Top Storylines from Shark Fights 14
Shark Fights to attack in California, possibly Houston, Albuquerque
Ever since their breakout event, Shark Fights 13 (which earned USCombatSports.com Fight Card of the Year honors), the Amarillo-based promotion has been on a roll. Their campaign continues with a scheduled event in California next month, as announced at the show on Friday night.
Shark Fights president Brent Medley has confirmed that the promotion is planning to come to Houston in the summer and that there will be a "surprising" lightweight match up for the California show that will be announced this week. It is rumored that Shark Fights will hold an event in Albuquerque, but Medley did not comment.
A trip outside of its homebase, where Shark Fights has been the premier league for years, will truly confirm if the promotion is capable of launching into the fierce national playing field.
Lubbock is no Vegas, and the dilapidated condition of the area surrounding the venue was a bit jarring, but Shark Fights and HDNet created an experience that transcended small-town Texas without losing the fun and intimacy of a local show.
Strikeforce had always been known for co-promoting and sharing fighters with Dream and talked about joint efforts with Bellator. The UFC's recent purchase of Strikeforce might close that door.
Bellator looking to "make a home" for 125-pound women
Tara LaRosa impressed with her submission win over Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Carina Damm on Friday night, and furthered the argument that she is number one in her division. Medley believes that there are female fighters out there who will step up from 115 lbs and drop down from 135, providing for a series of fights leading up to a championship bout in the summer.
Having an undisputed champ like LaRosa would not only help draw contenders but raise Shark Fights' stock. Also, a rubber match with Roxanne Modafferi would definitely be a treat for women's MMA fans.
"The Greek" leaves much to be desired
Despite a gutsy win over a highly-experienced foe, Mike Bronzoulis' hype train may have slowed a bit. The Legacy Fights welterweight champion clearly hoped to fulfill the prophecy that he would dispatch Lucas Lopes quite easily. "The Greek" furiously attacked Lopes right out of the opening bell. Lopes, a Vale Tudo fighter with almost twelve years of experience, was far too savvy, and far too tall.
Bronzoulis looked like he was trying to grab something out of reach as he struggled to get past Lopes' long limbs. As Bronzoulis faded, the 6'2" Brazilian surged forward, bloodying and comfortably outstriking the Houstonian. The momentum would swing back and forth, but ultimately, Bronzoulis' tremendous heart allowed him to inflict more damage and clinch the unanimous decision.
Certainly, it was the biggest win in Bronzoulis' career. He bested a larger and vastly more experienced foe. That said, Lopes took the fight on less than two weeks notice and technically outshined Bronzoulis. No one is questioning Bronzoulis' heart, and he remains the favorite as he bids for Antonio Flores' IXFA title. However, his stamina and technical skills will need improvement if he is to one day "destroy" George St. PIerre, as he's fond of predicting, let alone beat the extremely dangerous Brock Larson in showdown this summer.
Don't Mess with West Texas
Getting a "big head" sometimes means being prideful, and sometimes it just means having an oversized skull. In Eric "Bighead" Davila's case, it's both.·The combination proved disastrous for his Shark Fights 14 opponent, San Shou stylist Alex Cisne, of Houston. Early on, Cisne looked sharp, firing off his trademark spinning kicks, but his skills deteriorated with his stamina. In the second frame, Cisne fell into Davila's game, who had been perfectly patient the entire fight and happily absorbing blows with his stomach and skull. Cisne landed multiple punches to Davila's face, who fired back and connected with a single punch that rocked Cisne. By the end of the second frame, Cisne was bloodied and looking for a way out.
Davila's team and family comprised so much of the audience at the Fair Park Coliseum that an entire side of the arena was painted yellow with "Bighead MMA" t-shirts. The already raucous Lubbock crowd was amplified by his fanbase as Davila went for the kill in the third round, hurling well-placed power punches, the last of which dropped Cisne to his knees and clinching Fight and KO of the Night honors.
Immediately after Cisne collapsed, Davilla mimed with his hands the motion of a talking mouth toward Cisne and his corner. He later told USCombatSports.com that Cisne and his camp had predicted that Davila would not make weight and other disparaging remarks. "Talk is cheap," Davila said.
The same adage rang true last summer when Davila's teammate Joseph Sandoval dismantled Amarillo-native Douglas Frey, who had remarked that West Texas lacked quality fighters. Sandoval took the comments personally and brought a furious fight to their Steele Cage co-main event and scored a TKO that earned a nomination for USCombatSports.com Fight and KO of the Year.
Future opponents might want to consider keeping their mouths shut before challenging anyone from the proud "Bighead" clan, but for entertainment's sake, we hope they keep it up.
Danillo Villefort calls out Gerald Harris
Though he certainly had his hands full, Danillo Villefort stayed a step ahead of Matt Horwich for the majority of their fight and showed off his striking skills, bloodying Horwich with a slick reverse elbow in the third round.
Aftward, Villefort announced that he wanted to fight the current Shark Fights middleweight champ, former UFC-standout and knockout specialist Gerald Harris. When reminded that Harris recently lost, Villefort replied, "Oh, well forget him, then."
Harris actually has not fought for Shark Fights since 2009, but Brent Medley stated that he is interested in the match up. Harris was released from the UFC last November.