Friday, December 3, 2010

Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu

The MMA calendar is packed this month. A WEC event with 2 titles on the line 2 weeks from now, GSP defends his against Koscheck next week, and tomorrow both the Ultimate Fighter Finale and a Strikeforce event air. The UFC is hands-down the best promotion around, but tomorrow night, "Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu" is the event to watch.

The Main Event puts 2 of the best light heavyweights outside of the UFC against each other as Dan Henderson takes on Renato 'Babalu' Sobral for the next shot at the Strikeforce 205-pound belt. Babalu has always been know as an alright wrestler with a strong submission game but outstruck a striker in Robbie Lawler in his latest outing by outpointing him with small shots a la Bisping. Henderson is coming off a loss to Jake Shields but has torn through everyone he's fought, with his only losses in the UFC coming to Anderson Silva and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson. He doesn't need to cut much weight at 205 and has a decisive wrestling advantage. He's not the most technical striker but only needs to land his big right hand to end the fight and is really good at doing just that. I say this ends up looking exactly like Henderson/Bisping, with Sobral out cold and Henderson smiling when Buffer announces the winner.

The Co-Main Event is striker vs striker as Paul 'Semtex' Daley takes on Scott Smith. Both are heavy handed but Daley is by far the better striker and knows how to put his heavy hands to better use. Though in his UFC run he proved he was a bad sport by sucker punching Koscheck and a crappy wrestler by getting taken down left and right, he also showed he can put away anyone who chooses to stand with him and Scott Smith is exactly the type of person who will. Smith always gets beat up in his fights and either continues to get beat up or turns around and knocks his opponent out of nowhere, but I say Daley finishes him before he gets his 2nd wind in the 3rd round.

Other interesting match ups in the card include Robbie Lawler vs Matt Lindland and Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva vs Mike Kyle. Lawler is a good striker with good power. Lindland is a very strong, high-level wrestler. Both have fought in the world's best promotions but are very inconsistent in their performances. It's a close one but I say Lindland wins by contol with his wrestling. I would put both Silva and Kyle at around the same level in terms of skill and experience, but I know Kyle as a light heavyweight, so Silva takes this by size and reach advantage, as well as the fact that Kyle took the fight on short notice.

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