November 7 is a big day for Strikeforce. Fedor Emelianenko will make his debut on the promotion’s first CBS-televised card in a city the promotion has never been to. Scott Coker & Co. will surely encounter a lot of surprises but I don’t expect many of them to occur in the six-sided cage. Betting odds courtesy of BestFightOdds.com.
(Against Arlovski, Fedor was getting beaten until he wasn’t. Keep that in mind when placing your bets.)
Rogers has a punchers chance and that’s about it. He has a significant size advantage over Fedor but Emelianenko has tooled bigger guys before. The Russian is not the best striker or grappler, but his transition game is flawless, using Sambo punches to set up takedowns and turning his opponent’s takedowns into advantageous positions. His timing and distance are also impeccable, which more than makes up for any technical deficiencies in his striking.
FIGHT! Pick: Fedor.
Jake Shields has proved that he is world class at 170 and 185 but I think “Mayhem” poses serious problems. Miller is good enough on the feet to beat Shields up and good enough on the ground not to get caught. The advantage in wrestling goes to Shields but I’ll take “Mayhem” for the new Strikeforce middleweight title.
FIGHT! Pick: Miller.
This is a decent-enough match up but it should have been a title fight. If you’re going to bother booking your new light heavyweight champ, put his belt on the line. Anyway, Sokoudjou has shown flashes of potential, mostly in his first few fights before getting derailed and run out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Mousasi has been on fire, capturing titles and Dream and Strikeforce by wrecking guys like Jacare and Babalu. This one’s easy.
FIGHT! Pick: Mousasi.
American Top Team’s “Bigfoot” Silva has shown potential, holding the short-lived EliteXC heavyweight crown and taking wins in K-1 Hero’s and Sengoku, but Werdum is battle tested, having fought, and beaten, better competition in Pride and the UFC. “Vai Cavallo” is also a Abu Dhabi Combat Club champion so I don’t expect him to get outworked on the ground. It may not be a rout, but Werdum is a live dog in this fight.
FIGHT! Pick: Werdum.
FIGHT! Pick: Fedor. Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Jake Shields (-266) vs. “Mayhem” Miller (+236)
FIGHT! Pick: Miller. Resulting Outcome: INCORRECT
Gegard Mousasi (-460) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (+393)
FIGHT! Pick: Mousasi. Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Antonio Silva (+156) vs. Fabricio Werdum (-165)
FIGHT! Pick: Werdum. Resulting Outcome: CORRECT