Jorge Gurgel has a chance to continue building upon the success of his submission win over Billy Vaughan in March. The victory spelled a return to the lightweight’s roots, a return to the grappling background that made the Gurgel name famous in the first place.

All he has to do is avoid the other Jorge Gurgel. The brawling Mr. Hyde to the grappling ace Dr. Jekyll. While the version of Gurgel that prefers to throw down might entertain fans, it is the own worst enemy to Gurgel’s career. When Gurgel brawls, he also tends to come out on the wrong end of the judges’ scorecards. When he heads to the mat, however, he finds much better results. Ten of his 14 career victories have come via submission, but only one of those ten has occurred in the past six years.

Joe Duarte, Gurgel’s opponent at Strikeforce Challengers 18 in Las Vegas on Aug. 12, will hope to see only the Hyde personality of Gurgel. However, there’s a chance that the new “J.G.” has returned his focus to his biggest weapon. So, which version of Gurgel will we see? We’ll just have to wait until Friday night to find out.

The night’s action, which airs live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET, also includes a number of Strikeforce debuts, as middleweights Danillo Villefort and Nate James collide, women’s featherweights Ronda Rousey and Sarah D’Alelio battle and light heavyweights Roy Jones Jr. and Derrick Mehmen clash. Rounding out the card, promotional veteran Pat Healy seeks to put his name back into the lightweight title mix as he takes on Eric Wisely.

The MMA Corner’s panel of Josh Davis, Rob Tatum and Richard Wilcoxon breaks down all five main card fights in this edition of the Round Table.

LHW: Roy Jones Jr. (6-1) vs. Derrick Mehmen (11-3)

Wilcoxon: The show should kick off with a slugfest between two fighters making their debut with the organization. Roy Jones Jr. is finally stepping into the cage. No, it is not the boxing sensation, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. All of Jones’ wins have come from stoppage in the first round. On the other hand, Mehmen has finished nine opponents via TKO.

Jones looks like he may be the more well-rounded fighter with three of his victories coming via submission. However, Mehmen trains with American Top Team; with such a strong camp, he should be able to match Jones on the ground. Mehmen also will be the bigger fighter and that size advantage coupled with his experience edge and training camp makes me think he has the advantage in this one. I look for Jones to make it competitive in the opening frame, but Mehmen takes this one late in the second round.

Tatum: It’s hard to argue with Richard’s take on this fight. In addition to the superior training that Mehmen receives from ATT, he also has twice as many fights. In those fights, he’s faced much stiffer competition than Jones, including fights against UFC veterans Dave Branch and Mike Ciesnolevicz.

Jones’ experience has largely been in the regional circuit of his native Iowa. He’s going to face a significant challenge taking on the larger Mehmen, who also originally hails from the Hawkeye state.

I don’t believe this one will see the judges’ scorecards, as Mehmen dismantles Jones on the feet en route to a first-round TKO win.

Davis: I have to agree with both Rob and Richard. Mehmen on paper is a better fighter, is more experienced and has faced tougher competition.

Jones is no slouch though, and if Mehmen gets complacent and doesn’t stay on his toes, he could find himself on the losing end.

I believe that Mehmen will when this fight by first-round TKO as well.

Women’s FW: Ronda Rousey (2-0) vs. Sarah D’Alelio (4-1)

Tatum: Two 145-pound prospects will make their Strikeforce debuts, as former US judo bronze medalist Rousey will face D’Alelio.

Although neither fighter has spent a large amount of time in the cage in their brief careers, the strategy of each should be quite apparent. For Rousey, she will look for an armbar. In her two professional bouts and three amateur fights, she has submitted all five opponents, all in less than one minute. So for D’Alelio, it is simple: Keep the fight standing. Although against a high-level judoka like Rousey, that may be anything but possible.

It is hard to envision anything but Rousey moving to 3-0 with yet another opening-round armbar finish.

Davis: Rousey and D’Alelio are two of the top prospects in all of women’s in MMA and the winner of this fight will certainly take a step up the ladder.

The key for both fighters is to make sure that they can implement their game plan. Rousey will look to use her superior judo and grappling skills to get this fight to the ground and work for a submission. D’Alelio will attempt to keep the fight standing and use her striking to earn a victory.

This fight has the potential for fireworks, but when it is all said and done it will be Rousey that has her arm raised.

Wilcoxon: As both of my colleagues have indicated, this fight will be decided by which fighter can dictate the position of the fight. Rousey will use her judo skills to try to get the fight to the ground, while D’Alelio will do anything she can to keep the fight standing. Like my colleagues, I struggle to see a way for D’Alelio to avoid the ground for long. Rousey should win this fight by submission early.

LW: Pat Healy (24-16) vs. Eric Wisely (17-5)

Davis: Healy and Wisely are both trying to make their mark in the lightweight division and move up the ladder towards title contention. Both fighters are 4-1 in their last five fights and a victory here will move the victor one step closer to title contention.

Pat Healy (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Healy, a former champion with the Maximum Fighting Championship, needs to to use his wrestling to get this fight to the ground so he can work his ground-and-pound. Wisely, on the other hand, will look to keep the fight standing and use his striking to keep Healy on the outside. Every time Healy shoots for a takedown, Wisely will need to make him pay.

Both of these fighters have much to lose in this fight. With that in mind, both fighters should bring their best, but in the end it will be Healy that has his arm raised. Healy wins this by unanimous decision.

Wilcoxon: Both fighters have been around a while. Wisely is probably a little more well-rounded. He has scored a submission victory over UFC vet Matt Veach and a TKO victory over former UFC title contender Hermes Franca.

Healy has a strong wrestling base that he uses to get the fight to the mat, where he can ground-and-pound or submit his opponents. He has also faced top flight competition and holds victories over Carlos Condit, Ryan Ford and, in his most recent fight, Lyle Beerbohm.

In the end, I agree with Josh’s prediction. I just don’t see Wisely being able to stay off his back. Healy will win a decision.

Tatum: Wisely is in for a rough night. Sure, the wins over Franca and Veach were solid ones, but Healy is a terrible match-up for him. Wisely is certainly well-rounded, as my colleagues pointed out, but he’s not great anywhere.

Healy has been in the cage with a who’s who of competition at both lightweight and welterweight. He handed Beerbohm his first career loss in February and will look to build on that momentum. Look for Healy to use his clinch to get inside and bring the fight to the ground any time he wants. Once the fight hits the mat, Healy will be able to do anything he desires. Don’t be surprised if Healy shows off his recent BJJ work, submitting Wisely early in the second round.

MW: Danillo Villefort (13-3) vs. Nate James (12-7-1)

Tatum: In another instance of fighters making their Strikeforce debuts, the Brazilian Villefort collides with the well-rounded James.

Villefort, despite only having 16 fights, has managed to compete in the UFC, WEC, IFL and most recently Shark Fights. As a result, the level of competition he has faced is at another level from his opponent James. Villefort was formerly with American Top Team before forming Imperical Athletics in Boca Raton, Fla. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt also possesses heavy hands to complement his submission prowess.

James, on the other hand, has spent the majority of his career fighting for regional promotions in his native Oklahoma. His lone appearance in Bellator resulted in a decision loss to Tyler Stinson. James’ achilles’ heel has been his submission defense, suffering four of his seven losses due to tapout. That could spell a recipe for disaster against the Brazilian.

James won’t go away quickly in this fight, but a relentless Villefort will force him into a mistake and the Brazilian will walk out of the cage with a rear-naked choke victory in the second round.

Nate James (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

Wilcoxon: This a really tough fight for James. While he has been around for a while and comes from a strong camp, his only path to victory is to out-wrestle Villefort and ride out a decision. While he does have the wrestling skills to pull that off, it puts him in constant risk against the BJJ black belt.

Villefort holds an edge in both striking and submission skills. He also has the advantage of fighting in the biggest organizations around against top competition. I just don’t think James can put him in a position he hasn’t seen. I think Villefort scores a victory via second-round armbar.

Davis: Styles make fights and sometimes a fighter is a bad match-up for another, as is the case in this fight. Villefort is a bad match-up for James. Villefort has better striking, better grappling and better submissions. This makes for a tough fight for James.

James does have the superior wrestling and he will need to take advantage of this if he wants to come out victorious. James’ best chance for victory is to get a takedown and hope that he can control position, not get caught in a submission and grind out a decision.

There are too many ways for Villefort to win this fight, but I’ll say he will win by first-round rear-naked choke.

LW: Jorge Gurgel (14-7) vs. Joe Duarte (9-2)

Wilcoxon: Every Gurgel fight is difficult to predict. The former TUF alum is a long-time veteran in the sport who has spent the last five years competing for the biggest organizations in the world. He is a BJJ black belt whose ground skills have made him a sought-out coach for other MMA fighters, including Rich Franklin and Dustin Hazelett. The problem is, despite his amazing ground skills, Gurgel would rather stand and trade with his opponents. It makes little sense and it has cost Gurgel a number of win-able fights over the years.

What makes this fight interesting is that Duarte has excelled at wrestling and submissions in his career. However, Gurgel would be the wrong person to attempt to take to the mat. Duarte does have other options though. He has a strong chin and has pursued a boxing career as well.

This fight all comes down to game plans. Duarte needs to be smart and keep this standing even though six of his wins come via submission. He has an advantage on his feet he should be able to exploit. For Gurgel, game-planning has never been his strong suit. This will be a fun standing fight with both guys swinging regularly. If Duarte doesn’t gas, this is his fight to win. I will take Duarte by a decision.

Davis: Both of these fighters always come to fight and on paper this makes for a very interesting match-up. Both fighters have decent striking and good submissions. Obviously, Gurgel has the edge with his world-class jiu-jitsu, but Duarte is no slouch on the ground.

Gurgel needs to use his jiu-jitsu skills to get this fight to the ground and work a submission. However, Gurgel tends to like to stand and trade with guys, which has led to him getting knocked out in a few different fights. If he attempts to stand and trade with Duarte he could suffer that fate again.

Duarte needs to keep this fight on the feet and force Gurgel to stand in the pocket and trade punches. Once he has established his striking, he can then use his superior takedowns and wrestling to keep Gurgel off balance.

If Gurgel turns this into a submission competition, I believe he would come out victorious. However, I think that he will want to stand and trade with Duarte. I see Duarte winning by TKO in the third round.

Tatum: I’ll be the voice of dissent in this match-up, but not without my doubts. Gurgel appeared to recognize that he has a top-level submission game when he choked out Billy Vaughan in under a minute in March. It was the Brazilian’s first submission win in over six years, but the tenth of his career. If he has truly turned the corner and gone back to his strengths, this is his fight for the taking.

Duarte, meanwhile, will certainly pose a threat anywhere in this fight with his strong striking and wrestling. Ultimately, it comes down to Duarte’s ability to get Gurgel to brawl. If he can turn the fight into a slugfest, like Gurgel’s fights with Billy Evangelista and Conor Heun, he can easily take home a decision win.

Gurgel appears to have his head back on straight, and if that’s the case, he will wait for Duarte to shoot for a takedown, locking in a fight-ending guillotine late in the opening stanza.

Top Photo: Jorge Gurgel (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)