MMA News and Notes – Henderson vs. Guida set, Diaz skips media event

nullLost in the announcement of Lesnar vs. Overeem on Tuesday were some other big news in the world of MMA, mostly concerning the UFC.

– In another big fight announcement, MMAFighting.com is reporting that top lightweight contenders, Ben Henderson and Clay Guida will collide on the UFC on FOX undercard. Henderson is coming off his dominant win over Jim Miller at UFC on Versus 5 while Guida defeated Anthony Pettis at the Ultimate Fighter Finale. The winner of this bout could find themselves in top contender status for the lightweight title. It should be a good grappling match, but I see Henderson favored based on styles.

MMAFighting.com also reported that Matt Hughes has accepted a fight with Josh Koscheck for UFC 135. Koscheck will replace Hughes’ original opponent, Diego Sanchez. Sanchez had to pull out of the fight with a broken hand.

– You can’t a teach a dog new tricks apparently. Despite Dana White insisting that Nick Diaz would conform to the various media requests that are expected of a top contender for his UFC 137 title bout with Georges St. Pierre, apparently the Strikeforce welterweight champion skipped a press conference on Tuesday in Toronto to promote the event. The UFC had to explination for his absence according to the Winnipeg Free Press, but another scheduled press conference is to take place today in Las Vegas. Will Diaz be there? Will he be punished for his absence?

– Fedor Emelianenko will return to action on Nov. 12 when he takes on Jeff Monson for a M-1 event in Russia according to MMAMania.com. Fedor has lost his last three bouts and will face Monson, who is coming off a loss to Daniel Cormier on the undercard of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. Stylistically, this is a good matchup for Fedor, but will do nothing to get him back into the American spotlight.

– Another announcement that took place on Tuesday is that the UFC is heading back to Japan in 2012. Sherdog.com reports that Feb. 26, 2012 is the set date for the organization to make its return to Japan, which is nearly 14 years since the UFC first stepped foot in Japan. Expect to see many of the countries top starts on that card.

  

Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum recap and analysis

nullI didn’t buy the idea that Fabricio Werdum was as good as his win over Fedor Emelianenko made people think he was.

That showed on Saturday when he lost a decision to Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, Alistair Overeem, in the first round of the Heavyweight Grand Prix (Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee at Yahoo! Sports)

While Overeem wasn’t that impressive either, I never enjoy watching a guy flop to his back and beg his opponent to come to the ground.

This is MMA, not a grappling tournament. If you can’t get your opponent to the ground, then you better find a way to beat him on your feet.

Do you ever think you would see Cain Velasquez begging his opponent to do anything? I don’t. It is pretty clear that Werdum doesn’t have a ton of confidence in his striking, and to truly be considered one of the best in the heavyweight division, he needs to be more well-rounded and be willing to exchange.

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Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum Picks & Predictions

nullStrikeforce puts on one of its biggest events in the history of the promotion when the second half of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix takes place from the American Airlines Arena on Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET.

Here are my picks for the four bouts that will be on the main card.

Heavyweight Grand Prix – Alistair Overeem (34-11) vs. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) – Overeem doesn’t have a match in this weight class in Strikeforce in my opinion. He has really beefed up and continues to have the same striking ability he has always had. Only a true wrestler has the skill set to take him out, and Werdum isn’t a wrestler. I look for Overeem to pick apart Werdum and earn a second round TKO.

Heavyweight Grand Prix – Josh Barnett (29-5) vs. Brett Rogers (11-2) – Barnett is the better fighter but Rogers does have knockout ability with one punch. Look for Barnett to play it safe early on and survive the storm from Rogers before scoring some takedowns and eventually choking out his opponent in the second round.

Lightweight Bout – K.J. Noons (10-3) vs. Jorge Masvidal (21-6) – Masvidal is tough but he hasn’t quite slugged it out with the talent that Noons has in recent years. If this is going to be a slugfest, I look for Noons to come out on top. Strikeforce would like to get Noons and Gilbert Melendez in a fight together, and I think an impressive second round KO for Noons will do just that.

Heavyweight Bout – Daniel Cormier (7-0) vs. Jeff Monson (42-11) – Cormier has had a nice little start to his MMA career, but Jeff Monson is a smart fighter that will find a way to get Cormier to the ground. Once it hits the mat, Monson will dominate the fight and eventually score a submission in the first five minutes of action.