1. Who will win the stand-up battle, Nick Diaz or KJ Noons?
In the first fight Noons surprised Diaz by comfortably out-boxing him in the opening round. Since then Diaz has perfected his unorthadox pitter-patter striking from range, and will come in with a better understanding of what Noons brings to the cage, but will that be enough?
If Diaz can get the advantage on the feet then Noons chances of victory will be very slim, but otherwise Diaz has to swallow his pride and get to the mat to secure victory.
2. Can Nick Diaz curb his bad boy antics or will we see another brawl in the cage?
Diaz is often at the epicenter when trouble arises. He fought Joe Riggs in a hospital after they competed in a UFC event, he started a brawl in the cage with Noons and his entourage after an Elite XC bout, and most recently was instrumental in the in-cage riot at Strikeforce: Nashville earlier this year.
With bad blood still evident between Noons and Diaz Strikeforce have drafted in extra security and both fighters will have been warned to control themselves. That should help, but with the adrenalin pumping and emotions running high anything could happen.
3. Can Sarah Kaufman Impress In Her ‘Big Show’ Debut?
135lb woman’s champion Sarah Kaufman has rightly been banging on her drum demanding a promotion from the Strikeforce Challengers series for some time now, and she’s finally been granted her wish.
Will she be able to make the most of the opportunity though? Marloes Coenen is undoubtedly one of her toughest opponents yet so an impressive performance here would be a major boost for her career, but there’s also a significant risk that this could be a five round stalemate which won’t please either the fans or the TV execs.
4. Is Marloes Coenen Strikeforce’s Next Lady In Waiting?
A talented fighter – particularly on the mat, unconventional but appealing looks, and with a well spoken, likable manner, Coenen has the ingredients to be a reasonably marketable champion for Strikeforce if she can claim a win over Kaufman.
It seems Strikeforce sense this which is why they’ve sent her into a second title fight after losing to Cris Cyborg last time out. It’s a gamble though as a loss would leave her in limbo as far as the 135 and 145lb title races go.
5. Is JZ Cavalcante Poised To Take the U.S By Storm?
Undoubtedly a talented fighter (and if you listen to his opponent Josh Thomson’s pre-fight hype then the Brazilian is one of the very best at 155lbs), JZ Cavalcante has yet to live up to his full potential due to injuries and a lack of mainstream exposure in the US.
Now he finally gets his chance on Showtime, and if he can claim a win over a tough opponent like Thomson then he could put himself on the map and give Strikeforce a much needed boost to their 155lb division.
6. Can Tyron Woodley Become The Next Successful Product From The Strikeforce Challengers Series?
Tim Kennedy is a good example of how the Strikeforce Challengers series can help bring through potential new stars into the mix, and Tyron Woodley could be next.
After three successful outings on ShoMMA, taking his record to 6-0 in the process, he steps up to the main card of a major event and could help to further legitimize the Challengers series by emerging with a win against a solid opponent in Andre Galvao.