Strikeforce is heading to San Jose, California tonight with a Showtime-televised event headlined by a heavyweight meeting between Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum.
That means it’s time for your MMAFrenzy.com staff to make some predictions about how the evening’s fights will go:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum
Justin – Werdum is an excellent fighter on the ground, but only average in the stand up. He’s shown himself susceptible to getting knocked out in the past (see Junior dos Santos fight), and though I think he will try to take Fedor down and keep him there every round starts standing. I don’t think Werdum will be able to avoid the big right hand of Fedor long enough to win this one. Fedor will knock him out in the second.
bsbiz – Finally the fight the world has been waiting to see between two champions in the cage. Two silverbacks looking forward to destroying each other for the amusement of millions. What? Oh, you mean that fight is July 3 and I’ll be there? In the words of Emily Litella, “Nevermind.” I predict my brother will not watch this fight.
Chris L.- I have a feeling there is one factor in this fight that plays big into Werdums hands… this isn’t a championship fight. Werdum likes to essentially turn into a wrestler with his takedowns and isn’t afraid of anyone. I think Werdum will try for takedowns early and often and seek to grind out at least two rounds of this fight. I believe Werdum takes R1 and Werdum will seek to employ the second gameplan in the 2nd only to be caught in transition by Fedor’s casting shot.
Kris Karkoski – Werdum is arguably the biggest challenge Fedor has faced in recent years, and while he could put “The Last Emperor” in trouble, Fedor should survive to score a knockout in the second.
Champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Jan Finney – Strikeforce 145-pound Women’s Championship
Justin – Strikeforce and Erin Toughill couldn’t come to terms for some reason, so they didn’t have any real competition to put in the cage with Cyborg, and now we get to watch her demolish “Cuddles” in the first round…
bsbiz -The most interesting thing about this fight is that Jan Finney is dating Mike Patt, according to her Wikipedia page. I predict I will be having sweet Cyborg-enhanced dreams Saturday night.
Chris L.- Cyborg connects early and often putting Finney to sleep quickly.
Kris Karkoski -I admit to knowing little about Finney beyond her record, and while she’s won four-straight, a near-.500 record again the world’s top female fighter isn’t encouraging and I expect Cyborg to score an early knockout.
Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
Justin – Le will be in better shape than he was last time, and will know not to get careless against Smith, I think this time Le does what he couldn’t last time, and that’s finish Smith, probably in the third.
bsbiz – Neither guy will want to just stand and trade with the other, so I predict a grappling exhibition the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Kimbo wrestled Houston Alexander.
Chris L.- Le will be in better shape and I believe also he will be less showy and more looking to punish Smith. I think Le pounds Smith for a three round decision in fairly one-sided fight.
Kris Karkoski – Le should be hungry to avenge his first career loss and is reportedly in better shape, so I expect the former middleweight champ to edge Smith in a close decision to setup a rubber match.
Josh Thomson vs. Pat Healy
Justin – Healy is a dangerous fighter, riding a three fight win streak, and I have to admit I hadn’t heard of him before now, but I think he’ll pull of the upset and submit Thomson in the second.
bsbiz – Healy has beaten Paul Daley and Dan Hardy, but those were five and six years ago, respectively. He has beaten Melendez, but it was Brandon, not Gilbert. And he’s on a promotion’s main card, which is more than Jay Hieron can say. I predict I’ll be drunk.
Chris L.- Healy holds wins over Condit and Hardy but has never been consistent enough to really reach the elite level. Josh Thomson is a tough wrestler and good striker. That said I think Healy’s Team Quest background will assist him in avoiding the wrestling. I think this turns into a back and forth battle on their feet where the entire fight can come down to who gains a take down. I think Thomson is able to ride out a narrow and hard fought decision.
Kris Karkoski – The former lightweight champ Thomson should remain in the title hunt by submitting Healy in the second.