Shark Fights 17: "Horwich vs. Rosholt 2" took place last night (July 15, 2011) from the Dr Pepper Arena in Crisco, Texas.
The five fight card featured a rematch with quite a lot on the line for at least one of the participants as Jake Rosholt looked to avenge his lone loss since his UFC release against MMA journeyman Matt Horwich as he worked to gain another shot in the promotion.
He did his job in getting the victory, but it wasn't nearly as pretty or impressive as he was hoping for. Rosholt kept Horwich at bay in the stand-up with a crisp jab and occasional lunging knees and kicks but his biggest weapon was his takedowns.
Rosholt took Horwich down repeatedly, but refused to actually go to the ground with him, instead, choosing to loom over him and throw punches from the stand-up position into his body until the ref broke them up. His strategy ended up paying off with a unanimous decision victory but it's highly unlikely this performance was enough to earn him a UFC invite.
The rest of the card was much more entertaining.Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez made headlines when he threatened to back away from his co-main event when it was revealed he'd cut weight for nothing to make an imaginary 230 pound catchweight.
Instead, Shark Fights gift wrapped him a fight against a completely outmatched Doug Williams who was not only 5-12 as a fighter, but had already lost to Rodriguez in a minute just two years earlier.
This time, Williams managed to survive a whole extra minute, but it wasn't pretty. He was taken down and mounted with easy and Rodriguez was simply patient while looking for a finish, eventually securing a rear naked choke. This fight shouldn't have even been made.
One of the most intriguing bouts of the evening was a light heavyweight tilt between former MFC 205 pound champion Emanuel Newton and rising Swedish prospect Ilir Latifi. Latifi fought a very frustrating match, backing up for two straight rounds and refusing to engage while Newton took full advantage.
Latifi finally exploded with aggression in the third, but it was too little, too late and he ended up losing a unanimous decision, although they mistakenly announced him as the winner at first.
Also on the main card, featherweights Douglas Frey and Erik Perez put on a show for the fans, trading submission attempts, heavy strikes and some entertaining grappling transitions in a while three rounds. Frey got the better of the stand-up but his repeated guillotine choke attempts consistently put him in bad positions on the ground and that was the deciding factor in Perez's unanimous decision victory.
Lastly, in the opening bout of the evening, welterweight Alan Jouban put on an absolute clinic against Andrew Goldthwaite en route to a beautiful knockout victory in the third round. Jouban dominated Goldthwaite in the first round with top control, in the second round with leg kicks and in the third round with a nasty combination of punches that ended Goldthwaite's night. It was probably the most impressive performance of the main card and set a high standard for the remainder of the night's fights.
Did anyone stand out to you tonight, Maniacs?
For complete Shark Fights 17: "Horwich vs. Rosholt 2" results and play-by-play coverage of the televised main card click here.