Summer is here, fight fans! Hopefully lots of you out there are Weeds & Dexter fans and have subscribed to Showtime so you can watch this weekend’s Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum card. You don’t have Showtime like me? It’s okay. You can watch UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun II on Spike so we can all hear about how the UFC absolutely killed it in key demos and subsequently rub it in Strikeforce’s faces (despite the NOTICEABLE difference in reach and subscriber universe). That being said, let’s take a look at the Strikeforce AND M-1 Global card for tomorrow evening. Please note that if you were ever going to make some money on an MMA fight? The ridiculous odds on some of these fights might win your kids’ college education. Josh Thomson vs. Pat Healy We begin the evening with a lightweight scrap between former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson taking on Pat Healy, a St. Louis native with a solid 38 fight resume (23-15) and notable wins over Carlos Condit and Paul “I Sucker Punched My Way Out of a Career in the UFC” Daley. Of course, he beat these quality opponents 4-5 years ago. More recently, he’s on a 3-fight winning streak, with his last win coming just a few weeks ago over Bryan Travers at ShoMMA: Lindland vs. Casey via UD. Thomson, on the other hand, most recently lost the SF belt to Gilbert Melendez back in December after having beaten Melendez back in ’08 to claim the belt. Thomson is a good striker who can take the fight to the ground as well. Personally, I’d like a rubber match with Melendez soon…. Jay Pick: Thomson via submission, R2 Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
Smith had arguably the come-from-behind victory of the year in ’09 when, after getting his ass handed to him for almost 3 rounds, dropped Le in the third and pounded him out to get the TKO and awarding Le his first loss in MMA. A tough fighter with a great chin and an ability to absorb some punishment, Smith holds previous “victory from the jaws of defeat” wins over Benji Radach & Pete Sell. Le, a great kickboxer who’d finished off his previous six opponents (including Frank Shamrock) via TKO/KO, had been dabbling in movies (Fighting with Channing Tatum) and, despite the loss in the first fight, is still -400 to Smith in this fight. Smith is still a nice underdog at +275, but I think Le learned his lesson. Jay Pick: Le via TKO, R3 Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Jan Finney – Women’s Featherweight Title Fight
Remember when I said you could earn your kids’ college tuition on this card? Between this and the main event, you could do that and probably buy something nice for your wife or gf so she doesn’t break up with you for watching so much goddamned MMA all the time. Unfortunately, there’s a good reason why the odds are so stacked in the SF Featherweight Women’s Champ’s favor: she is a wrecking machine. Cyborg enters this fight at -2500 to Finney’s +1000. The bruising she-beast has finished off her last three via TKO (Hitomi Akano, my future wife Gina Carano, and Marloes Coenen) and backs that up with a purple belt in BJJ. Basically she can take this fight however and wherever she damn well pleases. Finney is a borderline .500 fighter who’s riding a 4-fight win streak against women who are all themselves (roughly) .500 fighters and, from what I can tell, doesn’t bring much to the table to indicate she’ll get out of round 1. Jay Pick: Cyborg via TKO, R1 Main Event – Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum
And now we have the main event of the evening and, if retirement rumors are true, what may prove to be The Last Emperor’s penultimate fight in any sort of fighting-approved structure. If you’re reading this, you probably know who Fedor is: 30-1 record (that 1 loss was due to a cut from an illegal strike, mind you), most recently knocked Brett Rogers silly, and is only fighter the UFC would make a lot of concessions for due to his status (on most people’s lists) as the #1 PFP fighter in the world. Werdum came to SF after being embarrassed by then-newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90 via R1 TKO and has since rattled off a submission win over Mike Pyle & a UD over Antonio Silva.
One of the best grapplers in the world (2-time Brazilian jiu jitsu champ, 2-time ADCC champ, European jiu-jitsu champ), he has what most have described as a grappler’s chance against Fedor should the fight get to the ground. Now, back to that “betting-line-as-an-indicator-of-what-people-are-thinking-in-this-fight” thing. Fedor is at -1000 to Werdum’s +500. Even though Werdum is fantastic on the floor, Fedor is no slouch on the ground either and his no-emotion/Frankenstein mentality has gotten him out of some tough spots over the years. If Alistair Overeem can pass another urine test and Fedor doesn’t take too much damage (which I don’t think he will), we should have a HW title fight by year’s end. Ok, maybe that’s absurdly optimistic given Fedor & Co.’s negotiating tactics, but let’s pretend that we’ll see that fight happen sometime before my grandkids are born. Jay Pick: Fedor via TKO, R2
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