Valor Fights 39: Wheeler vs. Allen

Battle of Prospects Anchors Valor Fights 39

Battle of Prospects Anchors Valor Fights 39

A battle of middleweight prospects between Sid Wheeler and Brendan Allen headlines Valor Fights 39.

Dec 1, 2016 by Duane Finley
Battle of Prospects Anchors Valor Fights 39
The road to stardom in mixed martial arts always travels through the land of prospects, and two of the most promising talents in the United States go head-to-head Friday night at Valor Fights 39. The card kicks off at 5:30 EST from Knoxville, Tenn., and streams exclusively on FloCombat.

Future stars collide

Valor Fights middleweight champion Sid Wheeler will face fellow standout Brendan Allen in a showdown between two of the top 185-pound fighters emerging from the Southeast region. Wheeler came storming out of the proverbial gates as a professional, as "The Kid" found success in each of his first five fights inside the cage.

Wheeler notched impressive victories over tough competition, building a solid amount of buzz in the process. Talk of bigger things hovered and a move up to the biggest stages in the sport appeared to be in his immediate future, yet, the only thing missing from his resume was a win over an established and experienced fighter.

The undefeated 20-year-old middleweight was slated to face former UFC and Bellator fighter Joe Riggs in the main event at Valor Fights 36 back in August. Unfortunately Riggs was forced to pull out of the bout and another veteran, current UFC middleweight Gerald Meerschaert, was tapped to step in to face Wheeler on short notice.

The vast experience difference aside, Wheeler stayed true to his game reputation, but ultimately suffered the first setback of his career via submission. With the bout taking place at catchweight, his middleweight title wasn't on the line, but Wheeler is focused on more than simply defending his strap in Knoxville; he wants to reclaim the heat on his home turf.

Allen has far different plans.

The scrappy Louisiana native will come into Valor Fights 39 riding a three-fight winning streak and be looking to cement his place as the top middleweight prospect in the region. Allen is currently sitting at No. 15 in Tapology's Southeast rankings, with Wheeler holding the top spot in the website's ranking system.

Allen has found victory in all but one of his six showings as a professional, with each victory coming either by knockout or submission. Allen's versatile skill set and penchant for ending fights in exciting fashion pitted against Wheeler's full-throttled tenacity all but guarantees their main event tilt will be nothing short of dynamite.

Every star comes from somewhere, and Friday night to FloCombat will mark the origin of someone's trajectory.

Two titles on the line

In addition to the middleweight championship tilt headlining the card, the promotion's flyweight title is also up for grabs in the co-main event.

C.J. Hamilton will square off with Cory Alexander to determine who will emerge as the 125-pound king of the Valor realm, and both fighters bring solid experience with them to the cage.

Hamilton boasts a 9-4 record coming into Friday night's matchup and has claimed victory in all but one of his past five showings inside the cage. The Georgia native is currently riding a four-fight winning streak where his two most recent victories have been hard-earned affairs. Hamilton has edged out the opposition in consecutive outings that have provided the surging talent the type of experience and cage time necessary to make the jump to the next level. "The Autobot" is determined to prove he's ready to take on the best in the world, and getting his hands on Valor gold would go a long way toward validating that notion.

And while Alexander (9-8) has experienced mixed results inside the cage, the promise he's shown along the way has been enough to keep the buzz around his name despite his record. All but two of the Tennessee native's nine wins have come via submission as Alexander has proven his ability to end fights quickly once the action hits the canvas. The down turn on Alexander is the fact he's been defeated in back-to-back outings, but a big win on Friday night at Valor Fights 39 would serve to turn things around in a huge way.

Muay Thai is always fun

Every fight card Tim Loy puts together delivers the action from start to finish, but the promotion's CEO is shaking things up a bit this weekend in Knoxville.

The first two bouts on the card will be Muay Thai matchups, and a steady dose of striking is sure to set the action off in the right direction. The opening bout will take place at a 100-pound catchweight as Ashley Lott faces Hannah Sheley in the art of the eight limbs, which will be immediately followed by a knees, elbows, punches and kicks fiesta between Brandon Goolsby and Da'quan Sutton in a 130-pound tilt.

Where every promotion fears the initial fights of the night may be sleepers that kill the pacing for the bouts to follow, Valor Fights 39 will receive a literal kickstart that is sure to get the fans blood pumping and the fighter's blood spilling from the jump.