WSOF 14 Play: Jake Shields (-525) vs Ryan Ford (+450)

tyron-woodleyWSOF 14 Date: October 10, 2014 Arena: Edmonton Expo Centre City: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Welterweight bout: Jake Shields (-525) vs Ryan Ford (+450) Fight Breakdown: The main event for WSOF 17 will be a three round welterweight contest that will see the winner challenge for the promotion’s main title. It goes down tonight, when Strikeforce and UFC veteran Jake Shields squares off against Canada’s own Ryan Ford. Shields is a heavy favorite headed into this scrap at -525 ($525 to win $100), with his opponent Ford being the betting underdog at +450 ($100 to win $450) at Several Bookmakerss. Jake Shields (29-7-1-1 NC MMA, 0-0 WSOF) had his four-fight winning streak snapped by Hector Lombard at UFC 171 nearly seven months ago, and was ultimately released from the promotion. He now looks to rebound against the Canadian Ford and go on to challenge for the title, in hopes of adding another belt to his collection. The Californian is not a very dangerous fighter, as he is mainly a grinder. He attaches himself to his opponents and tries to wear them down, be it on the mat or against the cage. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt refers to his fighting style as “American Jiu-Jitsu” for his use of both wrestling and jiu-jitsu. He is very talented in the submission game, owning 10 of 29 of his professional mixed martial arts victories by way of tapout, though he has not submitted an opponent since a 2009 guillotine choke victory over current UFC welterweight title challenger Robbie Lawler. While he is tremendously talented in the grappling department, Shields is not good at all when it comes to his striking, and does not seem to be showing any improvements there, either. The 35-year old’s cardio has been hit or miss at 170 pounds, but I think he will have enough of the tank to go the distance against Ford, should 15 minutes be necessary. Ryan Ford (22-4 MMA, 0-0 WSOF) is the WSOF Canada welterweight champion set to make his regular WSOF debut, taking on the biggest test of his professional mixed martial arts career in Jake Shields for a a shot at the WSOF welterweight title. Ford is a well-rounded mixed martial artist, but I don’t think he is especially talented in any aspect of the sport. He is has decent takedown defense and decent grappling, in general. He has some nice suplexes and is very good at working escapes, when finding himself with his back on the mat. He’s strong from inside the clinch, but won’t be stronger than Shields there, as I think Shields will have the strength advantage over Ford heading into this three round scrap. The Canadian works a nice Thai clinch, too, and he loves to deliver vicious knees, as well as elbows. He throws a nice left hook, has a decent uppercut and likes to throw hard front kicks, as well as implementing some high kicks to his offensive striking attack. Ford hits hard and packs a lot of power behind every limb he throws. I believe that is the only advantage he’ll have over Shields in this match-up, so if he doesn’t connect and knock him out, I don’t see him getting his hand raised, as he will be outmatched everywhere else. Gabe’s Thoughts: I believe this is Shields’ fight to lose. He will have a significant grappling advantage, and I expect him to use it to ultimately secure his first submission victory in years. He could easily dominate Ford on the mat for three rounds to pick up a unanimous 30-27 nod from the judges, but I think if he looks for a finish, he will find it. I think he will be looking for the finish, as he should have a chip on his shoulder from getting cut by the UFC. I expect him to submit Ford and solidify himself as the number one contender to take on the winner of Fitch vs Palhares. I think Shields is going to finish Ford, so I much prefer a play on the Under 2.5 rounds at +115 over a play on Shields straight up at -525. Also, there is the slight chance that Ford will connect and upset Shields, so I feel the under 2.5 rounds at underdog odds is the best move here. Gabe’s Call: Shields by Submission (rear naked choke, 4:00 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 2.5 rounds (+115) 4u to win 4.6u

Written by Gabe Killian

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WSOF 14 Fight Breakdown: Jake Shields vs. Ryan Ford

Gabe Killian’s Prop Plays for WSOF 14