Why Ryan Ford will win
If intimidation factor was a judges’ category, Ford would be undefeated. Fighting in the WSOF 14 main card & from The Tristar gym, this fighter had a rough past and served time in prison before committing to MMA. He’s 22-4 overall with notable wins over UFC veterans Karo Parisyan and Pete Spratt. Ford has immense striking power and has finished seven of his last ten opponents by T/KO. On top of that, Ford has hometown advantage and will be firing on all cylinders come fight time.
Why Jake Shields will win
Shields is a top 10 welterweight fighter and one of the best Brazilian Jiu-jitsu artists the sport has seen. His aggressive grappling-heavy technique however has earned him the ire of many fans and his eventual termination from the UFC after a loss to Hector Lombard. Shields is a tough customer having survived some of the sport’s heaviest hitters including the aforementioned Lombard, Robbie Lawler and Dan Henderson. Ford has also shown a vulnerability to getting submitted and should Shields weather Ford’s early attacks and get him to the ground, he’s calling the shots.
Expect Ryan Ford to pressure Shields on the stand-up and maybe go for the knockout punch early on. Should Shields survive, he could grapple and grind Ford into exhaustion until the later rounds where Shields could eventually finish him or take it to the judges for a somewhat non-eventful fight that is token to him.
Jake Shields def. Ryan Ford via Unanimous Decision
Derrick Mehmen (-170) vs Smealinho Rama (+140)
Heavyweight Championship (265 lbs)
Why Smealinho Rama will win
Rama has proven an able finisher having 4 wins by T/KO and 3 by submissions accounting for only one of his fights making the distance. He was finished by current UFC heavyweight Anthony Hamilton although a head kick from a heavyweight is sure to put anyone out. At only 22, Rama still has a lot of upside and youth on his side.
Why Derrick Mehmen will win
You can’t teach size and Derrick Mehmen has a lot of it. The American Top Team product is listed at 6’4” weighing in at 245 lbs. Mehmen also has a lot of power with 11 of his 18 wins coming via T/KO the most notable one over Rolles Gracie. Mehmen’s main advantage may be his longer reach (78” vs Rama’s 74”) and his experience.
This is a toss-up like most heavyweight fights. In reality, experience and youth may cancel each other out or may be irrelevant. It’s which fighter can land the deadlier blow earlier. Hard to picture this fight going the distance unless both men stay tentative and conservative throughout but I will go with Mehmen landing the finishing blow before Rama to win the inaugural strap
Derrick Mehmen def. Smealinho Rama via KO (Rd 1) to become the WSOF Heavyweight Champion
Chris Horodecki (-300) vs Luis Huete (+235)
Featherweight (145 lbs)
Why Luis Huete will win
As a complete and totally unknown underdog, the Alberta-native Luis Huete may have that as his biggest advantage. A quick look through his records shows his four finishes by rear-naked choke suggesting he may be the talented grappler. His last win also came via a one-punch KO showing he has some oomph in his striking game as well.
Why Chris Horodecki will win
Huete has a sick rear-naked choke it seems but Horodecki has only been submitted once in his 26-fight career and that was by UFC title threat, Donald Cerrone way back in his WEC days. Horodecki is only 27 but has a wealth of fighting experience and his wrestling tutelage under Team Tompkins should carry him through barring any foolish mistakes.
Horodecki has found himself in a few wars and although only 27, he may actually be older. He’s something of a grizzled vet with a lot of fight left and Huete may be playing the ambitious underdog here. In what could be a grappling affair, the edge goes to the more experienced fighter as far as being the first to capitalize on a mistake.
Chris Horodecki def. Luis Huete via submission (Rd 2)
Jared Hamman (-180) vs Luke Harris (+145)
Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)
Why Luke Harris will win
Luke Harris’s wins have all come via submission (10 of 10) so it’s a no-brainer how he’ll prefer this fight to end up. The Albertan has a limited but serviceable striking game should the fight stay standing and although he’s taken a year off of fighting, so has Hamman. Hometown advantage could also be the deciding x-factor for Harris.
Why Jared Hamman will win
Hamman is a UFC veteran with a notable TKO win over current middleweight contender, C.B. Dollaway. Hamman is quite the opposite to Harris as he’s won most his fights by T/KO (10 of 13). Although he exited the octagon on a three-fight losing streak, Hamman is back to his natural weight class and should be itching to get back to winning.
In a classic striker vs grappler affair, it’s generally a toss-up to see which fighter can impose their gameplan more quickly and efficiently. Hamman has the experience and level of competition advantage but Luke Harris has the hometown advantage. Hamman will try to keep the fight standing but Harris may just get it to the mat where he’ll find Hamman’s limbs or neck.