Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Posts

By Derek Callahan via TFN.com



Nov. 3, 2007

Sears Centre

Chicago, Ill.


Although reminiscent of the Pride Fighting Championships Grand Prixs, the tournament the International Fight League will offer at 7 PM CT tonight at the Sears Centre in Chicago is a different type of animal. For one, parts of it will be broadcast on free television (MyNetworkTV will air one hour of the event, beginning at 9 PM ET). That alone is a sign of how the sport’s popularity has spiked since 2000, when PRIDE staged its original tournament.


The question regarding talent remains hot when comparing current events to those of the past, but the IFL seems to have put together a show that can hold its own with most any other event. The league’s athletes have grown with the fledgling company and many are now primed to achieve individual glory inside the IFL’s team-based concept.


The Grand Prix will be anchored by a strong lightweight group. All four 155-pounders on the card appear strong, but the division will be headlined by the brewing rivalry between Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski, two Polish-born fighters who know each other well.






Chris Horodecki (10-0, 6-0 IFL) vs. Bart Palaszewski (28-9, 8-2 IFL)


It seems like ages ago, but it was only last February that Horodecki took a close split decision from Palaszewski in Houston, Texas. A rematch seemed inevitable. Though young, the 20-year-old Horodecki is gaining experience as he faces tougher opposition. Still, Horodecki has not faced many fighters of Palaszewski’s caliber. If the first fight between the two was a test to see if Horodecki belonged in such company, this one will help determine whether or not he can stay there.


Prediction: Horodecki by Decision



Wagnney Fabiano (7-1, 3-0 IFL) vs. John Gunderson (15-4, 2-1 IFL)


Fabiano has been around the block during his brief ring career. A loss to current WEC featherweight championship contender Jeff Curran notwithstanding, Fabiano has strung together three straight wins. Most recently, he submitted Renzo Gracie protégé Erik Owings in under a minute. Gunderson, meanwhile, has become known for his toughness. A split decision loss to Palaszewski in April was followed by a submission victory over Gabriel Casillas two months later. His track record, which includes 10 wins by submission, says he will provide a good test for Fabiano. If the Brazilian cannot sink in a submission early, he could be in danger.


Prediction: Fabiano by Submission






Jay Hieron (12-4, 4-2 IFL) vs. Donnie Liles (8-3, 1-1 IFL)


In the welterweight class, Hieron has appears to have a clear path forward. Hieron dispatched Liles within three minutes when they fought last March. Since then, Liles has beaten Rodrigo Ruas, who has posted a 3-5-1 record in nine fights. If Hieron has his faculties in order, he should move on to the finals in December.


Prediction: Hieron by Submission



Delson Heleno (12-3, 5-2 IFL) vs. Gideon Ray (14-6-1, 1-1 IFL)


Heleno has already beaten Ray once, as he secured a second-round submission against the UFC veteran in June. Heleno’s ground skills are well documented – half of his 12 career wins have come by submission. When he isn’t able to coax the tap, Heleno can be counted on to ride out a decision. Unless Ray has made drastic improvement, this bout could provide more of the same.


Prediction: Heleno by Decision






Benji Radach (16-3, 4-0 IFL) vs. Brent Beauparlant (6-4, 3-3 IFL)


Radach may be the comeback story of 2007, as he missed nearly three full years of action with various injuries. He re-emerged in February, as he stopped the well regarded Ryan McGivern with a second round TKO. Three more wins followed, and Radach was back in the mix.


There isn’t much in Beauparlant’s history to suggest he’s a shoe-in for any kind of walk in the park. He lost to Matt Horwich earlier in the year, but recovered and finds himself on a high after his recent win over Fabio Leopoldo. Beauparlant will enter the ring as the bigger athlete, but it’s evident that Radach’s experience has helped him get back in the limelight. It will help him stay there, too.


Prediction: Radach by TKO



Matt Horwich (19-9-1, 4-3 IFL) vs. Brian Foster (9-11, 3-2 IFL)


Foster’s win-loss record leaves a lot to be desired, but the opponents to which he has lost are almost all noteworthy foes – from Jerry Bohlander in 2000 to Radach last March. Unfortunately, the fighters he has beaten do not stack up to those to which he has lost. Horwich, a former light heavyweight, has brought down bigger fighters and dispatched some opponents who carried bigger names than his. Still, he has not yet taken the leap with a career-defining fight. Consider Foster another step in the right direction.


Prediction: Horwich by Decision






Vladimir Matyushenko (19-3, 4-0 IFL) vs. Alex Schoenauer (12-8, 4-4 IFL)


Schoenauer has a major obstacle in front of him. The last man to beat Matyushenko was former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski – more than four years ago. Before then, it was former UFC light heavyweight king Tito Ortiz in 2001. Simply put, the 36-year-old Belarusian does not lose to just anyone.


A product of season one of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Schoenauer last competed at the IFL Semi-finals in August, as he dropped a controversial split decision to Mike Ciesnolevicz. He has split his eight matches inside the IFL.


Prediction: Matyushenko by TKO






Bryan Vetell (3-2, 2-2 IFL) vs. Roy Nelson (9-2, 2-1 IFL)


Vetell, a Long Island native, will look to maintain the momentum he picked up with a convincing decision over a much-smaller Wayne Cole in August. In Nelson, he draws an opponent who surprised many in his competitive split decision loss to Ben Rothwell in April. Nelson, who rebounded from the defeat to Rothwell to score a unanimous decision over Shane Ott in June, has shown well-rounded skills during his brief MMA career. With Rothwell out of the picture because of contractual issues, Nelson appears to be in prime position to make a run at the heavyweight championship.


Prediction: Nelson by Decision



Antoine Jaoude (7-2, 3-0 IFL) vs. Shane Ott (3-1, 1-1)


Ott, a Pennsylvania native who found himself in the Grand Prix as a replacement, will take a significant step up in competition. His record includes stoppage victories over Kerry Schall and IFL veteran Chad Griggs. Jaoude, a world class wrestler who represented Brazil in the Olympics, may carry the most impressive resume of any of Ott’s opponents. Jaoude defeated UFC veteran Dan Christison by unanimous decision in May and has reeled off three consecutive wins since joining the IFL.


Prediction: Jaoude by Decision

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching a MFS hick lose is one of my favorite things to see.


Although, I agreed with the decision. Pretty clear to me when I was watching that Horodecki won 1 and 3.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Horodeckis combos are silly good, which makes up for his lack of powah.


WAGFABS with the victory leads to an all "Canadian" final, which should be a pretty decent affair.


The rest was blah. Lots of production errors, which was expected for their first live show. No one there to really get excited for beyond the lightweights.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this