Shark Fights makes their first foray into PPV this weekend with “Shark Fights 13: Jardine vs. Prangley”. Read ahead as Five Ounces of Pain’s newest writer, Jeremy Lambert, breaks down the main card…
The event is filled with UFC and Strikeforce veterans who are at crossroads in their careers. Main-Eventer Keith Jardine, who has lost four straight fights, is trying to reclaim past form that saw him beat former UFC Champions Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Trevor Prangley is trying to bounce back after being dominated by Tim Kennedy. Houston Alexander and Rameau Theirry Sokoudjou are trying to extend their 15-minutes of MMA fame. Paul Daley is trying to get back into the good graces of MMA fans following his sucker-punch to Josh Koscheck. And then there are fighters like Joey Villasenor, Danillo Villefort, Jorge Masvidal, Tarec Saffiedine, and Brock Larson, all of whom have been spotlighted before and hope to continue to stay relevant in today’s “what have you done for me lately?” world of MMA.
Now if you read the title of this article, you’ll know that I’ll not only preview the main fights but I’ll also predict the winners. Crazy concept I know. In MMA, it’s not who you pick but why you pick them. A quarter can predict an upset but until George Washington tells me why he landed on his face, I’m just going to assume he enjoys taking more blows to the head than Jorge Gurgel. So you can all rest easy in knowing that I’ve put some thought into my predictions, I’ll let you know exactly why I feel the way I do, and you’re free to agree or disagree. If you want to be smart, you’ll agree.
Light Heavyweight Fight (Main Event): Trevor Prangley vs. Keith Jardine
This is an interesting fight. It’s main event status on PPV aside, it’s still an interesting fight. Jardine is a very good points striker. It’s unfair to call him a technical striker because he’s anything but, yet his striking gets the job done. The downfall in Jardine’s striking is that his chin is paper-thin. Prangley is a solid boxer with good power. He’s also a NCAA Division 1 wrestler, so with those credentials one would think that he could takedown Jardine at will but Jardine has very underrated takedown defense and a good ability to pop back up. If Prangley can keep Jardine down, he has the wrestling and jiu-jitsu to control him and ride out a decision. For Jardine to win he’ll need to keep things standing, out-point him, and chop him down with leg kicks. He has power but Prangley has never been TKO’d with a headshot and seems to have a solid chin on him. Prangley needs to counter the leg kicks with hooks or takedowns, hope he has enough power to crack Jardine’s chin, or grind out a decision on the ground.
I favor Prangley in this fight because Jardine’s chin is always one solid punch on the chin from looking up at the lights and Prangley’s wrestling will allow him to dictate where the fight goes.
Prediction: Trevor Prangley via TKO Round 2
Light Heavyweight Fight: Houston Alexander vs. Rameau Theirry Sokoudjou
Remember back in 2007 when every MMA fan wanted to see this fight? Alexander had just destroyed Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara while Sokoudjou destroyed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. Since that time they’re a combined 7-10. The last time either man was seen on a big stage, Alexander thought he was at the playground because he wouldn’t get off the merry-go-round and Sokoudjou thought it would be a good idea to stand around until mediocre Middleweight midget knocked him out. They both have explosive striking, Alexander has decent muy-thai, and Sokoudjou is a black belt in Judo. Neither man really knows what they’re doing on the ground, although I’d have to give the advantage to Sokoudjou just because he’s more likely to be able to scramble up should he be on his back.
This should be an easy victory for Sokoudjou. While Alexander has power, Sokoudjou has never shown a weak chin, he’s more of a guy that gets tired and overwhelmed. Alexander isn’t someone who will be able to take advantage of a tired opponent because he gets tired just as easy and he does have a suspect chin. Plus if it turns into a grappling contest (God forbid), then Sokoudjou should be able to dominate.
Prediction: Rameau Theirry Sokoudjou via KO Round 1
Welterweight Fight: Paul Daley vs. Jorge Masvidal
Daley continues his “I’m not a bad person” comeback trail as he battles Masvidal in a fight that should be an entertaining scrap on the feet. Both fighters like to trade hands and they make no secret about that. Of their 44 combined wins, 28 have come by (T)KO. Overall, Daley is the better striker. He’s more diverse, he has a granite chin, and he has more power. Masvidal would be smart to get things to the ground but he’s not a world-class wrestler and Daley, although he’s British, has good enough wrestling to stop the takedowns of someone who hasn’t been wrestling since they were in diapers. Another knock against Masvidal is that he’s spent the majority of his career at Lightweight but will now move up to Welterweight, where he’ll be at a size disadvantage.
This is a bad match up for Masvidal. He’s undersized and facing a striker with a better chin and power. Daley’s weakness is wrestling and his ground game but Masvidal doesn’t have the wrestling to get Daley on his back and control him. If Masvidal fights smart on his feet, he could win a decision but if he gets into a slugfest, he’s going to sleep.
Prediction: Paul Daley via KO Round 1
Middleweight Fight: Joey Villasenor vs. Danillo Villefort
Villasenor tries to stay relevant while Villefort looks for his biggest win to date. Both fighters are relatively well rounded although Villasenor has a clear advantage in the striking department and Villefort is the better grappler. Villasenor was able to survive three rounds with “Jacare” Souza, one of the best grapplers in the world, so it would be tough to imagine that Villefort would be able to submit him, should he get things to the ground. Villasenor does have a suspect chin and Villefort has power but if Villefort tries to stand with Villasenor for a long period of time, he’s going to be in trouble. For Villefort to win he’ll need to use his judo, get Villasenor to the ground, and control him. One thing that worries me about Villefort is that he is taking this fight on short notice and his conditioning might not hold up for 15 minutes.
Villasenor is a heavy favorite in this fight but I wouldn’t be shocked if Villefort pulls off the upset. Villasenor isn’t a great fighter but he usually beats lesser competition and Villefort, at least on paper, is lesser competition. Villasenor will likely be able to keep the fight standing and outstrike Villefort but again, don’t sleep on Villefort in this fight.
Prediction: Joey Villasenor via Decision
Welterweight Fight: Brock Larson vs. Tarec Saffiedine
The night will kick off with two fighters in different stages of their careers. Larson is a veteran who has fought top fighters while Saffiedine is a prospect looking for the biggest win of his career. Larson is a very good wrestler with a great top game while Saffiedine has a black belt in Karate and a solid ground game. Saiffiedine showed off impressive takedown defense in his last two fights but neither James Terry nor Nate Moore are the type of grinding wrestlers like Larson. If the fight stays standing, Saffiedine has a clear advantage given his Karate background and power. Larson has explosive power early but he’s not going to win a 15-minute stand up battle. Saffiedine might be able to avoid the submissions of Larson on the ground but he’s going to have a tough time submitting him from his back and he’ll likely get controlled for most of the fight.
This is a tough fight to call. Larson has the wrestling and top game to grind out Saffiedine but Saffiedine has shown good takedown defense and is the better fighter on the feet. I’m leaning towards Saffiedine because I think his takedown defense is good enough to keep things standing and on the feet he should be able to pick apart and possibly finish Larson.
Prediction: Tarec Saffiedine via TKO in Round 3
While the card lacks star power and it might not be worth your hard earned $30, it could still be an exciting event. The match ups are interesting and the fighters are hungry. If you were one of the 50 people who ordered either event headlined by Tim Sylvia this year, do yourself a favor and order this event. I promise it will be better than either Sylvia headlined event.