by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
KEVIN “KIMBO SLICE” FERGUSON VS. KEN SHAMROCK
Internet street fighting sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson faces off with mixed martial arts legend Ken Shamrock. Kimbo comes off a gritty stoppage victory over Pride veteran James Thompson at Elite XC: Primetime, while Shamrock was stopped by Robert Berry at Cage Rage 25.
ProElite continues to slowly build up the inexperienced Kimbo with a steady stream of known fighters that are at the tail end of their careers. Shamrock has nothing to lose in this fight and its sure to draw tons of viewers with the name recognition that both fighters posses.
Kimbo has the huge advantage on the feet with his brutal power shots and strength, which will help him shrug off takedowns from Shamrock. Plain and simple, Shamrock’s only chance at winning the fight will be to take the fight to the ground and possibly get a hold of one Kimbo’s legs for a submission.
Once again, Kimbo is being given a safe opponent to demolish on national television in order to garnish huge ratings for the struggling EliteXC. Look for Kimbo to avoid going to the ground and stop Shamrock with strikes fairly early in the opening round.
ELITEXC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT:
JAKE SHIELDS VS. PAUL DALEY
EliteXC welterweight champion Jakes Shields defends his title against former Cage Rage welterweight champion Paul Daley. Shields comes off a fairly quick submission victory over Nick Thompson at EliteXC: Saturday Night Fights, while Daley knocked out Bojan Kosednar at Cage Warriors: Enter the Rough House 7.
Both fighters have fairly distinct styles and will be looking to finish the fight in different areas. Shields has finally become a champion in a major organization after many delays prevented him from getting a chance to do so. Daley came out of a short retirement to get a chance to fight in the national scene.
Shields has the fairly big advantage on the ground, both in wrestling and submissions, although his striking is slowly improving. Daley will want to keep the fight on the feet, where he is strongest with his boxing technique and knockout power.
This is a different type of challenge for Shields, as he hasn’t ever faced someone as dangerous as Daley is on the feet. If Daley can prevent from being taken to the ground then he’ll eventually outstrike Shields and end the fight. Expect Shields to go straight for a takedown, surprising Daley, and then finish him late in the opening round with a submission.
ANDREI ARLOVSKI VS. ROY NELSON
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski faces off with IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson. Arlovski comes off a slow destruction of Ben Rothwell at Affliction: Banned, while Nelson hasn’t fought since the last IFL show, finishing Brad Imes with strikes.
This will be the first time that former champions from the UFC and IFL will meet, so we’ll finally in some way get to see how they match-up against each other. These two like to throw down on the feet so expect them to get into a slugfest.
Arlovski has the edge on the feet, simply because he has the better technique and because of that his strikes have more power behind them. He also uses good footwork and head movement, which usually confuses his opponent. Nelson has a size advantage and should be the better fighter on the ground, although Arlovski is quite accomplished in Russian Sambo.
Expect this fight to very much look like Arlovski’s fight with Rothwell, as he will pepper Nelson with big shots that he’ll absorb, but eventually the accumulated damage with get to Nelson who will go down late in the fight.
MURILO “NINJA” RUA VS. BENJI RADACH
Former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua takes on IFL middleweight standout Benji Radach. Rua comes off a fairly easy stoppage victory over Tony Bonello at EliteXC: Return of the King, while Radach comes off a knockout loss to Matt Horwich at the IFL Grand Prix Finals.
Both of these fighters like to fight at a frantic pace, so expect an exciting fight. Rua is a fan favorite but needs to build a solid streak of wins to get back into the title picture. Radach will look to rebound off his first loss in years.
Rua should have the advantage on the feet with his background in Muay Thai, but Radach has shown that he can throw down as well. On the ground, it should be a fairly equal fight as both fighters are well versed in submissions, but a slight edge goes to Radach because he’s a better wrestler.
These two are going to trade shots on the feet, but the one thing that could hinder Rua is his lack of chin and Radach has enough power to turn his lights out. They’ll trade shots on the feet and Radach will catch him first, finishing him off with strikes.
WOMEN’S 140-POUND BOUT:
GINA CARANO VS. KELLY KOBOLD
In a women’s bout, fan favorite Gina Carano takes on Bodog Fight veteran Kelly Kobold. Carano returns to the cage after having defeated Kaitlin Young by TKO stoppage at EliteXC’s first CBS venture. Kobold enters this fight having lost to Julie Kedzie more than a year ago at Bodog Fight: Vancouver.
Undefeated at 6-0, Carano has become the face of women’s MMA. With that has come a lot of pressure for her to deliverer on her potential.
Kobold though maintains a wealthier resume of experience than her more famous counterpart, amassing a 16-2-1 professional record. Unfortunately for her, those two losses have been her two most recent, to Kedzie and the widely regarded top female fighter in the world Tara LaRosa.
Known for her strong striking background, particularly in Muay Thai, Carano will want to keep this fight on the feet and attempt to out strike Kobold, who is more known for her ground and pound and submissions, than for her stand up game. Training with strong wrestlers like Sean Sherk, Brock Lesnar, and Nick Thompson, Kobold will definitely try to take Carano out of her comfort zone.
She will look to shock the world and get the fight to the ground, exposing what is Carano’s weakness at the moment. However, expect Carano to find a way to keep the fight on the feet and out strike Kobold en route to a comfortable decision victory.