Strikeforce, in conjunction with their partners at EA Sports, pulled together a midweek card as part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Calif. Each of the four main card fights could have title implications as Strikeforce looks for contenders to challenge it’s lightweight and welterweight champions as well as middleweights to fill the void that will likely be left by reigning champ Jake Shields’ impending defection to the UFC. Here are FIGHT!’s picks for Wednesday night’s bouts with odds courtesy of bodog. We are 55-30 with our picks in 2010.
Sure, Sobral dropped his last fight and is getting on in years, but Lawler’s age, 28, is deceptive considering that he’s put nearly a decade of wear and tear on his body as a professional fighter. Lawler’s heavy hands make him the sexy pick but he was getting absolutely wrecked by Melvin Manhoef before landing a fight-ending punch. Sobral is too smart to let this fight become a slugfest and will likely test Lawler’s takedown and submission-defense.
FIGHT! Pick: Sobral
Tim Kennedy says he’s better than Trevor Prangley in all aspects of MMA, and he’s probably right. Prangley is a big middleweight, a tough guy who can hang with the best, but Kennedy has the toughness of a special operator and the talent sufficient to rise to national prominence while training and fighting part-time. With almost a year of full-time fight training under his belt, this fight is Kennedy’s chance to prove that he’s a top-tier middleweight or be exposed as a guy who has already maxed out his potential.
FIGHT! Pick: Kennedy
Conor Heun is a talented guy but ring rust is a bitch. The Eddie Bravo-trained grappler came out on the wrong end of an entertaining three-rounder against Jorge Gurgel last June and hasn’t fought since. KJ Noons returned to MMA in March after a nearly two-year sojourn in professional boxing and has arguably the best hands in Strikeforce’s lightweight division. Noon’s talent and timing are likely too much for Heun, no matter how beautiful the fight looks during his visualization sessions.
FIGHT! Pick: Noons
Santos, the Incredible Shrinking Brazilian, started fighting professionally at 205, dropped to middleweight, and now debuts at 170. Dude was pretty ripped up at 185; it’s hard to believe that pulling another 15 pounds from his muscular frame will do anything but deplete him. Zaromskis was outclassed by Nick Diaz in his first Strikeforce outing but should look good against a fighter who was middle-of-the-pack in his prime.
FIGHT! Pick: Zaromskis
FIGHT! Pick: Sobral Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Tim Kennedy (-125) vs. Trevor Prangley (-105)
FIGHT! Pick: Kennedy Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
KJ Noons (-450) vs. Conor Heun (+300)
FIGHT! Pick: Noons Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Evangelista Santos (+230) vs. Marius Zaromskis (-290)
FIGHT! Pick: Zaromskis Resulting Outcome: INCORRECT