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Strikeforce: Miami – Preview and Predictions

Strikeforce MiamiMiami marks the first Strikeforce show since Scott Smith pulled yet another come-from-behind victory out of his ass against Cung Le last month at Evolution. The main event should make for a solid card so let’s get down to the nitty gritty:

Bobby Lashley vs. TBA
This bout makes total sense for Lashley. TBA has absolutely no ground game, no stand up, and absolutely no cardio. In all seriousness, after Yohan Banks was denied a license by the FSAC and Jimmy Ambriz was not approved by Showtime, the latest flavor of the minute is Wes Sims, who, if we’re going with the “Strikeforce is trying to protect a rising asset in Lashley” argument, at least has some sort of record and can be sold to the common fan by tying him into his stint on The Ultimate Fighter along with a large number of fights. Regardless, I really would be shocked, based on the current list of potential opponents they’ve proposed and the short turnaround to train, if Lashley loses against whomever they put in front of him.

(Update as of Wednesday, January 27, 2010)
Now that Lashley-Sims is confirmed? I still go with my original assessment. For a guy with his experience, he got quickly subbed in R1 of his first fight on TUF by Justin Wren. Lashley is too big and strong.

Jay’s Pick: Lashley via TKO, R1

[adinserter block=”1″]Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
Greg Nagy, at a record of 1-1 through two fights with Rage In the Cage, has twice as many fights as the 47 year-old Walker, who’s been training at AKA with the likes of Mike Swick and Cain Velasquez, holds a sixth-degree black belt in tae kwon do, and plans on giving away his winnings to charity. I completely agree with Mike Chiapetta over at MMA Fanhouse, who says it is a lose-lose situation for Nagy: he wins? He beat an old man with no MMA credentials. He loses? He lost to an old man with no MMA credentials. Despite his lack of experience, I give this to Herschel Walker.

Jay’s Pick: Walker via ?, Round ? (Sorry, I have no idea what to expect here)

Melvin Manhoef vs. Robbie Lawler
[adinserter block=”2″]Manhoef has never seen a third round in his MMA career. He’s either knocked someone out or been submitted with a 24-6 record. Lawler, sporting a record of 18-5, has more or less had the same path as Manhoef (TKO/KO someone or got subbed). Both love to slug it out and will make for an exciting fight. Coming off the loss to submission loss to current middleweight champ Jake Shields last year might make you think Lawler is looking for a big KO win to get back in the saddle. I’d advise against it with Manhoef. He’s got a shot at pulling off a sub given Manhoef’s weak ground game and he is absolutely no slouch on his feet, but frankly, I think he’ll be seeing stars.

Jay’s Pick: Manhoef by TKO, R1

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Marloes Coenen (Women’s LW Championship)
I will not editorialize on the looks of both fighters. Coenen is a credible opponent to the dominant Santos, who wrecked Gina Carano last year to win the promotion’s first women’s belt. She hits hard and has won almost all fights by TKO, but supports that with a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. Coenen, on the other hand, holds a 17-3 record, with 12 wins coming by submission. She’s made claims as of late that her stand up has improved and she is not afraid to bang, but I think Cyborg is too strong and possesses a good enough ground game that she won’t give Coenen anything to work with.

Jay’s Pick: Santos by TKO, R1

Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis (Welterweight Title)
In case you do not know who Marius Zaromskis is, the Genghis Con Blog video is the go-to brush up on his past year of destruction in Japan, where he became the Dream 2009 WW Grand Prix Champ and their inaugural Dream WW champ. The Lithuanian sensations’ standup is phenomenal, with 12 out of 13 wins having come by TKO/KO (only 2 of those made it to the 3rd round).

Then there’s, of course, Nick Diaz, who should have already fought for this title last year against Jay Hieron8 if it weren’t for those damned drug tests costing him a license. Despite his love of the greenery, Diaz has won five in a row with his last loss coming from K.J. Noons in November 2007. He’s got great boxing9, but his “x factor” will be his Cesar Gracie-trained jiu jitsu. Normally, Diaz’s Southpaw-style boxing keeps his opponents off guard, but I think Zaromskis (a Southpaw as well) has the edge in the striking department. Diaz will have to pick at Zaromskis with his boxing, try not eat a lot of shots, and get it to the ground fast. Betting odds are floating around -200 to -150 for Diaz, some have it even. It’s a tough call, but I’ll give it to Diaz’s ground game to decide it.

Jay’s Pick: Diaz by submission, R2

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