Tomorrow in Dallas at the American Airlines Arena, the biggest card in Strikeforce history takes place, as Fabricio Werdum faces Alistair Overeem. The co-main event features Brett Rogers facing Josh Barnett. Other matchups include a number one contender match for the lightweight title as Jorge Masvidal faces KJ Noons.
Other heavyweight matches include Valentjin Overeem facing Chad Griggs and Dan Cormier facing former UFC veteran Jeff Monson. We preview the card and give our predictions…
Valentjin Overeem (29-25-1) vs. Chad Griggs(10-1) 3rds heavyweights
This time of year last year no one had ever heard of Chad Griggs in an era where there is video footage on everything Griggs was the exception; heading into his August showdown with Bobby Lashley Strikeforce was being criticized for bringing in a tomato can to boost Lashley’s record. A come from behind KO win over Lashley and a come from behind KO of Gian villante have people taking notice of the Grave Digger and you can bet if victorious, Griggs will be considered a contender. Overeem has had a long career and has faced the very best in the sport and has lost to the very best. I see a surprise KO victory for Griggs.
Dan Cormier (7-0) vs. Jeff Monson(42-11) 3rds heavyweights
Monson is fighting for the first time under the Zuffa banner since he lost in a losing effort for the UFC heavyweight title AGAINST Tim Sylvia. What many people don’t know about Monson is that he was a division 1 wrestler for Oregon in College and was a PAC 10 champ.
Besides that he is a two time ADCC submission champion and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Despite that he is an undersized heavyweight with a gas tank that tends to run out although I feel he has more tools than Cormier I can’t count out the fact that Cormier is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in MMA today. I see Cormier winning a decision.
KJ Noons (10-3) vs. Jorge Masvidal(21-6) 3rds lightweights
Jorge Masvidal has always been regarded as a talented fighter who simply has not put it all together but now seems his opportunity his assets include good ground game and very underrated stand up many of you can see him on you tube as he has competed in two street fights. His career has been marred by ups and downs but this fight promises to bring out the best in Masvidal. Noons much like Masvidal has had some ups and downs and his specialty is his stand up also possesses a pro boxing record of (11-2). His recent defeat at the hands of Nick Diaz convinced him to go back to lightweight if Noons comes in shape and does not fade I see a victory for him. But alas I see Masvidal victorious by decision as Masvidal will dominate on the ground and on his feet.
Brett Rogers (11-2) vs. Josh Barnett (29-5) 3rds heavyweights
This in my mind is the biggest mismatch of the tournament as Rogers is a limited fighter with no ground game and a stand up game that depends largely on a right hand. He does not setup his punches well but does possess a lot of power. He also tires easily and in my opinion lost his last fight against Ruben Villareal. Barnett can grapple and fight off his back and has good stand up; but I’m predicting a first round stoppage victory for Barnett over Rogers.
Fabricio Werdum(14-4-1) vs. Alistair Overeem( 34-11) 3rds heavyweights
For some reason Werdum is considered an underdog in this matchup having already beaten Overeem by submission 5 years ago; admittedly both fighters are different fighters today but on his back Werdum is the best bjj practitioner in the heavyweight division today and as he has shown in his last couple of fights his stand up is underrated. Overeem is an all around fighter who has won 10 straight over questionable competition. His k1 accomplishments have him universally recognized as one of the best in kickboxing today. His ground game is very good and he seemingly never runs out of energy which is a plus for a heavyweight. I’m predicting a stoppage victory for Overeem.