Ryan Schultz: Have We Heard "The Lion's" Last Roar?

Kevin CurranSenior Analyst ISeptember 28, 2008

Poor Ryan Schultz. What a promising career he may have had, but it seems to me that his confidence has been shot as he has lost twicw in a row to relatively unknown fighters in new upstart MMA program Sengoku. The question remains, can he come back from this?

Ryan Schultz finished his career in the IFL with a bang, holding stunning victories over fellow standouts John Gunderson, Savant Young, and most importantly, Chris Horodecki. He was one of the more highly touted fighters to come from the organization and was chased about by countless promoters including the fat paycheck of Donald Trump's Affliction, which has a knack for signing IFL stars. Instead he traveled to the land of the rising sun.

As he entered the lightweight grand prix he was maybe the most highly hyped fighter in the mix. As a Team Quest product, everyone knew he had all of the training to be successful and as one of the best fighters from the now deceased IFL, he would be a great measuring stick as to the worth of all the other fighters. He was a horrible disappointment as he was knocked out in the first round of the tournament by unknown shooto fighter Mizuto Hirota.

Then, as Schultz tried to regain confidence he went against a more talented fighter than before in Jorge Masdival. Masdival was no pushover as he held victories over Joe Lauzon and Yves Edwards, both big time UFC guys. Schultz was shockingly  dropped just before two minutes in the second round. This left the Japanese crowd unsure of Schultz, and left them believing the Hirota was no fluke.

For a man who trains with Lindland and Hendo in Temecula with Team Quest, and has an impeccable wrestling background, his skills haven't been on display at all lately. His weaknesses seem to be taking precedent over his strengths. His striking was effective in the IFL, but in a pond as large as Sengoku is for talent right now, play to your strengths, don't try to get by on what worked in the creek known as the IFL.

Realizing now that the IFL's talent pool wasn't what everyone had predisposed, the question isn't know only on Schultz, it's on everyone that came out of that organization. The future doesn't look bright.

With losses from Young and Rothwell at Affliction everything begins to look more and more bleek. Rory Markham maybe, Only time will tell..