This weekend could be considered the calm before the storm. Next weekend will be stacked with Strikeforce and the FCF women’s tournament. However, there are still some quality local cards and, of course, collegiate wrestling. Please support the future MMA champions by watching wrestling on the Big Ten Network. On Friday at 8:00 p.m. Indiana takes on Wisconsin and then on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Ohio State faces Penn State (all times eastern).
Shooto The Way of Shooto 1
Takeshi Inoue vs. Gerald Lovato
Earlier this week Takeshi Inoue came out in the media and asked for a fight with Hatsu Hioki. Instead he gets a non-title fight against Gerald Lovato. Inoue might not really be a top-ten fighter, but he is still light years ahead of Lovato. His only real chance to win is to come out looking for the big shot. Look for Inoue to capitalized on a gassed out Lovato late and secure a TKO stoppage.
Pick = Takeshi Inoue
Hideki Kadowaki vs. Taiki Tsuchiya
Nam Phan showed how fragile Hideki Kadowaki is one the feet. However, he is a very skilled positional grappler. He will eventually drag Taiki Tsuchiya to the ground. Kadowaki might not be able to latch on a submission, but he will dominate on the floor.
Pick = Hideki Kadowaki
Gideon Ray vs. Daniel Straus
For the longest time Gideon Ray was a respected journeyman in the mold of Jeremy Horn ad Travis Wiuff. Recently the wheels have come off for the veteran and he is losing bouts to lesser competition. Daniel Straus has a busy fighting schedule, but he is clearly on the way up while Ray is on the downside of his career.
Pick = Daniel Straus
Mark Miller vs. LeVon Maynard
Normally LeVon Maynard runs into problems in his fights, because he is too aggressive. Miller showed on TUF that he isn’t a top fighter, but he does have big power. Look for Maynard to come in quickly and get caught with heavy shots.
Pick = Mark Miller
Seichi Ikemoto vs. Yuya Shirai
Yuya Shirai actually had an impressive performance against Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis. While most people were getting kicked in the head Shirai pushed the eventual champion to the limit. However, in this fight he will have trouble with Seichi Ikemoto’s superior striking. Shirai will have trouble getting inside and lose the fight on the cards.
Pick = Seichi Ikemoto
Called Out MMA 2
Alberto Crane vs. Albert Rios
MMA has evolved over the years, but pure Brazilian jiu-jitsu guys can still pick up a win here and there. Alberto Crane will proved to be too much for Albert Rios in the grappling department.
Pick = Alberto Crane
Indiana (11-0) vs. Wisconsin (4-6) on Big Ten Network Friday 8:00 p.m. EST
The Badgers are clearly better than their record. Four of their six losses have come against teams that have been ranked in the top ten. With being said Indiana has been on a roll in duals meets. They have put up 30 or more points eight times. The Hoosiers also finished sixth at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Pick = Indiana
Penn State (8-3-1) vs. Ohio State (11-1) on Big Ten Network Sunday 10:00 p.m. EST
The impact of Penn State’s new coach, Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson, has been noticeable, but they are in for a loss here. Led by No. 3 Reece Humphrey (20-2) Ohio State has put together an impressive season. Their lone loss came against No. 2 Iowa State.
Pick = Ohio State
Iowa (14-0) vs. Michigan (4-7)
Iowa will continue to steam roll their opposition. No. 1 Brent Metcalf (20-0) and No. 4 Matt McDonough (20-0) have both been dominant. The Hawkeyes have remained undefeated despite suffering critical injuries to regular contributors. The Wolverines on the other hand are in the midst of a rebuilding year.
Pick = Iowa
Iowa State (7-2) vs. Oklahoma (12-1-1)
This will be a tough one for the second ranked team in the country. Oklahoma has shown they can hang by tying Oklahoma State in this year’s bedlam match. Iowa State has shown they have the depth to deal with their injury woes. No. 1 Jake Varner (19-0) has been untouchable this season after wrestling in the World Championships this past summer.
Pick = Iowa State
Iowa State (7-2) vs. Oklahoma State (8-1-1)
The top teams in the Big 12, which has only five teams for wrestling, face off this weekend. They are ranked second and third in the nation, and there is a bit of an upset brewing. Oklahoma State will be able to win the close matches and pull out the victory. Look for Varner vs. Alan Gelogaev (21-1) to be the match of the weekend.
Pick = Oklahoma State
Richard Anderson Mann is an MMA journalist who makes his home in Chicago. He is a member of the Journalism Master’s degree program at Roosevelt University. Currently, he is a columnist for PROMMA.info and a news writer for adcombat.com. Richard can be reached by email at RichardAndersonMann@gmail.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/RichardAndersonMann.