IXFA 7: Expert Predictions

You know the drill Houston, you’ve seen us do this a million times. OK, maybe not a million but thousands at least…kind of. ANYWAY, Our prognosticators are back and feeling pretty good about themselves. Back again are Justin Trapp (FighterPortraits.com), Eric Hostetter (TheCageDoor.net), Lance Edwards (TheCageDoor.net), Mike Calimbas (TXMMA.com) and Rich Burmaster (1560 AM’s “The Mount“). Added to the mix this week is Ragan McDaniel (B3 Sports) as well as our last Fan Picks winner Corrine!

Instead of keeping our experts record like we did last year, this year we’ll be keeping track of their point total.  For every correct pick they get +5, for every correct round picked they get +2 and for every method they pick right they get +3.  If they pick the correct award winner they get +5 for each. If this sound familiar it’s because we are using the same scoring system for our Fans Pick’em Contest.  You can play along and when the fights are over, we’ll compare your score to our experts!  Plus, if you score the highest, you get to be on our NEXT experts panel!

Do you agree with them or do you think they are crazy? Either way, let ’em know!  When you’re done reading all the pics, feel free to leave your comments below and let our experts and Houston know who you think is going to win and why.


Dale Mitchell vs Rakim Cleveland

Dale Mitchell Dale Mitchell Name Rakim Cleveland Rakim Cleveland
6’1″ / 264lbs Ht/Wt 6’3″ / 256lbs
#6 Rank #8
1-3-0 Record 0-1-0
Silverback Fight Club Gym 4oz Fight Club
Eric, Lance, Rich,


Picks Corrine, Justin, Ragan

Corrine: Now that Rakim is at 4 oz I know his cardio will be sustained much better this go round. This will be a quick one fo sho.

Prediction: Rakim Cleveland via TKO Rd 1

Eric: Two very big guys that are going to be throwing heavy hands from start to finish.

Prediction: Dale Mitchell via Decision

Justin: Tough fight to call but I think Rakim pulls it out.

Prediction: Rakim Cleveland via Decision

Lance: Mitchell is a tough guy. I really dont know much about Cleveland, so I have to be honest and make a guess on this one.

Prediction: Dale Mitchell via Decision

Mike: Rakim has a proven amateur record and has been preparing up at 4OZ Fight Club which is always a good thing. Meanwhile, Dale has been working on game over at Silverback and doing grappling tourneys while having trouble picking up fights. I’ve got no idea who wins this one to tell you the truth. With two big guys like this, it might come down to who’s got the better cardio.

Prediction: Dale Mitchell via TKO Rd 3

Ragan: Rakim is the biggest MMA fighter that I’ve seen, well at least in the top 3.  Rakim is fresh off his title victory in February and will be looking to continue to move forward.  This is another hard fight to break down because both guys are so damn strong and come from two of the best gyms in the state. I think that Rakim uses his experience (around 17-18 ammy fights) to his advantage and win in the 2nd.

Prediction: Rakim Cleveland via TKO Rd 2

Rich: Is the cage strong enough to hold these guys?

Prediction: Dale Mitchell via Decision

Cody Williams vs Gerzan Chaw

Cody Williams Cody Williams Name Gerzan Chaw Gerzan Chaw
Wolverine Nickname
5’6″ / 145lbs Ht/Wt 5’8″ / 135lbs
Not Ranked Rank #8
0-0-0 Record 1-1-0
No Gym on File Gym Bushi Ban – World Headquarters
Corrine Picks Eric, Justin, Lance,Mike, Ragan, Rich

Corrine: Couldn’t tell you just why! I got tha feelin’.

Prediction: Cody Williams via Split Decision

Eric: I like Gerzan’s talent standing and on the ground. I think we will see more of it displayed in this fight.

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via Submission Rd. 2

Justin: Both guys are tough but I see this a maturing Gerzan pulling this out.

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via Decision

Lance: I think Chaw will overwhelm williams with strikes, getting a TKO result.

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via TKO Rd. 2

Mike: Cody Williams has an impressive amateur record heading into this pro fight with Gerzan Chaw and will be the crowd favorite fighting so close to his hometown. On the other side, Gerzan is coming off a tough loss to Domingo Pilarte but performed well in that bout prior to getting caught. Despite having less bouts, I believe Chaw should take this one for the win.

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via Decision

Ragan: I must say that I don’t know a lot about Williams, but I do know Chaw and his fighting.  He is very heavy handed, throwing bombs, so when he connects it takes a lot out of his opponent.  I think that Chaw will use his size and strength to control the fight both standing and on the ground and win a close decision.

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via Decision

Rich: Gerzan Chaw will be the best 135lber in the state within 14 months

Prediction: Gerzan Chaw via Submission Rd. 2

Lane Yarbrough vs Rey Trujillo

Lane Yarbrough Lane Yarbrough Name Rey Trujillo Rey Trujillo
5’10″ / 155lbs Ht/Wt 5’9″ / 155lbs
Not Ranked Rank #9
10-8-0 Record 8-4-0
Death Row MMA Gym
Mike Picks Corrine, Eric, Justin

Lance, Ragan, Rich

Corrine: Ray’s coming off of two losses and with the amount of aggression he owns he will look to end this one in the first..

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via TKO Rd. 1

Eric: I see this as a back and forth scrap on the ground with Trujillo pulling out a submission win in the 3rd.

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via Submission Rd. 3

Justin: The first fight ended pretty quickly and thanks to Rey I was able to grab my favorite action from all the fights I have attended with a Ryu flying kick.  I think the second fight will last longer but I still think Rey edges again.

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via TKO Rd. 2

Lance: Lane’s a tough guy, I think his record doesnt represent him as well as his abilities, he tends to step in at short notice for big weight cuts. Trujillo hasnt been fighting as much lately but i realy think e my see rey back on form for a repeat of their last outing. I see this as a back and forth scrap on the ground with Trujillo pulling out a submission win in the 3rd.

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via TKO Rd. 1

Mike: Deja vu in this one? Trujillo’s lost three times since they last fought back in March of 2010 and needs this win to get back on track. Meanwhille, Yarbrough has been highly inactive minus a win against Josh Lee in December at IXFA. In order for him to win, he’s got to take this fight to deep waters. He’ll be wary of the rush after their first fight. If this one goes to the ground, it should be his.

Prediction: Lane Yarbrough via Submission Rd. 3

Ragan: Both fighters have stumbled with Trujillo losing 3 of his last 4 (including the last 2 in a row) and Yarbrough losing 4 of his last 6.  I think that a determined Trujillo gets back on track in this fight by using his superior strength to control Yarbrough throughout the fight.  When they met in ’09, Trujillo landed this crazy, movie flying kick at the start of the fight then finished Yarbrough quickly.  I think that Yarbrough will be better prepared for those things and will keep the fight close, but still lose a split decision.

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via Split Decision

Rich: Rey is ready to right the ship and get back on a win streak

Prediction: Rey Trujillo via Decision

Rashon Lewis vs Justin Murray

Rashon Lewis Rashon Lewis Name Justin Murray Justin Murray
5’11″ / 168lbs Ht/Wt 6’0″ / 170lbs
Not Ranked Rank Not Ranked
1-0-0 Record 2-1-0
Paradigm Training Center Gym Bushi Ban – World Headquarters
Corrine, Eric


Picks Justin, Mike,Ragan, Rich

Corrine: Fight of the night – Damn good match up.

Prediction: Rashon Lewis vis Split Decision

Eric: Rashon is a beast and will coming out firing hard and fast.

Prediction: Rashon Lewis via TKO Rd. 1

Justin: Justin Murray grinding it out

Prediction: Justin Murray via Decision

Lance: Both good fighters, I feel Murray will be the better technician but Lewis comes out so strong. If Murray can weather the storm and let Lewis gas himself he can take it I believe, but I’m sure Lewis will be coming out with better technique than we’ve seen from him previously. This for me, I feel is the fight on the night I’m looking forward to, to see where both these guys are now at, because mark my words, neither will be at the same level as last time they fought. I give Lewis the nod.

Prediction: Rashon Lewis via TKO Rd. 1

Mike: Rashon’s an explosive fighter but with under a year in the game, he’s going to need a lot more seasoning to get to the technical level that Justin Murray should possess over him in this bout. Look for Sho-Nuff to go after Murray aggressively. Also look for Justin to weather that storm, get the fight to the ground, and apply a fight-ending submission.

Prediction: Justin Murray via Submission Rd. 2

Ragan: Another exciting fight between two young studs. I’ve only seen Lewis fight once and it was very impressive to say the least.  I’ve been at almost all of Murray’s fights to see him develop as a true mixed martial artist.  This fight will NOT be boring as both guys “bring it” (sorry, watched WWE last night).  I think that Murray will capitalize on any mistake that is made by Lewis and end up securing a submission close to the end of the 2nd round.

Prediction: Justin Murray via Submission Rd. 2

Rich: Murray is slick on the ground and should be able to take advantage of his experience there.

Prediction: Justin Murray via Submission Rd. 2

Humberto Deleon vs Jimmy Flick (TITLE FIGHT)

Humberto Deleon Humberto Deleon Name Jimmy Flick Jimmy Flick
The Kid Nickname
5’4″ / 125lbs Ht/Wt 5’7″ / 131lbs
#5 Rank Not Ranked
5-4-0 Record 2-0-0
Bushi Ban – World Headquarters Gym No Gym on File
Corrine, Justin,Ragan, Rich Picks Eric, Lance, Mike

Corrine: I believe Humberto will take a way different approach to this fight and pull off the win. Flick is a very aggressive fighter so this will definelty be an all out war.

Prediction: Humberto DeLeon via Split Decision

Eric: This is going to be a coin flipper and it came up with Jimmy.

Prediction: Jimmy Flick via Decision

Justin: I think if you pick Humberto to win most people would think submission but I am banking on him getting a tko win this time.

Prediction: Humberto DeLeon via TKO Rd. 2

Lance: This was a tough call. Flick won a decision previously. We havent seen deleon since his loss last august… as both fighters have had time off this is a tough one to call in my opinion.

Prediction: Jimmy Flick via Submission Rd. 3

Mike: Humberto De Leon has got some motivation stemming from their first bout and will no doubt be better prepared.  As for his opponent, last I heard, Jimmy Flick has been training like an animal down there at Paragon/FCF in Corpus Christie and is primed and ready to go in this one after De Leon offered up some choice words for him. Jimmy Flick is one of the best wrestlers in the state and will look to use that skill to win this match. Humberto is nearly impossible to finish but five rounds is a long time. We’ll see if it makes the final bell but right now, I’ve got Flick by decision.

Prediction: Jimmy Flick via Decision

Ragan: These two met back in May of last year at Bellator and Flick won a unanimous decision, but DeLeon did not have a full training camp leading up to the fight.  I think that DeLeon’s experience will prove to be the difference this time and he will win a ground war which will be as technical as watching a Jiu-Jitsu instructional DVD by both fighters. This is the hardest fight of the night to call in my opinion since both guys can end a fight in seconds with a crazy submission.

Prediction: Humberto DeLeon via Decision

Rich: Humberto looked great in his loss to Robo

Prediction: Humberto DeLeon via Decision


Lester Batres vs Evan Cutts

Justin, Corrine, Rich, Lance PICKS Eric, Mike, Ragan

Joshua Foster

vs Edgar Verdin

Ragan, Mike, Rich, Lance, Eric PICKS Justin, Corrine,

Brian Lightfoot

vs Jared Taylor

Justin, Rich, Lance, Eric PICKS Ragan, Corrine, Mike

Justin Ledet vs Lex Pappas

Corrine, Eric, Justin, Lance, Mike, Ragan, Rich PICKS


Awards Corrine Eric Justin Lance Mike Ragan Rich
of the Night
Cleveland Ramirez Chaw Yarbrough Murray Chaw
of the Night
Ledet Ledet DeLeon Lewis Ledet Ramirez Foster
of the Night

For complete coverage of IXFA 7, check out the IXFA section of TheCageDoor.net.