Strikeforce arrive in Ohio tomorrow night with two more belts on the line as Rafael Feijao and Marloes Coenen look to defend their respective 205lb and 135lb belts for the first time.
Check out our predictions for the event below.
Rafael “Feijao” Calvacante vs Dan Henderson
The main event of the evening is certainly one to look forward to as the younger, hungry Feijao takes on the wiley veteran Henderson.
Though they have other skills, both fighters prefer to strike, and they are both adept at it. Henderson is the more predictable of the two, looking to load up with his big right hand which can end a fight in an instant. Feijao also has stopping power but is more versatile in how he does so, with his muay thai knees and elbows can be deadly.
Elsewhere Henderson’s wrestling could be a significant factor if he’s struggling to gain a striking advantage, and he’s very good on top. Meanwhile Feijao does have BJJ to fall back on, but he’ll have a hard time utilizing it from his back against a seasoned vet like Henderson.
Cardio could also play a role in this fight. Henderson is now 40, and gassed in his last five round fight with Jake Shields last year. On the other hand Fejiao is 10 years younger, but has never been a full three rounds, never mind five.
This is a tough one to call. I think Henderson is more likely to get a KO, but after much deliberation I’m leaning slightly towards the current champion Feijao to get the victory. These days Hendo has become too predictable with his offense, and Feijao is a talented enough striker to be able to steer clear of the overhand right while unleashing a much more varied selection of strikes himself. Henderson is tough and has never been stopped, but I think the Brazilian can wear him down and seize a convincing win on the judges scorecards.
Rafael Feijao to win by decision.
Marloes Coenen vs. Liz Carmouche
Credit to Carmouche for taking this fight on short notice, but it’s a big ask to come in with only five fights under your belt and take on someone like Coenen. She’s definitely a prospect, compact with decent power in her hands, but she’ll be hard pushed to get the better of the Dutch champion on the feet.
Coenen is far more experienced, has a very well-rounded skill set with technically sound kickboxing and extremely dangerous submissions from on top or her back, and she looks strong in her new weight class.
I expect Coenen to pick Carmouche apart on the feet with with a fluent mix of punches and kicks, but she’ll finish with a submission on the ground.
Marloes Coenen to win by submission in Rd2
Tim Kennedy vs. Melvin Manhoef
We all know Manhoef’s capabilities on the feet. A venomous striker with serious power and vicious kicks, he’s hugely entertaining to watch. He’s been on a really poor run of form recently though, and he continues to have a huge hole in his game which is lack of ground skills.
That’s unfortunate as Kennedy is well suited to exploiting that weakness with his wrestling. Kennedy also has a huge cardio advantage, and while not a deadly striker, he does have a good boxing base and is as tough as they come.
As long as Kennedy plays it smart and uses his wrestling to get this fight on the mat sooner rather than later then this should be a relatively easy victory for him.
Tim Kennedy to win by submission in Rd1
Billy Evangelista vs. Jorge Masvidal
This should be a fun fight between two entertaining lightweight fighters who will more than likely be happy to keep the fight standing.
Evangelista is unbeaten in 12 fights, and a good stand-up fighter with strong takedown defense, but I think he’ll have a tough time against Masvidal who has very good boxing ability and will cause significant problems with hi movement and counter-striking.
I favor Masvidal to get the better of the stand-up battle and pull of an upset win.
Jorge Masvidal to win by TKO in Rd3