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Taking a bite out of Shark Fights 13

Read ahead as Five Ounces of Pain‘s Jeremy Lambert dissects the main card action from this past weekend’s Shark Fights 13 event, providing commentary on both the show’s in-ring offerings as well as the results’ effect on the evening’s participants…

Shark Fights did a lot of things right for their first PPV attempt. They put together a decent card, hired all the right people production wise, and did the best they could in raising awareness. Unfortunately the fighters failed to deliver most of the night but in the end I consider this even a success for the promotion. Of course the highlight of the night was Don Frye and Bas Rutten on commentary, which is enough to get me to order every single Shark Fights PPV for here on out as long as they remain in the booth.

Tarec Saffiedine defeated Brock Larson by Unanimous Decision (30-27 across)

The night kicked off with Tarec Saffiedine turning in an impressive performance after veteran Brock Larson. Saffiedine controlled things on the feet and landed some good clean punches on Larson, who looked very afraid to engage with the superior striker. Larson was able to get in deep a couple of times with single leg attempts but Saffiedine fought them off every time and was never once on his back in this fight. Due to Larson’s unwillingness to engage on the feet, the fight was rather uneventful for the most part but Saffiedine did what he needed to do, didn’t fight stupid, and won a very convincing decision.

Tarec Saddiedine is for real, folks. Anyone who dominates Brock Larson the way he did deserves plenty of respect. He stuffed every takedown, ended up on top a couple of times, and controlled the fight on the ground and on the feet. I’d like to see him against a top notch wrestler to see just how good his takedown defense is but as of right now he’s a tough match-up for any future opponent. Back to the drawing board for Larson. Maybe he was sick, as Don Frye alluded to, for this fight but if not he really looked lethargic and mentally out of it.

Paul Daley defeated Jorge Masvidal by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 29-28)

If Paul Daley is trying to fight his way back to the UFC with good performances, he may want to cut this one from his audition tape. He won the fight but not without a little controversy and Masvidal completely giving away the fight in the third round. The first round saw Daley control things on the feet, land some good punches, fend off a couple of takedowns, and win the round based on effectiveness on the feet. The second round was a different story as Masvidal got takedowns at will, proving that Daley’s takedown defense truly is terrible. While he didn’t do much with the takedowns, he still controlled things on the ground and limited Daley standing. Then we had the controversial third round. Masvidal got an early takedown, was once again controlling things, and Daley baited the ref into standing them up by making “he’s not doing anything” faces. After that questionable stand up, Masvidal seemed afraid to try another takedown, which allowed Daley to control things standing. To his credit, Daley did fight off a weak takedown attempt, end up on top, and threw Masvidal down at the end of the round to secure things in his favor but Masvidal seemed mentally defeated after the early stand up. Daley ended up winning the decision, which I thought was the right call (although how anyone gave him the second round is beyond me), but he failed to impress.

Daley hasn’t changed one bit. He missed weight yet again in this fight and in his post-fight promo he buried the fans for booing. He failed to dominate a natural Lightweight and showed that his takedown defense really is as bad as people say it is. He won simply because he was the bigger star and he baited the ref into a bad stand up. Even though it’s a win on his record, anyone who saw the fight will consider this a loss for him given his performance against competition.

Danillo Villefort defeated Joey Villasenor by Unanimous Decision (30-27 across)

Danillo Villefort made the best of his short notice situation by dominating tough veteran Joey Villasenor. Villefort was not only able to get takedowns almost at will and control things on the ground but he was also able to get the better of Villasenor standing. For 15 minutes Villasenor had no answer for the takedown attempts and ground control, which led to a frustrating decision loss. It wasn’t the most exciting fight ever but one man did what he needed to do in order to pick up the victory. Villefort tried to finish a couple of times with submissions but Villasenor has proven to have stout submission defense.

Much credit to Villefort for not only taking this fight on short notice but coming in well-prepared and with an excellent gameplan. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a top fighter but he’s still young and he has plenty of time to grow and improve. I don’t know what has happened to Joey Villasenor. He’s not only failing to stop the takedowns of mediocre wrestlers but he’s losing the stand up as well despite having a big advantage in the boxing department. Maybe he’s just a career gatekeeper.

Houston Alexander defeated Sokoudjou by TKO (Punches) at 1:31 in Round Two

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Sokoudjou came out strong in the first round, nearly finished the fight, gassed out, wilted under the pressure in the second round, and lost. That story is getting more repetitive than a mole being in CTU. He rocked his opponent early with a left hook, looked like he knocked him unconscious a couple of times, but in the end failed to put Alexander away. Sokoudjou’s real downfall was when he decided to go for a takedown late in round one despite dominating Alexander on the feet. That takedown allowed Alexander to recover and even sweep Sokoudjou to end up on top as the round ended. The second round was all Alexander as he came out, landed a big uppercut, forced his opponent to retreat, and hit him about 500 times on the ground before the ref, who obviously lost a lot of money betting on Sokoudjou during his UFC run, finally stopped it.

It was nice to see Houston Alexander pick up a victory but at the same time it was a little sad. If he had just done this against Kimbo Slice, he’d be making a lot more money than he is right now. Credit him for surviving that first round though and eventually coming back. He’s still a mid-level fighter but on most nights he’ll turn in an exciting fight. Sokoudjou just needs to find an organization where every fight is one-five minute round. Then he’d be undefeated.

Trevor Prangley defeated Keith Jardine by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Trevor Prangley said his strategy was to win the first two rounds and hope for the best in the third. Well give him credit for follow his gameplan perfectly. Keith Jardine was turning in his typical performance of dancing around awkwardly, throwing goofy combinations, and scoring with kicks. He even threw in some new wrinkles, almost catching Prangley in an armbar after being put on his back. And of course no Jardine performance is complete without him getting rocked a few times. Those few times would be his downfall in the first two rounds as Prangley was able to win both rounds. The third round was more of the same until Jardine turned it on late, stole the round, but couldn’t steal the fight.

Considering he’s a natural middleweight, Prangley looked solid in this fight. Jardine has proven to be a difficult fighter to figure out unless you catch him with a clean punch that turns his lights out and Prangley wasn’t able to do that. Prangley did what he needed to do though and was able to bounce back after a demoralizing loss to Tim Kennedy. How can you not feel bad for Keith Jardine? He’s beaten former UFC champions, he’s fought all the top Light Heavyweights, and he’s lost five straight. He always seems to be on the wrong side of a spirited decision, which helps gain fans but doesn’t increase your paycheck.

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