Upstart mixed martial arts promotion Shine Fights is all set to host the third event of its young history this weekend. "Worlds Collide" will air live on pay-per-view from the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina, this Saturday night (May 15) beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Featured in the main event will be a highly anticipated battle between boxer and mixed martial artist as 36-year-old former professional boxing champion Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga steps into the MMA cage for the first time opposite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Din "Dinyero" Thomas.
Several other highly respected fighters will be in action on the card as well, including Murilo "Ninja" Rua, Nick "The Goat" Thompson, Eduardo Pamplona, David Heath and others. Fan favorite Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett is also scheduled to compete on the seven-fight PPV broadcast.
To help get you better prepared for the festivities, I've given some quick analysis and predictions for the three most anticipated fights on the card. Check it out below.
Din "Dinyero" Thomas vs. Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga
Whoever it was from the Mayorga camp that thought taking this fight was a good idea should be fired immediately. I'm actually sort of surprised this is even being allowed to take place.
On one side, there's a 36 year old retired boxer making his MMA debut, who has been knocked out in three of his last five boxing matches and hasn't competed since 2008.
On the other, there's a 33 fight mixed martial arts veteran with a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, who is riding a hot streak of three straight wins and has experience against guys like BJ Penn, Matt Serra, Jens Pulver, Kenny Florian, Clay Guida, Caol Uno and several others.
Doesn't really seem like a fair fight.
Mayorga should have taken a page out of Herschel Walker's book and fought a fellow newcomer his first time out. Instead he opts to debut against a 33 fight MMA veteran with a black belt in jiu jitsu and 14 career submission wins?
Come on, man.
A high level mixed martial artist like Din Thomas isn't going to allow an over the hill boxer like Ricardo Mayorga to come over and make his sport look bad. Mayorga is going to be made an example of on Saturday night, and James Toney won't be too far behind him.
This one's going to get ugly, which is why I can't wait to see it.
Final Prediction: Din Thomas via submission.
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. David Heath
I liked "Ninja's" chances against Galbraith, and I like them even more now against Heath.
Heath has decent power, but Rua is easily the better overall striker. Like his brother, he can end fights with his hands, his feet and his knees. He brings a versatile Muay Thai attack and he has nine career wins by (T)KO to his credit. If Heath elects to stand with "Ninja," I don't think he'll last past the first two rounds, unless he takes an extremely conservative approach.
On the other hand, if he takes Rua down, he probably won't last too long there either. "Ninja" is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu with seven career wins by submission. And it's worth noting that three of Heath's career losses were tap outs.
Heath is sort of going to have to pick his poison in this fight, which is never a good thing. Like I said, though, it shouldn't matter all that much. As long as "Ninja" comes in focused on Saturday night, he should be able to pull off the win.
I do think that Heath will try to keep the fight standing, which will ultimately lead to one of two outcomes: Either he'll get dropped with strikes and finished off with some type of choke, or he'll get dropped with strikes and finished off with more strikes.
Either way, "Ninja" for the win.
Final Prediction: Murilo "Ninja" Rua via submission
Nick "The Goat" Thompson vs. Eduardo Pamplona
This is easily the most difficult fight of the three to predict. Both guys are very underrated mixed martial artists and each has his own style.
"The Goat" went twelve consecutive fights without a loss between June of 2006 and June of 2008. Since then, however, he's dropped three of five, including being stopped from strikes in both of his two most recent outings. His most recent win was a unanimous decision over feared British striker Paul Daley, which is impressive, but there's still no denying that he's in a big slump right now.
Pamplona, on the other hand, has been filling up the win column. The Brazilian has won seven straight fights since losing by technical knockout in the third round to Robbie Lawler back in early 2007 at an IFL event. He's a bit of a grinder. Most of his fights end up going to the scorecards, but he has a good motor and a solid all-around game, so he wins most of the decisions.
I think "The Goat" is better technically as both a striker and grappler, though, and he's certainly got more of a killer instinct. I think this is his fight to win, as long as he fights at his best, which has been a concern with him lately. But with a potential third straight loss staring him in the face, I'm confident we'll see the best possible Nick Thompson on Saturday night.
Pamplona should have a slight strength advantage on fight night, but that might lure him into a false sense of security in thinking that he'll be able to grind out a decision on top of Thompson. That's unlikely, though. In over fifty fights, Thompson has never lost a fight on the cards.
I like "The Goat's" length on his feet and I like his finishing ability in all areas. He'll get taken to the ground at some point in this fight, and I expect him to work his way into a submission of some sort from there.
Final Prediction: Nick "The Goat" Thompson via submission
That's all from us. Here's a look at the full lineup for the pay-per-view telecast for Saturday night:
160 lbs.: Ricardo Mayorga vs. Din Thomas
Main card (Televised):
190 lbs.: David Heath vs. Murilo Rua
155 lbs.: Luiz Azeredo vs. Charles Bennet
170 lbs.: Eduardo Pamplona vs. Nick Thompson
175 lbs.: Braulio Estima vs. Rick Hawn
205 lbs.: Alexandre Ferreira vs. Jamal Patterson
185 lbs.: Roger Carroll vs. Paulo Souza
Under card (May not be broadcast):
150 lbs.: Mario Stapel vs. Zac George
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the main card action on fight night (Saturday, May 15), which is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on pay-per-view from North Carolina.
Check in early and often -- it should be an exciting night of fights! In the meantime, feel free to share your Shine Fights-related thoughts and predictions in the comments section below.