Thomas vs Mayorga: One Of Many Great Matches at Shine's Worlds Collide

Todd JacksonSenior Analyst IMay 13, 2010

Shine Fights is proud to present their third event for fight fans across the globe Saturday night.  Live on Pay Per View "Worlds Collide" is an explosive event with the promise to capture not only the MMA world but the Sweet Science as well. 


The main event is no secret, and has garnered a lot of attention leading up to the May 15 event.  But that main event is one of a long list of stellar match ups with some of the best mixed martial artists in the world.  They may not be household MMA names, but their resumes speak for themselves.


These are just a few of the match ups in store for the fans that will tune in this weekend.


Just one week after his brother Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's decimation of Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida to become the UFC LHW champion, Murilo "Ninja" Rua will look to showcase his own skills.


The Brazilian ( 18-10-1 ), a Pride veteran and former Elite XC MW champ, will be making his Shine Fights debut. 


Standing across the cage from him will be the equally seasoned Canadian Travis Galbraith (17-7). Travis has been all over the sport from Pride, King of The Cage, to Elite XC.  He is a seven-time KOTC champ. 


Rua was originally slated to face Niko Vitale, but injuries forced Vitale to withdraw.  Rua shared his thoughts on the transition.


"I was looking forward to fighting Niko Vitale, and have been training since New Year’s Eve to fight him. It was sad that he got injured, but that's how life goes. As a fighter you have to be prepared to overcome those things and step up to the challenges," said "Ninja." 

In closing, Rua said, "I'm very happy to be fighting Travis. I think he is an experienced, well-rounded fighter who will look at this fight as a great opportunity, and will do his best to turn this fight into a war."


This should make for a great fight between two hardened and battle tested MMA veterans.


Another fight that really jumps off the page will be taking place between two elite world class grapplers from two different worlds.


The world renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Braulio Estima (0-0) will be making his MMA debut against the highly decorated former Olympic Judo player Rick Hawn (6-0).


To the pure fans, it wont get much better than this one.  Even though it will be Estima's first time in the cage as a pro, make no mistake he is as real as it gets.


His list of BJJ credentials is nothing short of astonishing.  He will look to impose his game against Hawn who has a bit of head start in the MMA race.


Estima will have his hands full with the already proven Hawn but at the same time, both men have a great deal of respect for one another.


Estima said, “I've seen a couple of fights and he's a tough kid. He's very strong, very explosive. I'm not expecting an easy fight at all. He's a top Judo player in the world."


Already predicting a technical match, Estima said, "Whoever makes fewer mistakes will win. He already has experience in MMA, 6-0. He has a pretty good advantage in the cage, but I'm going to try work myself in a situation where this won't affect me.”


Hawn also shared his thoughts on the BJJ ace and the threats he brings into MMA with him. 


“I'm looking forward to the fight with Estima. Even though he is new to MMA, he has extensive ground skills that will require me to elevate my game. I am more than ready for the challenge."


Hawn discussed his angle.  "It's not much of a surprise that I want to keep the fight standing with him if possible. This is MMA though, and anything can happen. Either way, I'm going to be well prepared and take advantage of my experience and strengths.”


Shine Fights match maker Ron Foster is very proud of this matchup. "Braulio and Rick bring ground credentials to the cage that few can match. I expect this to be an amazing fight, and I think it’s going to surprise many fight fans,” stated Foster. “Estima has been working diligently on his striking, and Hawn TKO’d four of his six opponents."


In another match that could be an explosive battle is one that Ron Foster describes as a potential for fight of the night.


The principals in this match are Jamal "The Suit" Patterson (5-2) and MMA's best kept secret Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira (18-6).


Patterson is a dedicated fighter as indicated by his comments about his motivation to fight.


“I’m motivated for any fighter I face, no matter who it is.” Patterson said. “If you have to get motivation from other areas, you’re in trouble. You have to enjoy fighting and winning.”


Patterson recognizes what he is up against with "Cacareco" but carries a wealth of confidence. 


Patterson said, “He’s a very good fighter, submission guy, tough guy, lots of experience. But I think he’s going to give me some opportunities to end the fight. I think I’m a little more well-rounded, and I think my chance will come.”


The man he expects to leave openings is a man Lyoto Machida declined to fight as recent as last year.  "Cacareco" is the real deal and very experienced.


Ferreira is on a string of seven straight submission wins lasting less than nine minutes total.  Those are just recent facts though, he has seasoned well over 12 years honing his craft in this sport.


Even though he is a submission specialist, he wants fight fans to know he has other tools in his bag.  He is looking to showcase his stand up and prove he is exciting on the ground and on the feet.


Ron Foster raves about this matchup.  “Cacareco has a chip on his shoulder because of the Machida thing, and he feels like this will be his coming out party in the U.S. "


He went on to say, "Patterson is a legitimate Renzo Gracie black belt and will be a tough match up for anybody. I made this fight because of my selfish desire to see this incredible fight between two elite ground wizards.”


Fight fans have to appreciate not only Foster's ability to bring great fighters together but his passion for the fight.  His love of the game makes him that much better as a match maker.


Finally, unless you've been hiding under a rock, you have to know that the grand daddy of all Shine match ups is on tap to close out this show. 


The very title of this show is indicative of what the main event brings to the table.  MMA veteran Din Thomas will welcome former boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga as he transitions to MMA.


With not one ounce of love lost between these two talented fighters, this fight has been building pressure for quite some time.  While it isn't a UFC or Strikeforce branded event, this has "Superfight" written all over it.


We are talking about finally, after all the years of back and forth, all the hype, all the trash talk between sports, fight fans finally get to see what an accomplished boxer can do in a cage with an accomplished mixed martial artist.


We get to find out if, in this case, a boxers hands and experience in the sweet science are enough to carry him in a fight that involves much more than just trading blows.  We also get to see if a MMA practitioner can withstand the devastating striking of a world class boxer. 


The people at Shine are not pushing this as a boxing vs MMA match, though.  What they want is to bring fans from both sides in to enjoy a great match up between two highly talented principles.  They want MMA fans to develop a respect for what Mayorga brings to the table, and they want boxing fans to come to see Mayorga compete and hopefully leave as fans of MMA.


They understand, as we all should, that boxing and MMA are apples and oranges.  They both grow on a tree, they both taste good, but they are worlds apart in their make-up.  Surely we can learn to appreciate both for their unique flavors.


Din Thomas vs Ricardo Mayorga is a mixing of two brands of fight that is sure to be explosive.  Both fighters are top shelf warriors, both are very proud, very determined individuals. 


Their confidence in themselves will drive them to meet in the cage and look to tear each other down to prove themselves to each other and the world.  That is a recipe for a war. 


The UFC will be showing recycled fights this weekend, and Strikeforce is bringing Alistair Overeem back to defend a title he hasn't defended in three years.  His opponent Brett Rogers is a guy who lost his last fight to Fedor Emelianenko, which some how earned him a title shot.  It must be the new math. 

Not the most compelling list of alternatives, regardless.

If you want to watch a truly cutting edge, pure MMA event, leave the big boys to the band wagon MMA fans.  Give Shine Fights a chance.  Their first two events were stellar and this one looks to steal the show Saturday night.  If their reputation and previous events are any indication of what is in store, Worlds Collide will truly Shine.