Super Fight League 2: Info and Predictions for Fights with Recognizable Names
Super Fight League made a huge splash in March when they held their inaugural fight card in Mumbai. In the main event Bob Sapp faced James Thompson in a Super Fight which ended with Sapp tapping to a takedown. Initially believe to be a knee injury, it turned out that "the Beast" tapped to a leg cramp. Brutal stuff!
On Saturday, Super Fight League returns for their second show and the level of talent is exponentially greater the second time around. Featuring recognizable names such as Minowaman and Todd Duffee, the second outing will surely be better for the new promotion.
Super Fight League is the first fight promotion in India and hopes to eventually create and cultivate a fan base from the country's one billion person population.
Paul Kelly V Ryan Healy (LW)
Chaitanya Gavali V Pierre Daguzan (FW)
Bharat Kandare V Soro Ismael (FW)
Alexander Schlemenko V Ikuhisa Minowa (Minowaman) (MW)
Anup Kumar V Dilanga Rathnaweera (Catchweight 132lb)
Ricky Singh V Shalika Senanayake (LW)
Colleen Schneider V Cherie Buck (Catchweight 130lb)
Todd Duffee V Neil Grove (HW)
Paul Kelly vs Ryan Healy
The night is scheduled to open up with a lightweight match up between two young veterans of the sport. In a classic match between the UK and United States, the American wrestler Ryan Healy faces British kickboxer Paul "Tellys" Kelly.
This in an interesting fight because of the involvement of Ryan Healy to be quite honest. The brother of Strikeforce lightweight contender, Ryan has much of the same skills as his older brother. Like his brother, he is a tough-as-nails wrestler who wins fights by outworking and outpacing his opponents. He also has experience against fighters at the top of the sport and has a solid chin which allows him to work through adversity to get the fight to the mat.
Most MMA fans are familiar with Paul Kelly because of his UFC run. A fighter out of the Wolfslair Academy, he's the former teammate of UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping. Kelly is extremely well-rounded and has won fights by both knockout and submission making him a tough matchup for most fighters. He also has a solid chin and can trade in the pocket to land a fight ending strike.
Ryan Healy should win this fight. While Paul Kelly has had more big fight experience and is decently well rounded, a glaring hole remains in his game. Like many of his fellow countrymen, his wrestling is terrible. There is a very good chance he ends up on his back at various points in the fight and on one of those occasions Ryan Healy will finish the fight by submission or TKO. I expect the end to come midway through the third by TKO.
Alexander Shlemenko vs Ikuhisa Minowa
The fight between Ikuhisa Minowa and Alexander Shlemenko is actually an interesting one. Ikuhisa Minowa, better known as Minowaman, has become a fan favorite among the hardcores in both Japan and North America. Shlemenko is possibly the best middleweight in Bellator not named Hector Lombard. In fact, the reason why Shlemenko was able to get this fight is because of contract negotiations between Bellator and Lombard.
The two fighters possess very different skill sets which makes this a captivating fight. Shlemenko has the clear advantage if the fight can remain standing as he has phenomenal striking. Able to land punches, kicks, and knees with power, the longer the fight stays standing, the worse the night will get for Minowaman.
On the other side of the coin, Minowa has the clear advantage on the ground. As a Japanese professional wrestler, Ikuhisa has learned to be proficient at leg locks and various ways to drag the fight to the ground. That isn't to say that Shlemenko is a slouch as a grappler, he just isn't as creative in his ground offense as he is with his striking offense.
As far as charisma is concerned, the advantage goes to Minowa. While most fans recognize him for winning the Super Hulk (HLUK if you're a Japanese child) tournament, he is actually better known as the current Tiger Mask, one of the most favorite wrestlers in Japan. Shlemenko's charisma comes from being "Terminator-like" in his approach to fighting. Very analytical and very clean with his strikes.
Unless Minowaman gets an early takedown and sinks in a leg lock he'll likely end up on the losing side of this fight. Expect Shlemenko to utilize his kickboxing to batter Minowa to a second round TKO victory.
Todd Duffee vs Neil Grove
The main event of the night pitting a UFC washout against a Bellator washout. Actually Neil Grove washed out of the UFC as well so I guess this is a main event of UFC washouts with a bit of Bellator sprinkled in for flavor.
Todd Duffee had two milestones in his short UFC career. The first was his incredibly fast knockout victory over Tim Hague in his UFC debut. The second was his incredibly hilarious knockout loss to Mike Russow in his second fight with the organization. He was released from the organization and has only taken one fight since then, a losing effort against Alistair Overeem at Dynamite!! 2010.
Neil Grove only had one fight in the UFC. He lost to Michael Ciesnolevicz by heel hook in the first round. Since that defeat he's been a mainstay in the Bellator heavyweight tournaments. He found some minor success in the inaugural tournament by making it to the finals only to lose to Cole Konrad.
This is an interesting fight between a boxer and a brawler. Duffee definitely possesses knockout power in his hands but only if he's able to establish his boxing and sit on his punches. He also has functional wrestling and could make quick work of Grove if he gets the fight tot he ground. Grove's advantages are his chin which allows him to brawl and not be as technical with his striking and his submission grappling, which is surprisingly good for a man of his size.
I'd expect this to be a win for Duffee. While Grove is definitely a tough opponent with the ability to land a hard shot and end Todd's night, in a sport with athletes, I'm gonna always pick the more athletic fighter. Todd Duffee by TKO in the first.