Shark Fights 17: "Horwich vs. Rosholt 2" is all set for tonight (July 15, 2011) at the Dr Pepper Arena in Crisco, Texas. The promotion has an action packed, five-fight main card booked for the free cable extravaganza which begins on HDNet at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The main card is headlined by enigmatic MMA journeyman and UFC veteran Matt Horwich in a rematch against former UFC prospect and three time national champion wrestler Jake Rosholt. Rosholt is out to prove that the first loss to Horwich was simply a fluke.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez's co-main event fight was in limbo while the promotion sorted out some serious drama. They instead gave him a gimme fight against Doug Williams, who has a 5-12 career record.
Also on the card is former MFC light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton who's looking to get back on track against tough Swedish prospect Ilir Latifi.
Check out our full main card preview of Shark Fights 17 after the jump.
185 lbs.: Matt Horwich (26-18) vs. Jake Rosholt (11-3)
Matt Horwich is one of the most unique and interesting men on the planet. His head is full of all sorts of crazy ideas and he's not afraid to talk about them. That doesn't make him a tremendous fighter though. He's scrappy and hard to finish but his best asset is his gas tank. That's how he was able to finish Rosholt the first time and that's how he pulled out a submission victory over former UFC middleweight title contender Thales Leites earlier last year.
Needless to say, if the same Jake Rosholt shows up that brutalized John Ott at Titan FC 18, then Matt Horwich is in for a world of pain. Rosholt looked strong for all three rounds, despite having fought just six days prior. He's in tremendous shape, has improved in all facets of the game, especially his striking and ground and pound and he'll have a very good chance of avenging his lone loss since being cut by the UFC in late 2009.
Prediction: Jake Rosholt via decision
205 lbs.: Emanuel Newton (14-6) vs. Ilir Latifi (4-1) 1 No Contest
Emanuel Newton is a veteran of the sport and former champion of the MFC. He's coming off one of the biggest wins of his career, a rear naked choke victory over UFC veteran Rodney Wallace in his last fight. He looked very sharp in that fight. Latifi is a K-1 veteran but his MMA experience is still lacking. Wallace's experience should be the difference here as he'll likely be a little too savvy on the ground or in the clinch for Latifi.
Prediction: Emanuel Newton via TKO
135 lbs.: Douglas Frey (9-6) vs. Erik Perez (7-5)
Douglas Frey is no stranger to Shark Fights. In fact, this will be his seventh fight with the promotion where he currently holds a record of 5-1. Frey has been down on his luck lately, losing his last two fights but he's hoping a return to his home state of Texas will do him good. He'll have his hands full with Perez, who's coming off two straight victories and he's scored a finish in all seven of his career victories. Expect him to overwhelm the fading Frey.
Prediction: Erik Perez via submission
230 lbs.: Ricco Rodriguez (46-11) vs. Doug Williams (5-12)
This is some embarrassing matchmaking to say the least. This fight looks like a blowout on paper and it will likely be an even bigger blowout in the cage. Make no bones about it, Ricco Rodriguez is expected to win and win in highlight-reel fashion tonight. Williams was supposed to be a sacrificial lam to Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Daniel Almeida and now he's expected to receive a beatdown of epic proportions against the former UFC heavyweight champion.
This one is going to get ugly
Prediction: Ricco Rodriguez via submission
Remember, MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of Shark Fights: "Horwich vs. Rosholt 2" beginning with the main card telecast at 10:00 p.m. ET.