Strikeforce Challengers 18 Preview

James vs. Villefort

By Jason Probst Aug 9, 2011
Danillo Villefort will carry a four-fight winning streak into his Strikeforce debut. | Photo: Dave Mandel



Middleweights
Nate James (12-7-1, 0-0 SF) vs. Danillo Villefort (13-3, 0-0 SF)

The Matchup: After seeing Villefort’s rock-’em-sock-’em knockout of Mike Campbell at WEC 38, many expected to see a lot more of the Brazilian, who throws wining punches and has underrated takedowns for a jiu-jitsu man; his judo background helps considerably there.

Villefort is tough, can take a shot and just seems like a natural fighter. He takes on James, who is probably a better fighter than his record indicates; James trains out of the American Kickboxing Academy, one of the best reservoirs of talent in the sport.

Villefort might have a slight edge in standup, especially with combinations, as he just seems better at putting them together, though he has a tendency to wing them instead of firing them straight down the pipe. If James is to win, he should bank on a hard counter right and push kicks, which would work against Villefort, who tends to charge forward while letting his hands go.

The Pick: Given his judo and jiu-jitsu and James’ tendency to get caught in submissions, expect Villefort to break down his foe over a couple rounds and get the submission for the win in the second.

Continue Reading » Next Fight: Pat Healy vs. Eric Wisely

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