The Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO hosts the return of Strikeforce to Showtime after the promotion’s second foray on CBS. The San Jose, Calif.-based organization offers up “Heavy Artillery” with four heavyweights in the four top spots on the card. The promotional debut of ADCC Champion Roger Gracie—yes, of those Gracies—is flanked by bouts with contender implications at 185 and 205-pounds. Here are our picks for Saturday nights bouts with odds courtesy of bodog – FIGHT! is currently 49-23 with its picks in 2010.
Despite coming off a loss, Brett Rogers is in a title fight. It’s a rare position, and “The Grim” has the puncher power coupled with agility to take the belt from heavyweight titleholder Alistair Overeem, who returns to Strikeforce for the first time since Nov. 20007.
“Demolition Man” is 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix semi-finalist; however, his accomplishments in MMA have been great for highlights and not much else since his absence from Strikeforce. Overeem’s dangerous and explosive flying knees are part of a larger arsenal standing, but it’s his advantage on the ground that makes him a favorite against the Minnesotan.
Advantages are only as good as their application though. Rogers’ has the conditioning, size and toughness to fight off Overeem’s takedowns and clip the champion before he’s broken down by the Golden Glory standout.
Overeem’s last defeat is telling as he turned away from the fight after feeling Sergei Kharitonov’s power. In short, 4oz. gloves are less forgiving. And there’s no give in Rogers hands.
FIGHT! Pick: Rogers
Fomer UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski hopes to put a winless 2009, in which he suffered two first round knockouts, behind him by sinking his teeth into American Top Team’s Antonio “Bigfoot’ Silva. Arlovski’s problem has always been a mental one. With camp split between notoriously grueling gyms Greg Jackson’s and American Kickboxing Academy, the sambo-based boxing enthusiast will employ a speed advantage to beat a fighter with a tendency of his own to fade when it matters.
FIGHT! Pick: Arlovski
Kevin Randleman is mixed martial arts best salesmen as he promises the best version of himself in disappointing outing after disappointing outing. While the former Division I NCAA National Wrestling Champion can force ADCC Champion Roger Gracie to stand in his Strikeforce debut, the Ohio State Buckeye will likely have a lapse that results in him tapping the mat.
FIGHT! Pick: Gracie
“Jacare” Souza is one of the world’s best submission grapplers; Joey Villasenor wants to know how he measures up as a fighter. The Greg Jackson-trained striker brings a four-fight win streak into the cage. His boxing is smart and he is accustomed to deep waters, but the Brazilian’s athleticism and takedowns ensure he’ll drag the fight to the mat long enough to lock his jaws onto a submission, punching his ticket for a middleweight title shot.
FIGHT! Pick: Souza
Antwain Britt has a tendency to steamroll opponents if given the opportunity. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante lacks the wrestling game to dictate where the fight happens against the former NCAA Division I wrestler although he is well-rounded enough, and more importantly, poised enough for his strikes to guide him to the ‘W’ and contender status for Strikeforce 205-pound king Muhammad Lawal.
FIGHT! Pick: Cavalcante
FIGHT! Pick: Rogers Resulting Outcome: INCORRECT
Andrei Arlovski (-180) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (+150)
FIGHT! Pick: Arlovski Resulting Outcome: INCORRECT
Roger Gracie (-450) vs. Kevin Randleman (+300)
FIGHT! Pick: Gracie Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Ronald “Jacare” Souza (-600) vs. Joey Villasenor (+400)
FIGHT! Pick: Souza Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Rafael Cavalcante (-160) vs. Antwain Britt (+130)
FIGHT! Pick: Cavalcante Resulting Outcome: CORRECT