and Chris Bussey bring back the latest edition of the Xtreme Knockout promotion with XKO 11. With the event serving as the first LIVE taping for CBS-affiliate and broadcast partner TXA-21, fans should be jam-packed into the arena and ready to cheer on some of DFW’s finest fighters. In the main event of the evening, Steven “Ocho” Peterson will be taking Alex “Warpath” Russ in his first bantamweight title defense! The card also features up-and-coming fighters like JJ Holmes, Hayward Charles, Chris Pecero, and other so it should be another good one here in Texas!
Quick Analysis – Out of all the fights going on this weekend, this one’s got the potential to be a big-time barnburner with both of these guys being such exciting fighters. I believe this one is going to be a close back-and-forth battle with both guys being dangerous wherever this fight goes. Needless to say, my fellow TXMMA contributors and NDMMA students Matt Little and Kris Bickham have already said “Ocho” all the way but I’m going to take the challenger in this one.
Prediction – Alex “Warpath” Russ by majority decision.
JJ Holmes versus Jose Sanchez
Quick Analysis – JJ Holmes was supposed to be fighting somebody else initially before being pitted against another JJ in Jose Sanchez, a fighter I know little about. I do know that Mr. Holmes is looking to rebound from his first loss at Undisputed MMA and that can’t be good for his opponent.
Prediction – JJ Holmes by TKO.
Chris Pecero versus Burt McDonald
Quick Analysis – This should be a good one with Pecero coming back after battling Chris Jones for the welterweight title at XKO 10. His opponent Burt McDonald also has a win at XKO 9 heading into this one but is coming up from 155 where he’s fought in the past. Based on experience, I’d have to give this one to Corpus Christie’s Chris Pecero.
Prediction – Chris Peceo by submission.
Jimmy Taylor versus James Vick
Quick Analysis – I don’t know too much about either of these men but I do know from speaking to him that Mr. Vick has an extensive boxing background. He’s also got an impressive amateur record so that’s the smart choice in this one.
Prediction – James Vick by TKO.
Nelson Salas versus Eliasar Rodriguez
Prediction – Eliasar Rodriguez by decision.
Hayward Charles versus Josh Foster
Prediction – Hayward “Ironhead” Charles by submission
Lightweight – Jose Diaz versus Zach Haney
Prediction – Jose Diaz via unanimous decision
Steve Hess versus Ciprian Hangan
Prediction – Steve Hess by submission
Jason Fisher versus Joshua Lee
Prediction – Jason Fisher via TKO
Ali Ileiwi versus Dusty Mason
Prediction – Ali “Iraqi Samurai” Ileiwi by TKO
Bellator 47: Summer Series Semi-Finals (July 23, Rama, Ontario, Canada)
Event Summary: We’re not sure why but Bellator 47 has flown a little under the radar as far as nationwide coverage but it’s certainly not for lack of lineup. Following up on a very exciting “Summer Series” quarter-final card little less than a month ago, Bellator returns to MTV2 this Saturday night with the next stage of the tourney featuring top 135’ers Marlon Sandro, Nazareno Malegarie, Pat Curran, and Ronnie Mann. The event also features the Bellator debut of former WEC star Chris Horodecki so it should be a great night of action.
Quick Analysis – Marlon Sandro has long been known as one of the world’s best at 145. He was tested against Genair da Silva in the first round and Malegarie will be even tougher Nonetheless, I can’t pick against him.
Prediction – Marlon Sandro by unanimous decision
Pat Curran versus Ronnie Mann (featherweight-tourney semifinals)
Quick Analysis – This matchup may just crown the eventual winner of this whole tourney. Both guys are absolute beasts that performed impressively in the first round and either could finish this fight standing or on the ground. Curran’s the stronger fighter though, and he’s been tested against the best Bellator has to offer in Eddie Alvarez after winning at lightweight in last season’s tournament.
Prediction – Pat Curran by unanimous decision
Neil Grove versus Zak Jensen
Quick Analysis – Classic striker versus grappler matchup, or as much as it can be at heavyweight anyways. Grove has the absolute advantage on the feet while Jensen’s best chance to win would be by taking this one to the ground.
Prediction – Neil Grove by KO
Chris Horodecki versus Chris Saunders
Quick Analysis – I remember what Chris Horodecki fighting Bart Palaszewski in IFL Houston a few years ago and thinking this kid has what it takes to be a future star. He hasn’t progressed as fast as I would have thought but he’s still 17-3. Saunders is highly-touted but he hasn’t faced anyone near Horodecki’s level of experience.
Prediction – Chris Horodecki by TKO
Daniel Langbeen versus Will Romero
Prediction – Will Romero by submission
Bryan Goldsby versus Bo Harris
Prediction – Bryan Goldsby by unanimous decision
Daron Cruickshank versus Sergej Juskevic
Prediction – Sergej Juskevic by submission
Syd Barnier versus Denis Puric
Prediction – Denis Puric by TKO
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