This Weekend in MMA (American Edition) 7/15-7/17
Here's a look at some of the more interesting MMA fights/cards going down this weekend in North America:
Shark Fights 17: Friday, July 15 - Live on HDNET
Jake Rosholt (11-3-0) vs Matt “Suave” Horwich (27-18-1)
Three-time NCAA National Champion Jake Rosholt will enter his sixth fight of 2011 against Matt “Suave” Horwich in the Main Event of Shark Fights 17. The fight is a rematch of a 190-pound catchweight match that ended in a 3rd round TKO victory for Horwich, a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu fighter.
Rosholt showcased his strengths in their first fight with early takedowns and dealt damage from top position. Horwich took over the fight after the first with a wide array of ground skills, including sweeps off of his back and submission attempts. Eventually, Horwich was able to take the back of a tired and beaten Rosholt and finished him with strikes from the back in the third.
Few athletes entered the sport of MMA with as much build-up as Rosholt. Coming out of Oklahoma State University, Rosholt joined Team Takedown, an MMA management company that pays high-level wrestlers to train MMA. Rosholt was put into the spotlight early with portions of his fourth pro fight and the training leading up to it airing on Versus as part of the TapouT show. His fifth fight was on the main card of WEC 36, and amid some talk about a TV clause in his contract Rosholt’s UFC debut at Fight Night 17 aired on SpikeTV.
Traveling a much different path through life, Horwich reached the UFC four months before Rosholt, but in his 36th fight. Both fighters, coincidentally, lost their debuts to Dan Miller. Horwich, also known as “The Fighting Hippy,” is the definition of a journeyman in both his life and career. A reformed addict and self-professed lover of God, The Bible and quantum physics, Horwich has fought in the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, IFL and over a dozen other MMA promotions.
Ricco Suave Rodriguez (46-11-0) vs. Karl Knothe (19-6-0)
Former UFC HW Champion Ricco Rodriguez will fulfill the Suave requirement for the co-Main Event as he takes on Karl Knothe at a 230-pound catchweight. Fighting off the radar, Rodriguez has put together an 11-fight win streak in less than 20 months by taking every fight offered to him. To make that point crystal clear, Ricco is already scheduled to face Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 48 in August.
Karl Knothe will enter the cage sporting a 12-fight win streak that has seen him finish each opponent in the first round. The Minnesota native and former St Cloud State University wrestler boasts a professional record of 19-6, but he told MNMMAnews.com that his true record is 59-6 with the long list of fights that went unreported. Knothe has a good mix of power in his hands and both the ability and willingness to fight on the ground.
He will need all of those tools to best Ricco Suave. Rodriguez won gold and silver medals at the 1998 ADCC submission fighting championship and took the UFC title from legend Randy Couture in 2002. Since then, Rodriguez has struggled to fit into a proper weight class and has battled both prescription and illicit drug use. He notably appeared on the first season of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. This will be Ricco’s third straight fight at a catchweight.
MASS – Inauguration 7/16
MASS Featherweight Championship
Jacob “The Hunter” Kirwan (8-2) vs. Jimy “The Kid” Hettes (6-0)
The first ever Martial Arts Super Sport main event will feature two promising American featherweights. Jacob “The Hunter” Kirwan won the Ring of Combat FW Title in February and he’ll have to go through undefeated prospect Jimy “The Kid” Hettes if he wants to add another title to his mantle.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva tapped Hettes as a late replacement for Leonard Garcia at The Ultimate Fighter 12 finale, but Hettes was already locked into a fight at Northeast MMA’s Cage Fight 6. A NEPA Gracie fighter, Hettes has submitted all six of his professional opponents and has spent some time training with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, NM.
If the fight hits the ground, fireworks are sure to follow. Kirwan is a BJJ brown belt under Luke Rinehart and has won five of his eight fights via submission. As a former Maryland high school wrestling champion, Kirwan has a strong grappling pedigree.
The card is being held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT and will also feature Ultimate Fighter veterans Kris “Savage” McCray and Joseph “Leonidas” Henle in separate fights.
Elite-1 MMA – Moncton 7/16
Elite-1 Light Heavyweight Championship
Jeremy “Gumby” Horn (87-21-5) vs Shawn Marchand (8-6)
With 113 fights under his belt, Jeremy Horn is one of the most prolific fighters in MMA history. “Gumby” fought an amazing 21 times in 1999 and has been in the cage with a who’s-who of fighters that include: Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Dan Severn, "Minotauro" Nogueira, Chael Sonnen, Ricardo Arona and Matt Lindland.
Horn will add another fight to his resume this weekend when he battles for the Elite-1 Light Heavyweight Championship against Canadian Shawn Marchand. Horn is a dangerous fighter with great submissions and plenty of experience. He is a UFC veteran and UFC LHW title challenger.
Marchand is a local fighter that has found a home in Elite-1. He also holds the promotion’s Middleweight Title, although he missed the 185 LB mark in his last fight outside Elite-1. In that fight, Marchand had a lot of trouble handling the stand-up of fellow Canadian Joe Doerksen and only lasted 43 seconds after eating several head kicks and right hands. With only one fight on his record that went the distance, you can expect this fight to end well before the final bell.