- FIGHT-BY-FIGHT: IFL CHAMPIONSHIP BOUTS

February 29, 2008
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by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com







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IFL
LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP:

RYAN
SCHULTZ VS. JOHN GUNDERSON

 

IFL
lightweight champion Ryan Schultz defends his title against Xtreme Couture
lightweight John Gunderson. Schultz has an 18-9-1 record and trains out of Team
Quest with Ian Loveland. Gunderson has a 15-5 record and trains out of Xtreme
Couture with Gray Maynard.

 

Schultz
comes off a stoppage victory over Chris Horodecki at the IFL Grand Prix Finals,
while Gunderson comes off a submission loss to Wagnney Fabiano at the IFL Grand
Prix Semifinals.

 

Schultz was
a huge underdog against Horodecki and wasn’t expected to win after being TKO’d in
their first fight, but he took advantage of an opening and finished off the previously
undefeated fighter. Gunderson has had mixed results in the IFL, but one of the
fights was a close decision loss to Bart Palaszewski in a fight that could of
gone either way.

 

Both
fighters are fairly even, but an edge has to go to Gunderson in submissions. That
being said, this should be a close and exciting fight with both fighters giving
it their all. Gunderson seems to be a better overall fighter and he should be
able to become the new champion by stopping Schultz, who is inconsistent with his
strikes, midway through the fight.

 

Prediction:
John Gunderson by TKO in the third round.

 

 

IFL
MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP:

MATT
HORWICH VS. RYAN MCGIVERN

 

IFL middleweight
champion Matt Horwich defends his title against Midwest wrestler Ryan McGivern.
Horwich has a 21-9-1 record and trains out of Team Quest with Matt Lindland. McGivern
has an 11-5 record and trains out of Miletich Fighting Systems with Pat
Miletich.

 

Horwich
comes off a surprising knockout victory over Benji Radach at the IFL Grand Prix
Finals, while McGivern comes off a knockout over Fabio Leopoldo at the IFL 2007
Team Championship Finals.

 

These two
fighters met a little over a year ago. McGivern used his wrestling to
neutralize the submission savvy Horwich, winning a decision over the eccentric
fighter. Horwich now looks to avenge that loss and successfully defend his
title.

 

Horwich
seems to have vastly improved his striking, something that has held him back
for the majority of his fighting career, and as always, he will have an
advantage when it comes to submissions. McGivern will look to use the same
strategy as the first time they met to become the new champion.

 

Horwich
will use his newly improved striking to dictate the pace of the fight and open
a submission on the ground en route to avenging the loss to McGivern.

 

Prediction:
Matt Horwich by submission in the first round.

 

 

IFL
HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP:

ROY
NELSON VS. FABIANO SCHERNER

 

IFL heavyweight
champion Roy Nelson defends his title against UFC veteran Fabiano Scherner. Nelson
has an 11-2 record and trains out of Las Vegas. Scherner has a 7-5 record and
trains out of Team Quest with Aaron Stark.

 

Nelson
comes off a knockout over Antoine Jaoude at the IFL Grand Prix Finals, while
Scherner stopped Dierley Buga with strikes at Sul Fighting Championships 3.

 

Plain and
simple, the heavyweight division in the IFL is by far their weakest division
and it really shows with this fight. Nelson is clearly the best heavyweight in
the IFL and it’s going to be a long time before he loses the title.

 

Nelson is
the better fighter on the feet. While both guys are well versed on the ground, Nelson
is the better wrestler. Scherner needs to get this on the ground and quick if
he wants any chance to win the fight.

 

Nelson
should easily be able to shrug Scherner’s takedown attempts and punish him with
strikes until he finally turns out the lights.

 

Prediction:
Roy Nelson by KO in the first round.