Bodog Fight Middleweight Champion, Trevor Prangley, has something to prove at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Friday, November 16.
“I’ve been telling everyone that I’m one of the best 185-pound fighters in the world, and winning this competition will show people I’m not just talking sh*t.”
The competition the confident South African is referring to is the four-man, single-elimination middleweight tournament that will headline Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives, presented by Bodog Fight.
The winner of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
That very well could be Prangley, who trains at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose and is sure to be buoyed by the pro-AKA crowd.
“Of course, I hope they cheer for me, although I usually only hear the crowd when I walk out,” says Prangley. “When I’m in the ring I’m mainly focused on what my corner is telling me. But the crowd can give you a lift, and most fighters feed off the energy.”
The crowd may help, but Prangley (16-4) will have his hands full with tough opponents to be determined at a random draw during the weigh-in. In order to emerge victorious, the 35-year-old will have to get past two of the following three fighters: Jorge Santiago (14-7), Yuki Sasaki (21-13-1), and Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7).
“Santiago is the most technically sound of the three,” says Prangley. “He’s going to be difficult to beat. I don’t know too much about Sasaki, but he’s had a lot of fights and is very experienced. Vitale, who is also experienced, is a great athlete. He’s explosive and isn’t afraid to bang.”
Each bout will consist of two, five-minute rounds, and take place over the course of a 10-bout fight card. If a draw is declared following the second round of a match-up, an overtime round will determine a victor.
Prangley, who’s fifth straight victory was a second round stoppage of Japan’s Yuki Kondo at Bodog Fight: New Jersey on July 14th, admits stamina will play a factor in the tournament, but says he is more than ready to go the distance.
“I’ve fought twice in one night before,” says Prangley, referring to October 26, 2002, when he beat Brett Shafer and Manny Valera on the same night in Mexico.
“I won’t lie; it isn’t easy, especially if you take a couple of kicks to the legs or shots during the first fight. Your body can stiffen up going into the next fight. As tough as it is physically, I think the real test is mental. Physically most fighters can do it, but not everyone has the mental toughness to do it. I like to test myself. That’s why I fight, to see just how good I can be. I haven’t yet reached the top of my ability, and I want to know how far I can push myself, both mentally and physically. When I retire I don’t want to have any regrets, or wonder if I could have done this or that.”
So, does the Bodog Fighter have a prediction for November 16?
“The other guys are all good, but I’m picking myself to win.”