After a brief layoff from what felt like weekly MMA events, we have a live card.
Strikeforce: Miami takes place this Saturday night live from the Bank Atlantic Center, in Sunrise, Florida. With live television coverage beginning at 10pm ET (delayed on the west coast) on Showtime with live preliminary coverage of Jay Herion vs. Joe Riggs taking place on EASportsMMA.com at 9pm ET.
With the lion’s share of the media attention focused on Hershel Walker as he makes his mixed martial arts debut, many have overlooked what appears to be another solid card from the San Jose based Strikeforce.
So without further delay, lets breakdown the main card, cut though the hype and get an idea of what we can expect this Saturday. .
PRELIMINARY FIGHT (broadcast on EASportsMMA.com)
Jay Hieron vs. Joe Riggs
It’s been nothing short of an interesting ride for Hieron, with expectations that he would be the one fighting Nick Diaz for the welterweight title falling through to finding himself on the undercard. Hieron appears to be rolling with the punches, and with his bout being broadcast live and free on EASportsMMA.com he and Riggs have the potential to have the most watched fight on the entire card.
The Fight: Riggs enters the fight on the heels of a 4 fight winning streak, while Hieron is unbeaten in his last 6. Oddsmakers have Hieron as a clear favorite in this fight, and I tend to agree with them. I think Hieron is slightly better in all areas. Riggs however will not go quietly into the night, he is not without the skill and ability to pull off a win. There is a reason the hardcore audience was appalled by this card not making the television broadcast. It’s a well matched fight with two talented fighters.
Winner: Jay Hieron Decsion
Greg Nagy vs. Herschel Walker
What can be said about this fight that you haven’t heard a million times over? Herschel Walker is a great guy, a promotional machine, and whatever he is being paid by Strikeforce is not enough. Walker has brought an unbelievable amount of attention to this card, making the promotional rounds at a break neck pace. However one question remains unanswered, can he fight? Greg Nagy has received a modest amount of attention coming into this fight, a win over Walker will put him alongside Seth Petruzelli in MMA folklore.
The Fight: With such limited information on Nagy ( a 1-1 record) and nothing on Walker, predicting this fight becomes very interesting. Following the media hype, and memories of a great football player, the odds on this fight are nothing short of out of hand. Walker comes in as a HUGE favorite (-350) based on…………….well no one knows the reason. Most would speculate Strikeforce is not trying to set Walker up for failure, a difficult task when you don’t know what he brings to the cage. If Walker wins this fight I have a feeling we will see 3 sloppy rounds headed to a decision. However, I’m going to pick Nagy to win. He knows what it feels like to fight, and he hasn’t been traveling the country for the last 2 weeks doing 20 interviews a day.
Winner: Greg Nagy TKO Round 2
Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims
And the award for worst handling of a public relations of 2010 goes to…Strikeforce for their colossally bad handling of naming an opponent for Lashley. To say I’m not excited to watch this fight is an understatement. With what should have been set in stone 2 months ago, Strikeforce went through a vetting of names to find an opponent for Lashley, finally settling on Wes Sims just under 2 weeks prior to the event.
The Fight: The last time we saw Wes Sims fight he was gassing out in the first round, and losing to Justin Wren on The Ultimate Fighter 10. Lashley comes in to this fight with a perfect professional record with 4 wins over questionable opposition. With Sims training for years with some of the best wrestlers in the sport, I don’t expect Lashley to out wrestle Sims much before the third minute of Round 1. Honestly, Lashley is going to out athlete Sims on his way to a first round stoppage. I fully expect him to be sold by the announce team as the next superstar, but I will reserve judgment until he finally takes a step upward in competition. The odds on this fight are comedy gold showing Lashley as much as a ( -1500) favorite in this fight almost tempting me to throw down a few miracle dollars on Sims. ( that is not a typo)
Winner: Bobby Lashley Tko Round 1
Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
After having his last fight fall though at the last minute Robbie Lawler was vocal about not being pleased . With a prospect of a new baby on the way, Lawler agreed to fight Melvin Manhoef, a brutal Dutch striker with more than enough skill and power to KO anyone in the sport on a moments notice.
The Fight: In my mind there is only one question that needs to be answered. Is Robbie Lawler coming into this fight with the ill advised plan of standing with Manhoef ? He says he is. Lawler has a decided advantage on the floor against Manhoef, must like the rest of the mma universe. Is he really on standing and throwing with a man who will knock him out? Will foolish pride cause him to gamble and keep the fight in the one and only area that can pose a danger to him? I’m not going to be surprised when he does, and it appears I’m not alone. Manhoef enters this fight as a modest favorite. Don’t blink, one minute they will be doing the dance, the next someone is going to be sleeping.
Winner: Melvin Manhoef KO Round 1
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Marloes Coenen
It’s been very easy for me to sing the praises of Cyborg Santos over the past year and a half. She is an absolute monster in the women’s division brings and aggression and power to WMMA that most never imagined possible. There was a level of confidence in selecting her to defeat Gina Corano that doesn’t exist here.
The Fight: Coenen is a very good technical striker, and good submission fighter. I honestly feel from a technical standpoint she holds an advantage on both the feet and the ground. However, in the world of WMMA the power advantage of Cyborg in most cases is going to be way to large a hurdle to overcome. If Coenen can stay patient, and stay out of trouble early she can make a fight of it. We have seen Cyborg get tired while beating the ever loving crap out of her opponent. It is in this moment Coenen would have the best chance to pull off the upset.
Winner: Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos TKO early Round 2
Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis (for vacant welterweight title)
The Fight: Zaromskis is a certified badass. The DREAM welterweight champion had one of the best 2009’s of any fighter, with 4 victories ( two by highlight reel head kick). Many are expecting a high flying match up with Diaz trying to avoid a high kick to secure the victory. I’ll be honest, I don’t think this fight is going to be particularly competitive. Diaz is going to take Zaromskis apart, it will be up to him to decide if he prefers to punch him in the face 400 times on the way to decision, or take it to the ground and end the fight there. Needless to say, Nick Diaz is my lock of the night.
Winner: Nick Diaz submission Round 3