Event: Strikeforce: "Henderson vs. Babalu"
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, at 10:00 p.m. ET on Showtime
Location: Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri
Main Card (Televised):
Dan Henderson vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Luke Thomas: He's the heavy underdog, but I'm not sure why. Sobral's liabilities are real, but his offensive capability - particularly against Henderson's increasingly narrow attacking strategy - make me lean towards the Brazilian. Babalu by decision.
Kid Nate: Babalu is a better MMA wrestler than Dan or was, both men are fading fast. I have to think Dan will get put on his back while swinging for the fences. But he just has to connect once...or maybe twice...nah. Sobral by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Did I miss the memo where a long time top 5 guy loses to a really talented fighter and then we write him off against a guy who routinely finds ways to lose to mediocre competition? Sobral is great at getting hit in the face in fights like these. Dan Henderson by KO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: This is an interesting style matchup. Henderson has trouble with guys who can take him down and control him on the floor. Sobral is always susceptible to running into power shots. I think this sort of fight will determine whether Henderson can become Randy Couture 2.0. And in that vein, I'll pick against him. Renato Sobral by decision.
Nick Thomas: This is going to be a close fight. But I'm going with Henderson returning to form at 205. Henderson by decision.
Leland Roling: Honestly, I'm not excited about this fight at all. Henderson's power is his key to victory, but his ridiculous stalking with his hand locked and loaded in plain sight still kills me. Sobral isn't great, but I would think he has the footwork and stand-up to pepper Henderson while also holding an advantage on the ground. I'll take Renato Sobral via decision.
Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith
Luke Thomas: Daley can be hurt (especially to the body), but he's too technically savvy for Smith. The Brit's got clean mechanics and cunning instincts. That should be enough. Daley by TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate: Smith should entertain and there's always the possibility he'll survive a beating to get a KO late but not against Daley. Daley by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Anyone who fights Scott Smith and doesn't focus their attack on his body is a moron. Smith may react worse to body shots than any "upper level" combat athlete I've ever seen. Paul Daley by KO, round one.
Mike Fagan: There's no reason that Smith should win this unless Daley decides to get careless. Fighting for the first time at 170 doesn't help matters either. Paul Daley by TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: Smith's debut at 170. It's going to be a rough night for Smith. Daley by decision.
Leland Roling: Daley's soid defense on the feet in combination with crisp, straight combinations will wreck Smith quickly. Daley via KO.
Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Lindland
Luke Thomas: Lindland could slap on a guillotine from the clinch and end this thing pronto, but that's something akin to Lindland having a grappler's chance. Lawler by KO.
Kid Nate: Lindland is old and never did well against hard-hitting lefties. Lawler by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: If Lindland wasn't so old I'd probably pick him. I'm not so much afraid of the southpaw thing as I am Lawler just having more left in the tank. I still REALLY want to pick Lindland to grind this out in the most boring way possible, but I won't. Robbie Lawler by decision.
Mike Fagan: Watch Matt Lindland vs. David Terrell and Matt Lindland vs. Vitor Belfort. Tell me if you can find the similarity between Terrell, Belfort, and Lawler. Hint: it rhymes with "mouth saw." Robbie Lawler by TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: Lawler keeps this on his feet and ends it there. Lawler by decision.
Leland Roling: Lawler stuffs Lindland for most of the fight, and batters him to a decision win. Robbie Lawler via decision.
Antonio Silva vs. Mike Kyle
Luke Thomas: Late notice, size and even general MMA skills all tip the balance in favor of Silva. Silva by TKO.
Kid Nate: Silva should pillage Kyle like a Viking horde on vacation at an Irish monastery in 1066. Silva by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: If I thought Kyle could reliably hurt Silva, I'd consider taking him. But he can't. If I thought Kyle could control where the action takes place, I'd consider taking him. But he can't. If I thought Kyle could legitimately beat Antonio Silva, I'd consider taking him. But he can't. Antonio Silva by TKO, round two.
Mike Fagan: Big ups to Mike Kyle for taking this fight. Even bigger ups to Antonio Silva for the beating he'll put on Kyle. Antonio Silva by TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: Silva is going to dwarf Kyle. Silva by submission.
Leland Roling: Kyle has all the disadvantages. Short notice, underweight, and not as skilled. Antonio Silva via submission.
Ovince St. Preux vs. Benji Radach
Luke Thomas: St. Preux has a lot of ability, but I think this might be too much. I'm not overly confident in picking St. Preux given Radach's history, but I'll stick with the veteran here. Radach by decision.
Brent Brookhouse:This is interesting because St. Preux is coming off a fight just over two weeks before fight night and Radach is going to be rusty with not having fought in 20 months. I think St. Preux has the advantage here being bigger and fresher. If he can use his attack to the body to bring Radach's hands down he'll have openings to finish. It's more likely that we see a decision here though and I'm going to go with the prospect. Ovince St. Preux by decision.
Nick Thomas: Radach is coming in with a lot of ring rust. St. Preux by decision.
Leland Roling: This fight would be more interesting if it were fought under the story that a girl was involved. Benji Radach via TKO.