(7 March 18 - Hard Knocks, Los Angeles)
Fight 1 - Lightweight Division
(3-3, 155 lbs) Jon George VS (1-1, 135 lbs) Christopher “Acid” Allan
George is fresh out of the UVC organization and will be making his IFC debut in this fight. Although his record seems poor this is only, because he was at the top of the rankings and 2 of his 3 losses were to the same opponent who was the champion in the UVC. He hopes a good showing in this one could lead to him trying to get a strong position in a new organization.
Allan had an abysmal showing in his IFC debut getting knocked out in 39 seconds against Nate Diaz. Considering the only opponent he has defeated was Ryan Gosling (who was singing to Emma Stone at the time) he has a lot to prove in this one if he wants to climb in the rankings.
This is kind of a classic match up between a wrestler and a boxer and as always it will come down to whether the wrestler can take the boxer down.
Winner: Christopher “Acid” Allan
George’s takedown defense doesn’t look up to the task of stopping Allan so I expect Allan to be able to take the victory in this one.
Fight 2 - Middleweight Division
(3-6, 185 lbs) Lord “God of Destruction” Beerus VS (1-1, 177 lbs) Uoi “Raging Bull” Ishida
Beerus has looked less like a God of destruction and more like a mortal of loss as of late. 5 straight losses is not something any fighter can afford to have happen if they expect to be anywhere in the considerations for the power rankings. He has had serious concerns about his chin as he seems to be getting knocked out a majority of the time with only his last opponent being unable to finish him.
Ishida is making his triumphant return to the mma world having not fought in an mma fight since May of 2017. His record seems ok, but if you add in his KT fights he hosts an abysmal 2-6 record. Just like his opponent he appears to suffer from an inability to take a punch.
Predicting this fight is not predicting who will win, but who will lose, because neither one of these fighters has shown much other than the ability to be knocked out. If Beerus can get this fight to the ground he has a very large advantage, but his opponent similarly has a large advantage standing.
Loser: Lord “God of Destruction” Beerus
Beerus’ takedown ability is just too poor to support his jiu jitsu and I expect him to be knocked out before he can get this fight to the ground.
Fight 3 - New Blood Division
(0-2, 145 lbs) “The Dangerous” Beast Incarnate VS (2-1, 150 lbs) Ronaldo Mateo Suarez
Incarnate has looked very poor in both of his showings and another loss her would be demoralizing for him, especially if its another 5 second knockout. However, he has shown nothing as of yet that would give anyone confidence in him being able to beat anyone.
Suarez left RISE with a 2-0 record and two knockouts to his name. This is a perfect opponent for him to continue the knockout streak against and a loss here would just go to show that he might not be ready for the IFC at this point in time.
Suarez has yet to face a decent jiu jitsu artist and this whole in his game does leave an opening if this fight goes to the ground.
Winner: Ronaldo Mateo Suarez
Its hard to picture Suarez losing this one, but if he chooses to take his opponent down there is a chance of him being submitted. While he is a strong wrestler it is unnecessary for him to take the risk of taking a jiu jitsu artist to the ground and I expect him to just keep it standing.
Fight 4 - New Blood Division
(1-1, 258 lbs) Carver Frost VS (5-2, 280 lbs) Jason “Arm Bar” Card
Frost looked amazing in his first fight knocking Incarnate out in 5 seconds, but his second fight he ran into a good jiu jitsu wrestler and was submitted right before the match went to the judge’s scorecards. Against this opponent we will find out how he fares against a Muay Thai fighter.
Card although young already has fought 7 times with a good record to show for it. Since joining the IFC he is 2-0 and has won both of these fights with his knees. However, both of these fights were against people who also wanted to fight from the clinch.
Frost has the advantage from a distance, but if Card can bring it in close he should have a rather large advantage.
Winner: Jason “Arm Bar” Card
I expect Card to bring this fight into the clinch where he can control with his superior strength and a combination of elbows and knees, ultimately ending in a TKO.
Fight 5 - Lightweight Division
(6-9, 140 lbs) Gin Kobra VS (3-1, 155 lbs) Uesugi “Samurai iii” Kenshin
In his last fight Kobra managed to win a fight against a very closely matched opponent and will look to continue with another win making him 2-0 since the IFC was split into different weight classes.
Kenshin is only participating in his second fight since joining the IFC and so far he is 1-0. You have to take this win with a grain of salt, because he defeated Davis who is on a major slump and has not won in quite some time.
This fight it is hard to say where it will take place at. Honestly this fight largely depends on Kenshin, because he has the ability to fight standing or on the ground and which he decides will have a large impact on the fight.
Winner: Uesugi “Samurai iii” Kenshin
Despite being slightly inferior standing I give Kenshin the edge, because he has the wrestling to bring it to the ground if the boxing goes poorly for him giving him more options in the fight.
Fight 6 - Heavyweight Division
(6-9, 238 lbs) En “Metal Priest” Esch VS (3-1, 255 lbs) Vinnie Sixx
Esch finally halted his 4 loss streak with a victory over Krieg via TKO in the 2nd round. It was a very one sided fight that participated solely in the clinch which is the strong point of Esch’s game. If he can fight from the clinch again he could get another win in this one.
Sixx is a very accomplished boxer with decent skills in wrestling and jiu jitsu as well. He has only fought once in the IFC, but in that one fight he managed to win knockout of the night with an impressive win over Wood using a superman punch 23 seconds into the fight.
In a fight where we have a muay thai fighter against a man who has a tendency to cut things look grim for the easily cut man. However, in this case that man is Sixx whose boxing skills make closing a very difficult process.
Winner: Vinnie Sixx
Esch has proven too prone to being knocked out for me to give him the nod despite Sixx having the weakness to cuts. I doubt Esch will be able to last long enough to pull Sixx into the clinch making Sixx the clear favorite.
Fight 7 - Middleweight Division
(9-3, 217 lbs) #12 MW Damien “Avalon D” OQuinn VS (9-6-1, 185 lbs) Boss Yonic
OQuinn is finally making his IFC debut as he takes on Yonic in this one. He has had a successful career in the KFC and the SFC amassing a record of 9-3 through his tenure in these orgs. Now we get to see how he stacks up against the Fighters in the IFC as he takes on a fighter on the cusp of the rankings.
Yonic had his chance to burst onto the scene in his last fight where he headlined against Brawler. However, Brawler cut the dream short as he knocked Yonic out in the middle of the second round. Yonic will look to recover against the IFC newcomer OQuinn and prove that getting a chance to headline an event was no fluke.
This is a difficult fight to predict, because both fighters are impressive in their own rights. Standing OQuinn has a large advantage while on the ground Yonic has a small one. However, OQuinn is almost as good as Yonic at wrestling so its hard to say whether Yonic can take OQuinn down with any reliability.
Winner: Boss Yonic
OQuinn’s victories came against opponents that were not very impressive so I feel that his record is less impressive than it appears. Yonic on the other hand has been tested against tough opponents and I’ll give him a slight edge in this one, but OQuinn would go far in proving himself with a victory here.
Fight 8 - Middleweight Division
(8-3, 205 lbs) #4 MW Luca Brasi lii VS (6-0, 215 lbs) #5 MW Big Murha
Brasi was a champion who defended his belt two times in the SFC and after losing it decided to move on. Since joining the IFC he is 1-0 and is currently slated to be the 4th ranked fighter in the middleweight division. He didn’t look particularly impressive in his first fight and will have to show he belongs this high in the rankings through a victory in this one.
Murha unlike Brasi has been in the IFC through 5 of his 6 career fights and has clawed his way up to his present day ranking. Some say that his ranking at 5th is almost an insult to a fighter as impressive as Murha and beating the upstart Brasi would go far in showing that he is a serious contender in the middleweight division.
Murha has some serious power at his dispense and will try and keep this fight standing while Brasi has the ability to mix up his style between standing, clinch, and ground. Brasi would have to be very brave to keep this one standing so I expect him to try and bring this to the ground.
Winner: Big Murha
Brasi may have the advantage on the ground, but I find it extremely unlikely for him to get the fight there against a superior wrestler. On the other hand Murha is vastly superior standing and should be able to pound Brasi into oblivion.
Co Main Event - Lightweight Division
(20-5, 158 lbs) #4 LW Uri “The Bender” Gellar VS (11-5, 163 lbs) #6 LW Mike “The Hammer” Van Rijn
Gellar is a former island fighter who has no signed on with the IFC and he is here to show what the island runner up can do on the mainland. He was put into the #4 spot in the lightweight division and gets the chance to prove he belongs there with this fight.
Van Rijn was also an island fighter, but he made a much poorer showing of himself on the island. He is 2-1 in the KFC organization since leaving the island and now looks to bring his skills over to the IFC. This fight gives him a good opportunity to show that his showing on the island was not indicative of the amount of skill he has.
The runner up versus a guy who got knocked out in the second round seems like a pretty simple one to predict, but you never know what will happen until the fight is over. Both fighters prefer to keep it standing so we should get to see an exciting back and forth where each fighter trades blows.
Winner: Uri “The Bender” Gellar
Gellar is superior in every part of his game and its hard to see Van Rijn having any chance at winning this fight.
Main Event - Middleweight Division
(21-3, 220 lbs) #3 MW Light “Son Of” Heavyweight VS (9-8, 178 lbs) #10 MW Steven “The Steamroller” Kennedy
Heavyweight proved himself to be the best fighter in the middleweight division at IFC MW13, but then summarily lost his title to Divac two weeks later in a very tough decision loss. He will be trying to recover from the demoralizing loss in this fight against a good fighter in Kennedy.
Kennedy has been floating around the top 10 rankings throughout his career, but just can’t seem to ever climb passed the bottom of the rankings. He recently lost to the upstart Brasi and a victory here would go far in validating him as a fighter showing that he belongs within the top 10 not right at the cusp.
Kennedy likes to fight on the ground while his opponent has won only by TKO and these two contrasting styles will make for an interesting fight where you have no idea what will happen.
Winner: Light “Son Of” Heavyweight
Heavyweight has fought better wrestlers and won. Its hard to vote against a fighter with as storied a career as Heavyweight and I expect yet another TKO victory from the impressive fighter.