Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Picks & Predictions

nullStrikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson takes place Saturday night and here are my picks for each of the five main card bouts.

Heavyweight Bout – Fedor Emelianenko (31-3-1) vs. Dan Henderson (27-8) – This is a tough fight to call, but I like Fedor to bounce back and get over his losing streak. I think his size will be too much for Henderson, as he has similar wrestling skills but improved submissions. Both pack a good punch, but Fedor looks like he is in good shape for this fight and will be able to push a faster pace. Give me Fedor to win in the third by submission.

Women’s Welterweight Championship – Marloes Coenen (19-4) vs. Miesha Tate (11-2) – I like Coenen to win this fight by submission in the later rounds. I don’t expect either to land a big strike and expect the fight to be primarily on the ground. There, I look for Coenen to neutralize Tate’s wrestling ability before finding a way to sneak in a submission.

Middleweight Bout – Robbie Lawler (19-7-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (13-3) – Lawler has a pretty obvious weakness against ground fighters, so I think Kennedy should win this one with some ease. Lawler will swing big early, but that will open him up to a takedown, and eventually a submission. I will take Kennedy in the second by choke.

Welterweight Bout – Paul Daley (27-10-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (7-0) – Like Lawler, Daley is somewhat one dimensional, which should allow Woodley to get the win. This will be a big test for Woodley, but I like him to win by TKO with ground and pound as Daley will struggle to hit his big punch.

Welterweight Bout – Scott Smith (17-7-1) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (10-2) – Smith is a dangerous striker and an exciting fighter, but he lacks the all-around skills to compete at the highest level. I look for Saffiedine to control the fight on the ground and get a decision win over Smith.

  

Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Odds

nullThis Saturday Strikeforce presents one of its best cards in the history of the promotion as Fedor vs. Henderson takes place from Chicago.

The main card airs live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET and features a championship bout and the long-anticipated showdown between former PRIDE legends, Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko.

Oddsmakers from BetOnFighting.com have Fedor as the favorite in the main event. Fedor comes in with a money line of -260 while Henderson has odds of +210 to win this heavyweight clash. Ememlianenko should have the size edge on Henderson, who has fought at middleweight and light heavyweight for his career. Henderson will have a wrestling edge, but submissions and striking may go to his opponent. It should be an exciting fight where both men leave it all in the cage.

In the co-main event, Marloes Coenen is a slight favorite at -130 against Miesha Tate (+100) as she defends here Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship. Coenen is a submission specialist while Tate is primarily a wrestler. Neither has shown tremendous striking ability, so this fight will likely remain on the ground. Whomever can control the fight from there will emerge victorious.

Check out all the available odds after the jump.

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Strikeforce Recap: Cesar Gracie Camp Dominates

nullIt was a night for the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu camp on Saturday night as Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez defended their Strikeforce titles in impressive fashion.

Diaz beat hard-hitting Paul Daley to defend his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in the night’s main event.

The two had a slug fest as each man was rocked at some point in the first round. Diaz landed more strikes, his punches didn’t seem to do the same damage as his opponent’s. Daley managed to sneak in a few powerful hooks that put Diaz on the ground. Diaz recovered, however, and eventually went on to pepper Daley with punches to the head and body. Daley eventually stumbled to the ground and Diaz followed up with a barrage of punches that forced a stoppage with just seconds remaining in the opening round.

In the co-main event, Diaz’ teammate, Gilbert Melendez had the top performance of the night, running through Tatsuya Kawajiri in 3:14 to defend his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship. Melendez was very accurate with his punches, landing clean shots to the jaw of Kawajiri. After a few minutes of that, Kawajiri hit the floor and Melendez jumped on him, landing a slew of vicious elbows that put an end to the fight and gave Melendez his fifth-straight win.

Saturday’s wins were a big statement for the Cesar Gracie team, which includes Nate Diaz and Jake Shields. Shields will contend for the UFC Welterweight Championship later this month and if he is able to upset Georges St. Pierre, that would give this camp three world champions. Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has quietly become one of the top fight camps in all of MMA.

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Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Picks & Predictions

nullStrikeforce returns to Showtime tonight at 10 p.m. ET with two title fights and four total bouts on the main card. Here are my thoughts on those four contests.

Strikeforce Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz (24-7-1) vs. Paul Daley (27-9-2) – I like Diaz to retain his title in this bout as I think he has the better all-around skills. Daley has great punching power but is one dimensional. Once the fight hits the ground, Diaz will easily be in control and score a submission. Don’t sleep on Diaz’ striking either, as his jab has been able to cause problems for other strikers in the past.

Strikeforce Lightweight Championship: Gilbert Melendez (19-2) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2) – Melendez should be able to handle Kawajiri, who is making his first jump into the U.S. Kawajiri didn’t bother to train in a cage for this fight, which I think will be a problem. I like Melendez to work his striking and mix in some takedowns to earn another decision victory.

Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Bout: Gegard Mousasi (30-3-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-9-1) – Jardine is a late replacement for Mike Kyle, but I think he is a tougher opponent. Jardine has some big-fight experience, but has been on a bit of a downslide in his career. This should be a striker’s fight, and Mousasi has the faster hands and more power to work with. I look for him to land a clean punch on Jardine and earn a TKO finish in the second round.

Strikeforce Lightweight Bout: Shinya Aoki (26-5-1) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (16-1): Beerbohm is a game fighter but I think this bout will ultimately go to the ground, and that is where Aoki should be able to take over. His slick and crafty submissions should be too much for Beerbohm to defend. I like Aoki to score a submission victory in the opening round.

  

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley weigh-in results

nullThe two title fights for Saturday’s Strikeforce card are now official as all four competitors weighed in on Friday night.

In the main event, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz (169.75 pounds) and contender Paul Daley (169.5) both weighed in under the 170-pound limit. Following their weigh ins, the two had an intense face-to-face stare down and had to be separated by officials as they yelled back-and-forth at each other.

In the co-main event, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (154.75) and challenger Tatsuya Kawajiri (154.25) also weighed in under their 155-pound limit, making their championship fight official.

The main card also features a light heavyweight clash between Keith Jardine and Gegard Mousasi while Shinya Aoki takes on Lyle Beerbohm in a lightweight contest.

The main card will air live on Showtime starting at 10PM ET.

For complete weigh-in results (courtesy of MMAMania.com), check the jump.

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