Tomorrow, live on Showtime Strikeforce will play host to a rematch between bitter rivals Nick Diaz and KJ Noons, plus three other notable bouts on the main card.
Check out our predictions for the fights below.
Nick Diaz Vs KJ Noons
Noons certainly got the upper-hand in their last meeting, though Diaz was unlucky to be stopped at the end of the first by a cut as he was clearly fit to continue. It will be interesting to see whether Noons solid boxing credentials will once again allow him to pick apart Diaz patented long-range pitter-patter approach to striking that has baffled many of his previous opponents.
I think it’s possible, but what we know about Diaz is that he has a serious chin and won’t quit. That means that short of another cut, Noons may have to outstrike him for five full rounds. The problem with that strategy is that Diaz is undoubtedly going to be looking to get this fight to the floor at some stage, and if he does so his BJJ is in an entirely different league from Noons.
That doesn’t bode well for Noons and I think sooner or later he’s going to get caught in something he can’t get out of.
Prediction: Nick Diaz to win by submission in Rd3
Sarah Kaufman Vs Marloes Coenen
I think Kaufman Vs Coenen is one of the best matched female fights we’ve seen recently with both having a good chance to have their hand raised at the end of this 135lb title fight.
Kaufman is a good all-rounder, not spectacular in any one discipline, but with solid boxing, good takedown defense and workman-like from top-control she’s difficult to beat. Coenen on the other hand holds a significant advantage with her BJJ, with submissions accounting for 12 of her 17 career wins, yet she’s not completely out of her element striking either, despite what a humbling defeat to Cris Cyborg.
If Coenen can get Kaufman to the mat then that bodes well for her. I think she’ll have difficulty doing that against Kaufman though and I believe it’ll be the striking portions of the fight that will ultimately decided the winner. Both women are tough to finish and so I can see this one going the distance, with Kaufman edging it on the judges scorecards.
Prediction: Sarah Kaufman to win by decision.
Josh Thomson Vs JZ Cavalcante
Dangerous on his feet and on the mat, Cavalcante makes his debut in Strikeforce with the kind of skills that could make an impression in their lightweight division.
JZ has been injury prone though and has fought just once in the past year so it’s a tough task for him to be fighting someone of Thomson’s caliber. Two five round wars with Gilbert Melendez tell you all you need to know about his relentless drive and cardio, and that could be a telling factor in this fight.
Thomson will have to be careful in the striking, but I think his wrestling could be the difference here and help him to wear down his talented opponent and claim a decision victory.
Prediction: Josh Thomson to win by decision.
Tyron Woodley Vs Andre Galvao
A product of the Strikeforce Challengers series, Tyron Woodley gets his chance to shine on the big show with this main card opener against Galvao who also takes a step up after featuring in the prelims of the Houston event back in August.
Both fighters are adept on the mat, with Woodley holding a wrestling base and compiling a string of submission victories in his young career, while Galvao is a certified BJJ expert with the gold medals to prove it.
To make it clear, Galvao would tie Woodley in knots in a BJJ match-up, but this is MMA, and I think so far Woodley is adapting his skills better to that pursuit. He’ll be looking to gain top control and use his wrestling to stifle the Brazilian’s offense from his back, or alternatively look to keep the fight standing where I believe he’ll hold a striking advantage. He’ll have to keep his wits about him, but I believe he’ll be the better man over the course of three rounds.
Prediction: Tyron Woodley to win by decision.