Friday, January 29, 2010

Strikeforce Preview

This is a violence filled weekend for me as I will watch Iowa dominate Cael Sanderson's Penn State wrestling team tonight on Iowa Public Television, and then watch some Strikeforce tomorrow night on Showtime. For my picks in the wrestling meet, I will take Iowa in every match except for at 157, because Iowa sucks there.

For Strikeforce, I'll go a little more in depth. I figure with Herschel Walker, Bobby Lashley, and real MMA talent as well, it should be an entertaining card. I'll also include the current lines from Bodog. Also, since I'm sure a lot of people have no clue what MMA lines mean, the negative line is the favorite.

Jay Hieron -450 vs. Joe Riggs +300
Although this fight will not make the Showtime broadcast, it will be streamed live off of Joe Riggs is a guy who once had a title shot in the UFC, but he really hasn't beaten a top level opponent since he beat Nick Diaz four years ago. Meanwhile, Jay Hieron has won his last six fights and hasn't lost for 2 1/2 years. He's a very good all around fighter, and although a lot of people like to talk up Joe Riggs's punching power, he doesn't have knockout power, and I think Hieron has the advantage in every area of this fight. He's not great in any one area, so I think Hieron will win a unanimous decision in this fight.

Bobby Lashley -1200 vs. Wes Sims +650
Bobby Lashley is a huge favorite in this fight against journeyman, Wes Sims. Lashley has been protected so far in his MMA career and that will not change in this fight as Sims is about as ideal of an opponent as you can find for Lashley. He used to fight in the UFC, he was on the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, he won't be able to stop Lashley from taking him down, and he doesn't have great submissions either. I know Lashley used to be in the WWE and I know he was a great college wrestler, but he is not on the same level as Brock Lesnar and I think he will be exposed in the future, but in this one, I predict Lashley by first round TKO.

Herschel Walker -325 vs. Greg Nagy +250
Walker has been all over the media hyping his first MMA fight, and we will be able to see what a 47 year old ex-football player can bring to the fight game. All reports say that he's a beast of an athlete, but it's very different training than it is fighting and some people rise to the occasion while others don't. They put him against Nagy who has a career record of 1-1, so there is a very good chance this is the least technical of all the fights on the card. Nagy doesn't seem to be a super athlete of any sort as he played high school football and just got into MMA a year and a half ago. I have never seen Nagy fight, but Strikeforce invested in Herschel Walker so this should be a very winnable fight for him. I see it being an ugly fight that goes the distance with Walker winning a unanimous decision.

Melvin Manhoef -190 vs. Robbie Lawler +155
This has the best chance of being the best fight of the night. Two guys who love to strike, but unfortunately for Bettendorf native Lawler, Manhoef seems to be on another level when striking. Manhoef has 24 wins and 23 of them are from TKOs or KOs. In the video below, Manhoef fought Mark Hunt, who is one of the best kickboxers in the world and outweighed him by about 100 pounds:

Lawler said he has no intentions of taking the fight to the ground, but if he wants to win this fight, it's his best opportunity as Manhoef has about as much submission defense as me. Still Lawler is a brawler, and I can definitely see him following through on his promise to keep it standing. Because of that, I'm picking Manhoef by 2nd round KO.

Cristiane Santos -800 vs. Marloes Coenen +500
Oooh, it's a lady...fight. This is the first of two title fights, and I think the challenger summed it up best when she said, "My stand-up is OK, my wrestling is OK and my ground game is OK." With those inspiring words, I'll take the champion by TKO in the first.

Nate Diaz -260 vs. Marius Zaromskis +200
This is for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight title, and as far as watching for strategy, this is the most interesting fight of the night. Zaromskis is nicknamed "The Whitemare" which sounds like a really hate-filled Eastern European name, and he has finished his last three opponents with a head kick. Meanwhile, Diaz is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but he has been outboxing his recent opponents so he is not afraid to stand with people. Diaz is extremely well rounded, but his wrestling is suspect, so it is questionable whether he will have the ability to take Zaromskis down. Zaromskis has knockout power, but I'm not sure if he can be considered a top level striker yet. It's an interesting fight, but I think Diaz drags it to the ground in the third round and submits him.

That's who I've got on the fights, and looking back, I am definitely showing cowardice in my picks, as I have nothing but favorites winning, but this isn't a great card for the underdogs. I feel Lawler has the best chance of winning as an underdog, and for the sleeper, Marloes Coenen might be able to submit Santos if she is able to take her down. Enjoy the fights.


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