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MMA Analysis: Complete Pro Elite Main Card Preview

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The reincarnation of Pro Elite is upon us, as this Saturday night they will hold the first card since bringing the promotion back from the dead.  The event isn’t televised, but there are some very familiar names on the card.  Here’s how it breaks down.

Drew McFedries vs. Kala Hose

This is a pretty impressive opening fight, in the fact that both men will be showing up known to have heavy hands and the will to stand and trade.  The fans should expect a very fun fight, and the winner will be the man that lands the telling shot first.

Hose was once thought to be on the brink of stardom, when at 5-1 he stopped the heavily favored Phil Baroni in the fifth round of their Icon Sport Championship fight.  Since that time however, he’s struggled, going 1-4 and will need a win here to continue a career of any note.

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Drew McFedries is a UFC veteran who has heavy hands and good boxing technique.  He’s 5-5 in his last ten fights so it will be imperative that he gets the win here in order to keep his career rolling.  Expect both fighters to stand and trade until one falls down.   It should be a fun matchup.

Raquel Pa’aluhi vs. Sarah McMann

This is another fight that features undefeated wrestling prospect Sarah McMann in an opportunity to showcase he excellent grappling technique.  This time she faces 2-1 Raquel Pa’aluhi who brings a 2-1 record into the fight.

Sarah McMann was last seen in Titan Fights, defeating Tonya Evinger by unanimous decision.  She’s a 2004 silver medalist in the Olympics and utilizes her wrestling very effectively, controlling her opponents with takedowns, and ground control.

Raquel was undefeated until her last fight when she ran into Sarah D’Alelio who defeated her at X1 Heroes by first round submission.  If Sarah D’Alelio sounds familiar, it’s because she was just defeated by budding star Rhonda Rousey at Strikeforce Challengers.

You can expect Raquel to try and stand with Sarah but Sarah will definitely be trying to take the fight to the mat from the get go.  Once it hits the mat, both fighters have won fights by submission, but neither is known as a submission wizard.  So you can assume this fight will be about takedowns, and positioning.  Sarah is hoping to get another win or two under her belt before moving into the woman friendly world of Strikeforce.

Mark Ellis vs.  Jake Heun

Jake is a tough fighter from Hawaii who sports a 1-0 record after dismantling DJ Poti in 47 seconds in his debut.  This time however, he’s facing 2009 NCAA wrestling champion Mark Ellis, who is making his MMA debut here.

Jake has a college background as well, as he played Middle Linebacker for the University of Hawaii.  He looked very strong in his debut, and could prove to be more than what Ellis is looking for.  Heun is trained by Chris Leben and could be in line for a major upset.

Mark Ellis is a former NCAA Heavyweight champion, representing Missouri.  After his college career ended, he took his skills to AKA in San Jose and will be making his anticipated debut in Hawaii.  He’s roughly 250 pounds, and of course, can be expected to take the fight to the canvass and look to dole out damage with ground and pound.

This should be a fun fight, a clash between two NCAA representatives, pinning football against wrestling.  One of these two will get slammed and you can bet this won’t go the distance.

Paul Gardner vs. Reagan Penn

Paul Gardner is 2-2 but clearly, he’s not the focus of this match, as fans will be turning out in droves to see the debut of BJ Penn’s brother Reagan.  Not a lot is known about Reagan aside from he has excellent Jiu Jitsu and trains with BJ.  I have seen video of Reagan and he has very slick submissions and his standup isn’t horrible either.

Little is known about Paul, he lost his last fight by TKO to Heath Simms and should be looking to keep this fight standing against Penn.   You get the sense that if Penn takes down Gardner, this fight will be over.

There are a lot of people ready to find out how good Reagan Penn is, and Saturday night we’ll all learn together.

Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs

This is a clash of former UFC fighters, and provides some much needed name recognition to the proceedings.  The down side is both fighters are coming off of two consecutive losses, and neither man comes into this fight at the height of their career.

Kendall Grove is a talented Middleweight who enjoyed success, winning the Ultimate Fighter season 3 championship.  He went six and six in the UFC after his victory in the TUF finale and was released after consecutive losses to Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch.  He has a solid stand up game, good submissions and at six foot six is a massive middleweight.

Joe Riggs is the oldest 28 year old on planet earth.  He’s had forty eight fights and his body has been breaking down in recent years.  People have always said he is one of the best in the world in the gym, but for whatever reason, it failed to translate into his fights.

This fight should be entertaining as both fighters are veterans and have complete MMA skills. They are both on the main stage of a pretty big show, and the winner will likely see further opportunity for Pro Elite.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez

Ray Lopez is coming into this fight with a 5-2 record, but has spent most of his career at 205 pounds.  He moved up to heavyweight for this fight and why not, the opportunity to fight Andrei Arlovski is huge.  The only issue is, it’s a tough fight for Lopez, as Arlovski, despite his recent issues, is still no joke.  Ray has some skills winning three fights by submission and two by TKO.

Andrei Arlovski is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, and he has fought on the biggest stage in the world.  He’s had four consecutive losses, but he still has an advanced stand up game, and seems to be a heavy favorite here, rightfully so.  Arlovski has begun training with Greg Jackson in recent fights and that will no doubt improve his overall MMA game.

This fight should be all Arlovski, but if he gets hit, he does have a history of being knocked out when his chin gets touched.  This fight is tailor made for Arlovski and he should win it in highlight reel fashion but if he slips, Ray Lopez will get a huge career boost.

Here’s the entire lineup for the Pro Elite event Saturday Night.

Main card

Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez

Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs

Reagan Penn vs. Paul Gardner

Jake Heun vs. Mark Ellis

Sara McMann vs. Raquel Pa’aluhi

Drew McFedries vs. Kala Hose

Preliminary card

Chris Cisneros vs. Sale Sproat

Dustin Barca vs. Reno Remigio

Ray Cooper Jr. vs. Kyle Foyle

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