January 30th looks to be a good night of fights for the city of Houston. Â The folks at Lonestar Beatdown have put together a very exciting card, packed with Houston area fighters ready to do battle. Â Rich and I thought it would be cool to get some predictions on the fights (if for no other reason than to get folks talking).
We didn’t want to pull just any dudes off the street – we wanted experts! Â We wanted guys who go to these fights on a regular basis and know the skill levels of the fighters on the card. Â You can view the entire card HERE.
Feel free to leave comments below and let Houston know who you think is going to win.
Looking for tickets? Â Head on over to LonestarBeatdown.com now.
Meet the experts
Mike Calimbas (mopthemats.com) -Â Mike Calimbas is an MMA Writer, devotee,Â and fan that has been a part of the Mixed Martial Arts community for over fifteen years. He has served as aÂ ring official & timekeeperÂ forÂ amateur MMA in numerous local events inÂ Texas with the USACA/Lonestar Beatdown.Â Mike has also written and provided analysis on the topic of MMA & Brazilian Jiu-JitsuÂ for various online publications, including FightLine, Ploomy, and MoptheMats.com.Â Mike has been training BJJ, etc. on-and-off for the past six years. Off the mats, he spends most of his time with his family, including his baby son,Â Nicholas and girlfriend, Megan. For more on Mike, check him out on http://twitter.com/mikecalimbas.
Justin Trapp (fighterportraits.com) – Justin Trapp is a photographer, designer and one of the premier marketing minds in the MMA industry. Â He manages the branding and marketing for mma companies, fighters and gyms. Â He has been a loyal fan of the sport since its inception and works to educate the biased. Â To see some of his work visit his website, fighterportraits.com.
Richard Burmaster (thecagedoor.net) -Â Richard Burmaster is co-owner of (and a writer for) thecagedoor.net. He has been active in the MMA scene for close to 8 years and has trained in MMA for the last 5 years. His job keeps him on the go across the United States, and thus has afforded him the opportunity to train in many of the top gyms across the nation. From Army combatives to the Militech Fighting Systems, he has been able to try out many of the martial arts from coast to coast. When Richard is not working on his full time job, training in MMA or working on thecagedoor.net, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son.
|Hossan Walker||Name||Craig Gardner|
|Nickname||The Gentleman Mauler|
|Xtreme MMA||Gym||West Side MMA|
(This fight is for the 170lb LSB Title)
Mike:Â I was at Hossan’s last fight at the House of Blues, and from the looks of things, he certainly likes to use his take-downs to control the action on the ground. He’s a tough guy and a grinder but I think Craig Gardener has enough experience to be able to scramble out of those situations where he could be caught stuck on the bottom. 3 title fights in his last 5 fights? Sounds like a lot of experience if you ask me. Could come down to cardio as well but I’m taking Gardner by decision.
Justin: I think this could be a very close fight. Â Look for Hossan to take Craig down and grind out a decision in this.
Rich: In his last two fights, Hossan has used explosive takedowns and solid ground and pound to wear down his opponents. Even so Hossan is still a striker at heart and prefers to stand and bang. He has good hand speed and solid power. Craig Gardner has shown nice all around skills in his last couple fights. He combines great technique with surprising power.Â Craig is a tough match for anyone.Â Craig will have a nice reach advantage as well as the superior technique in the striking department. Hossan has the better take-downs and power in each hand that we have not seen yet. Both fighters have deep gas tanks, but I donâ€™t think that will come into play. Â My Prediction, Craig Gardner 3rd round TKO
|John Malbrough||Name||Charlie Witbeck|
|UH MMA||Gym||4 oz Fight Club|
Mike: Malbrough is a fighter with a lot of heart. And those guys from 4oz don’t lake anything in that department either, so I’m sure “Darkness” will come in equally prepared. They both like to stand and bang so my sure prediction is that there will be a knockout. I’ll say Witbeck via coin-toss, literally… (I just flipped a quarter).
Justin: John and Charlie are both game fighters. Â 4oz always seems to get their fighters ready with solid game plans and John is no slouch himself. Â I think this could be a “fight of the night” front runner so I am going split decision, with John getting back on the winning track.
Rich: Malbrough is coming off of a tough title loss to Andrew Craig where he showed well rounded skills. Even fighting off of his back most of the fight he was able to take little damage and almost ended the fight with submissions a few different times. Witbeck is from a camp known for tough bangers that just donâ€™t quit. Charles is no exception look for him to try and keep this fight standing where he should have a slight advantage on the feet. This is going to be a very close fight between two very tough fighters. Both of them have the ability to end the fight at any moment. Â My prediction, Malbrough by decision
|Jason David Frank||Name||Jonathon Mack|
|Nickname||The Mack Truck|
|Rising Sun Karate||Gym||Death Row|
Mike: We all know the background on the debuting Jason David Frank, former Power Ranger and “Jesus Didn’t Tap” guy. There isn’t too much info, however, to be found on Jonathan Mack. All I saw online was a 1-0 record with his lone win coming via guillotine submission in 2008. That opponent is now 0-2 with his other loss also coming by way of guillotine. So that doesn’t really tell me much. My prediction is that Mack is a stand-and-bang guy and we will see a striking bout in this fight With that being said, Frank is a former nationally-rated karateka with over 20-years of experience. He’s an athletic guy, a BJJ blue belt, and has excellent coaches around him. In fact, Master Toddy, of Fight Girls fame, trains Frank in Muay Thai along with other great strikers like Kit Cope and Gina Carano. My gut says he won’t be as nervous as most debuting fighters would be either. Prediction: Jason Frank, high-kick knockout, 1st round.
Justin: I am really excited for this fight. Â Either way, i expect this one to be over pretty quickly with a TKO. Â Jonathon is a brawler who likes to get in the minds of his opponents with a little trash talking and Jason is a seasoned martial artist making his MMA debut. Â When all is said and done, i have to go with 20+ years of martial arts. Â I am saying Jason by TKO round 2.
Rich: Not much is known about Mack other than he choked out his last opponent back in 2008. Other than that we donâ€™t have much to go off of. I would imagine he would be a banger, but who knows. Jason Frank is of course the Power Ranger guy, and I hope he will go all morphin’ crazy and shoot sparks everywhere! He also happens to be in the Karate Hall of Fame, and he has serious power in his hands and feet. He has attained the rank of blue belt in Jiu Jitsu, and he has studied under Master Toddy in Muay Thai. Look for a very confident striker in Frank to try to end this quick. Â My prediction, Jason FrankÂ 1st round KO by flying knee.
|Trent Draper||Name||Patrick Bierschwhale|
|Elite MMA-Baytown||Gym||West Side MMA|
Mike: Pat Bierschwhale is undefeated at 3-0 in MMA and also has experience winning championships in San Shou. Pat displayed an impressive, well-rounded, game against John Garcia and John Marlborough. All-in-all, I think he’s got a real solid game and is a class act.Â Pat was originally set to fight Robert Yamashita of Elite Baytown, who is a BJJ stud with a good background in striking as well so I’m sure Pat has put in some good training. His opponent in this fight is Trent Draper, who is taking the fight on short-notice. From what I’ve heard, Trent is a work horse with great cardio. And I’ve heard he’s got good jiu-jitsu training with Yamashita, Jordan Rivas, Frost Murphy, etc. out in Baytown. I really don’t know what to expect in this fight but I’ll go with the underdog pick and say Draper over the Bison, via submission, 3rd round.
Justin: This is a tough one to call, but i think this one will end up going to the ground and whoever makes the first big mistake will get caught in a submission.Â Â I’m taking Pat viaÂ aÂ submission in the second round.
Rich: Â Pat is the 185lb Young Guns champion, and he is stepping up a weight class just to have the chance to fight on this card. He is undefeated in MMA, and he has shown vicious striking and nasty ground and pound. Trent is out of Elite Baytown under Jordan Rivas. Trent is making his debut, but sources say that he has solid ground skills and a deep gas tank. Trent will have a definite size advantage against Pat who will come into the fight under 200lbs. Pat is not a fighter many would want to face on short notice or as your debut, but Trent will be battling both of those. I have a feeling that Patâ€™s experience will overcome the size. Â My prediction, Patrick Bierschwhale 2nd round TKO.
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