Strikeforce’s last ever event takes place tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Marquardt arrived late on the Strikeforce scene, but looked impressive taking out Tyron Woodley last time out in his debut at 170lbs to become the champ.
I’m expecting more of the same this time round. Saffiedine is tidy with his work on the feet, but Marquardt should be able to hang with him and hits harder. Elsewhere I think Marquardt is the better all-round fighter so if the fights not going his way standing then he should have the advantage on the ground.
I expect him to mix things up a bit and gradually wear down Saffiedine for a stoppage in the championship rounds.
Nate Marquardt to win by TKO in Rd4.
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
This is one of a few fights on the card that look like a mismatch. Staring has a respectable 28-7 record, but on closer inspection there’s not many notable wins to his name and he’s often come up short when paired up with a significant opponent.
That’s certainly the case with Cormier who could quickly find himself in the title reckoning when he moves over to the UFC thanks to his elite level wrestling and natural knockout power. His striking has come on significantly over the past couple of years and I think he’s going to give Staring more than he can handle wherever this fight goes.
Daniel Cormier to win by TKO in Rd1.
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
Guelmino is another fighter plucked from relative obscurity to take on a major player in the shape of Barnett and there’s not too much here to suggest an upset is on the cards.
Generally Barnett only loses to fighters in the very upper-echelon of the heavyweight ranks and with the possibility of moving back to the UFC still on the cards I’d expect him to employ the same ‘safe’ strategy that got him to the final of Strikeforce’s Grand-Prix – taking his opponent down, smothering him and working methodically for a submission finish that should come sooner rather than later.
Josh Barnett to win by submission in Rd2.
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi
Now this is a more competitive fight. It should be an intriguing fight on the feet as Kyle has good boxing and hits very hard, but Mousasi has excellent technique, a good chin and superior timing and accuracy so aside from getting caught with one big shot I believe he has the edge in this department.
Mousasi is vulnerable to a wrestle-heavy approach, and that’s something Kyle could look to exploit, but I don’t see him having the kind of success that ‘King Mo’ did a few years ago. Mousasi’s submissions are good and he’s got effective ground and pound from top position so I think he offers up potential problems for Kyle on the mat too.
The fact that Mousasi hasn’t fought in over a year is a concern, but he’s generally very well conditioned and he’s still got a lot to prove as he attempts to finally break into the UFC and I expect him to do enough to earn a decision win here.
Gegard Mousasi to win by decision.
Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza
Not exactly the most glamorous match-up for the first and only ever UFC Vs Strikeforce match-up, but we’ll take what we can get.
Herman’s actually been doing fairly well for himself in the UFC’s middleweight division of late, but I believe ‘Jacare’ is a step above many of the fighters he’s beaten and could be a signficant player in the UFC’s 185lb ranks with his world class submission skills and improved striking.
I think Herman will make this one competitive, but his forte is very much rooted in submissions and that’s just not going to work against Souza so he’s in a tough spot and I’m predicting that he’ll eventually lose by decision.
Ronaldo Souza to win by decision.
Pat Healy Vs Kurt Holobaugh
Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
Ryan Couture vs. K.J. Noons
Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins
Mike Bravo vs. Estevan Payan