Here we are, only a few days until MMA returns to primetime television on CBS and Fedor makes his debut with Strikeforce! We're also treated to a title fight for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, vacated by Cung Le, between Jake Shields and the always colorful Jason "Mayhem" Miller. We also get to see Gegard Mousasi and Fabricio Werdum return to the cage in action against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva respectively.
So you know the drill... my predicted winners in GREEN!
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers
Does Rogers have a chance? Yes, just like all 31 of Fedor's previous opponents had a chance, and only one of them came away with a win (by TKO / Cut, hardly a win). You don't pick against a 97% winning percentage, and I'm not picking against Fedor.
Fedor is technically superior everywhere. Even though some say his striking isn't very technical (which it may not be by boxing or muay thai standards), he puts it all together so well that for MMA it is technical when you give consideration to takedown defense and set up. Rogers has power, and in a sport of 4 ounce gloves and multiple ways to finish a fight he certainly has a shot. As Mark DellaGrotte said in Kevin Iole's article on Yahoo! Sports "A perfectly placed punch can knock anyone out. Anyone". The problem is that Rogers has to land a perfect or near perfectly placed punch, which will be tough to do on Fedor given his footwork and agility. Ultimately I think this fight will go to the ground where the experience gap will shine through. Fedor wins by TKO / Referee Stoppage on the ground.
Disclaimer: Now if we're talking about betting the spread with my new shoe money, I'd bet on Rogers. I like the long-shots for the big payout! According to betus.com the current spread is Fedor -550 and Rogers +375! OH and because I AM a girl, I count my chickens before they're hatched/shoes before they're purchased: Here's what I want to get. Aren't they gor(geous)?LOVE!
Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Jake Shields (for vacant Strikeforce middleweight title)
Miller is a funny guy, the problem is Shields isn't laughing. Miller has proven that he can go the distance avoiding submissions against some of the best (see Jacare fight in DREAM), but Shields' isn't your typical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He's all about pressure, passing guard, and making your life miserable if you're under him. The knock on Shields has always been his lack of ability on his feet, but in his fight against Robbie Lawler he showed he's not afraid to be there. Miller could use his reach and striking to avoid the takedown, but he will only be able to keep Shields at bay for so long. Look for Shields to secure the takedown, pass the guard, and finish Miller via submission.
Champ Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (non-title match)
Mousasi will dominate. Did you see Babalu? Out cold. Mousasi is a stud (at multiple weight classes). Technically sound. I see this one ending by TKO. Look for Mousasi to hurt Sokoudjou on his feet and finish him on the mat.
Antonio Silva vs. Fabricio Werdum
Even though Silva has a chin the size of a Rhode Island, look for Werdum to finish this one on the ground. His Jiu Jitsu is just too good.
So gents, there's no need to leave your girls at home to hit the bar to watch this event on PayPerView. Since it's on CBS, throw a Strikeforce party at your house and get your girl engaged. Show her the shoes above and I promise she'll be hooked. On my site and the sport. Tell her more shoes with next week's predictions for UFC 105.
While Roger's win against Fedor would allow those shoes to come home with me, I also have a bet consisting of bragging rights with Franklin McNeil! If you're not following him on twitter you should be. Did you see who he picked to win this weekend? If not, check out his picks on today's ESPN MMALive!
Friendly reminder, follow me on Twitter!