Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gladiators Thunderdome to Feature Sherron “Rob Roy” Leggett vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

WEC vet Sherron Leggett a.k.a. Rob Roy of Kenosha, Wisconsin is slated to fight up and comer, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis of Roufusport in Milwaukee on May 17 on the Thunderdome show at Wisconsin State Fair Park. I know that this fight is a few months from now but since it is one of the biggest local match-ups on the horizon, it deserves added time to get hyped up and get people talking.

Sherron “Rob Roy” Leggett

Sherron Leggett is a Strasser’s Freestyle Academy trained fighter who sports a (14-4) MMA record according to Sherdog. He is a WEC veteran and holds a (1-1) record in that organization. He made his WEC debut in May of 2007 by defeating Charlie Kohler via TKO in the second round.

After the win, Leggett was recruited by the Tapout Crew to fight on a Extreme Challenge show in Iowa in July of 2007 and star in their new Versus television show. The show portrayed him as an up and coming fighter despite having already fought in the WEC and having at least 14 fights under his belt.

In the episode, the Tapout Crew descended on Kenosha to pick up Leggett and film some of his training techniques which consisted of back yard training work-outs with undefeated fighter Ray Hunter and gym sessions with Dave Strasser, which included cameo appearances by Ron Faircloth and Pat O’Malley.

The fight was held at a biker rally called Sturgis on the River in Davenport, Iowa and the Tapout Crew dressed Leggett up as a superhero. Due to vacation plans, Dave Strasser was unable to attend and corner his fighter, leaving him in the hands of Punk Ass. Luckily, the well-connected business mogul got Josh Neer and Spencer Fisher of Team Miletich to help Leggett out with training and cornering.

Leggett went into the show not knowing who his opponent would be until the actual weigh-in. In the fight, he faced “Crazy Man” Chris McDaniel and controlled his opponent using his wrestling ability. He finished the fight with an Americana from side control at 2:36 in the first round.

Leggett’s next fight would be at WEC 29 against the soon to be lightweight champion and UFC vet Jamie Varner in August. The two traded takedowns before Varner scooped up his opponent and dumped Leggett on his head. Varner quickly began punching but Steve “Porn Stache” Mazzagatti stopped the fight and deducted a point from Varner for strikes to the back of the head. When the action resumed, Varner hit Leggett with two big high kicks and Leggett quickly returned the favor with a takedown. Varner was able to get back to his feet and Leggett attempted to get his back, but Varner got a single leg and dumped Leggett to the canvas. Varner quickly exposed Leggett’s Jiu-Jitsu level by getting full mount and then Leggett’s back. Varner used a body triangle to control Leggett before returning to full mount and the back again; he finished Leggett by TKO referee stoppage in the first round.

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis is a striker out of the Roufusport Gym in Milwaukee. He recently made his pro debut at Gladiators 48: Seasons Beatings last December. In that bout he showed remarkable stand-up skills and finished his opponent Mike Skinner with a guillotine choke. The fight only lasted 36 seconds.

In his next bout at Gladiators 49, Pettis put on a show for the fans, picking apart his opponent Gorge “El Terror de Durango” Barrazza of Elgin, Illinois. He showed the crowd that he was in fact the most surgical and powerful striker on the card. Using a knee from the clinch he shattered the nose of Barrazza but “The Terror of Durango” showed his warrior spirit and hung on. It would again be a knee to the body that downed Barrazza and set up a ground and pound TKO finish near the end of the first round.

There are also rumors that “Showtime” will face Morrison Lamb of Fox Valley Grapping in a bout sometime prior to the Leggett fight. The Lamb vs. Pettis bout was originally scheduled for Combat USA: Seasons Beating in December, but Lamb was forced to pull out of the bout due to undisclosed reasons as was stated in earlier article located here.


The Leggett vs. Pettis match-up is a classic bout of striker vs. grappler. Legett’s previous fights have shown him to be a very tough, yet one-dimensional wrestler. His strength is not to be denied and he is very controlling once he has an opponent in his realm, which is on the mat. All of Leggett’s losses are to very legitimate opponents including the current WEC Lightweight Champion, Jamie Varner, Nardu Debrah, who has fought in BodogFight, and Wisconsin’s own MMA legend Demian Decorah.

Leggett is an experienced veteran MMA fighter and has fought world-class fighters and fought in several big shows, so this is his fight to lose. Anthony Pettis on the other hand, has nothing to lose other than his unflawed record, because on paper he should probably lose this fight, although I believe he has a very good chance to be victorious. He only has two professional fights on his resume thus far and the three amateur fights he went undefeated in. He has nowhere near the experience level of his opponent. He does however possess superior striking comparable to most high-level MMA fighters and the strength and power to match. In addition, he has a very technical jiu-jitsu game although no one has got to see it in action. The real question is whether or not Pettis has a sprawl game. Roufusport does have several wrestlers in the gym but none that I know of that have the speed and body type of Leggett. Pettis would be best to recruit some outside talent like up and comer Reed Ehmke to give him the look and build of his opponent. If Pettis does get taken down, how will he fight off of his back? These are unknown factors that are impossible to predict.

With a win over a WEC veteran, Pettis would most certainly get looked at by talent scouts in larger organizations sooner than later and become the first fighter to be developed out of the Roufusport Gym to make the big leagues. He really has everything to gain and nothing to lose in this bout. Rob Roy desperately needs a win over a game opponent to give the WEC a reason to bring him back. There were rumors that he was to fight in the Evolution Fight card in January but he was dropped from the card for unknown reasons. It will be interesting to see how Leggett’s all around game has developed since his layoff last August. It will have been 10 months since he has seen action inside the cage, so ring rust could play a factor. I have also heard that Leggett also trains Jiu-Jitsu under Wisconsin Combat Sports Grappler of the Year, Tom Mueller so I am anxious to see how his ground game has progressed.

This bout has the makings to become fight of the year. Who do you think will win this fight and why?
This article was originally posted on Wisconsin Combat Sports on 03-04-08.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pettis will Knock him out in the 2nd round, also his pro record is now 3-0... last fight was a 1st round KO, with dislocated shoulder got up and knocked his opp. out with left round kick to the head ....... he is the real deal and has been training all his life for this, since 8 yrs old im told...