Shark Fights 17 Card Set with 9 Bouts; Ex-UFC Champ Co-Headlines

By Mike Whitman Jul 7, 2011
A nine-fight lineup is now official for Shark Fights 17, which takes place July 15 at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas.

In addition to the headlining middleweight rematch between Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt, the Texas-based promotion announced Thursday that the show’s co-main event will see former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez (Pictured) take on Karl Knothe.

The main card will also feature a light heavyweight bout between Emanuel Newton and Ilir Latifi, as well as Daniel Almeida locking horns with Doug Williams in a middleweight affair. Rounding out the HDNet broadcast will be Texan bantamweights Douglas Frey and Erik Perez.

Rodriguez, 33, was initially slated to face former King of the Cage champion Tony Lopez, but that pairing was scrapped for unknown reasons. Formerly one of the world’s most highly regarded heavyweights, Rodriguez has found success in recent years fighting mostly on the U.S. regional circuit. “Ricco Suave” rides an 11-fight winning streak into his showdown with Knothe, most recently earning a unanimous nod over fellow UFC vet James McSweeney at BAMMA 5 in February.

The 29-year-old Knothe sports a 12-fight unbeaten streak of his own. An eight-year veteran of the sport, Knothe holds over half of his career victories by submission and has only been to a decision once as a professional. The heavyweight has competed against the likes of Chris Tuchscherer, Mike Whitehead and John Ott, most recently earning a TKO victory over Victor Valimaki in December.
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