One of the best regional promotions in the world, Tachi Palace Fights, is back with “The Contenders.” In the main event, Ian McCall will try to continue his flyweight run against Dustin Ortiz. The card also features UFC veterans Efrain Escudero, Fabricio Camoes and Gerald Harris.
Ian McCall vs. Dustin Ortiz
First, let me say that this is a great flyweight fight. McCall is riding high after defeated Jussier da Silva, and Ortiz comes in with an undefeated record. In the fight, I think McCall will have the advantage due to his size and reach. He proved difficult to takedown against “Formiga,” but that would appear to be Ortiz’s best route to a finish. However, even with a reach disadvantage on the feet, Ortiz will still stand and trade, which will make for an exciting fight.
Pick = Ian McCall
Film Study: Dustin Ortiz vs. Forrest Beard
Efrain Escudero vs. Fabricio Camoes
In this fight, the first non-comeback TUF champion to receive the boot from the UFC takes on a guy who almost certainly got a raw deal in the promotion. Escudero has shown that he susceptible to submissions, but he should have little trouble keeping this fight on the feet. He is a better wrestler than Camoes, but in the past Escudero has given opponents a chance by putting the fight in their wheelhouse. If the fight stays on the feet, “Hecho en Mexico” should be able to control the pace and score en route to a decision victory.
Pick = Efrain Escudero
Film Study: Efrain Escudero vs. Phillipe Nover
Anthony Ruiz vs. Gerald Harris
Harris “King of Bum Fighting” persona really took a hit in his last fight when he dropped a decision to James Head. To make matters worse, Head received a call from the UFC thanks to the victory. Harris is a big favorite in this fight. Ruiz makes his money by getting takedowns and holding opponents down. Harris is the better wrestler and certainly the better striker. Harris deserves to get back in the UFC, and a loss here would really make the path longer.
Pick = Gerald Harris
Film Study: Gerald Harris vs. Fabio Leopoldo
Kevin Dunsmoor vs. Mamoru Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi is the clear favorite here, but this is by no means an insurmountable task for Dunsmoor. The former two-division Shooto world champion is extremely dynamic and effective on the feet. However, he has never really faced a strong wrestler or work from his back for an extended period of time. I expected Yamaguchi to get the better of the striking and take the fight, but Dunsmoor is a live dog.
Pick = Mamoru Yamaguchi
Film Study: Mamoru Yamaguchi vs. Jesse Taitano
Jorge Lopez vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf
This will be another fan friendly striking match. Both fighters like to stand in the cage and trade. The technical edge goes to Lopez who trains with former Pride FC champion Wanderlei Silva. He will also have the advantage if the fight goes to the floor.t On the other hand, Spiritwolf certainly has the experience after surviving several wars. His battle against Jaime Jara Bellator 35 was epic. I expect to Lopez to control the distance and take a decision victory. However, if Spiritwolf can take him into the deep water, he might be able to pull off the upset.
Pick = Jorge Lopez
Film Study: Waachiim Spiritwolf vs. Brett Cooper
Farkhad Sharipov vs. Tommy Vargas
Vargas is mostly a wrestler who likes to get takedowns and work from the top. The problem in this fight is that Sharipov is an extremely strong wrestler in his own right. On top of that, he has also picked up the defensive submission game extremely quickly. Sharipov is a serious prospect who might end up in the UFC in the near future. This is the type of fight that makes TPF one of the best regional promotions.
Pick = Farkhad Sharipov
Film Study: Farkhad Sharipov vs. Reynaldo Duarte