The World Series of Fighting gets back to action with their first ever bout to determine the organization's heavyweight champion. The card also features the WSOF debut of former Strikeforce and UFC standout Jake Shields as well as a few other notable names from The Ultimate Fighter, the WEC and IFL and more.
Will Shields do enough to get back on the winning track in the WSOF or is Ryan Ford ready to upset Shields' plans?
What: WSOF 14: Ford vs. Shields
Where: Edmonton Expo Centre at Northlands, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
When: Saturday, the five-fight preliminary card streams live on MMA Fighting at 6 p.m. ET and the four-fight main card goes live on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.
Shields might be on the decline, but he's ostensibly still in another league over Ford. The Canadian is capable of explosive strikes and huge bridges to escape bad positions, so Shields will have to be ready for a non-compliant opposition. It's one thing to out grapple someone who wants to compete with you on those terms. It's quite another when they refuse to engage in that department. That leads me to believe this bout could go a few rounds. Ford is capable of busting up quite a few welterweights, but Shields actually has a respectable chin and has fought much tougher. He'll come out on top, literally and figuratively.
Smealinho Rama vs. Derek Mehmen
I'm inclined to pick Mehmen strictly on the grounds he made Rolles Gracie do the DJ Unq 'Walk It Out' dance in one of the most delightfully bizarre knockouts in MMA history. Favorable sentiment aside, the difference here will be wrestling. Mehmen actually has some real ability in that department and against recent UFC signee, Rama somewhat struggled against his smothering top pressure. Truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if this one was a matter of striking, but even then, Rama over extends himself all the time. If Mehmen can avoid the big shot, he should have more than enough tools to win the contest.
Against anyone of legitimate world-class ability, it appears Horodecki is no longer capable of getting the job done. Against regional-level fighters, however, it's a bit of a different story. Horodecki has a major advantage in terms of experience, both against quality opposition and length of contests. Huete has never even seen the third round of a contest, win or lose. Unless the train is truly off the tracks, Horodecki should have enough left to earn a decision win.
This is a moderately interesting contest. Harris hasn't fought at all in 2014 or regularly over the last few years. He's also 37. Hamman is a on a major losing streak and was bounced from the UFC. This is his attempt to right the ship at the regional level. Hamman's one of those lanky MMA fighters who actually has a fair amount of talent if he can keep opponents on the defensive, but is otherwise ultra hittable and constantly in a position where he's trying to recover out of bad positions or near finishes. Harris has a black belt in both judo and BJJ, so you'd think he's a threat there, but his run on TUF: Nations showed him to be very flat-footed and slow when standing. Hamman's not without issues, but if he can be proactive on offense from the opening bell, this is his fight to lose.