Strikeforce: Nashville on CBS
Saturday, April 17, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson
Luke Thomas: Henderson can certainly be taken down despite his Olympic pedigree, but I don't think an undersized middleweight is going to have it easy by any stretch. And I suspect waiting for the home run right hand might keep Shields at bay forcing bad shots. This is Hendo's to lose. Henderson by KO.
Kid Nate: Anything could happen, but it's hard to see a road to victory for Shields. Hendo has looked flat at 185lbs in the past, but looked amazing in his last outing at UFC 100. Henderson by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: This isn't an "anything could happen" fight for me. Henderson is highly unlikely to fall into a submission, there's no way Shields controls enough time to win a decision and he's not KO'ing Henderson. Easy pick here. If Shields makes it out of the first it'll be a victory for him. Dan Henderson by KO, round 2.
Michael Rome: I am at least cognizant of the possibility that Dan will take this too lightly and fail to prepare. That being said, this is a terrible fight for Jake. He's going to be fighting a bigger, stronger man with serious knockout power. This is by far the toughest test of his career, and I don't think he'll pass it. Dan Henderson via KO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: Shields never knocks Henderson out, so he needs a sub or a decision. I have a hard time seeing him winning a decision a lot of the time. Dan's only been subbed against Silva (after taking a buttload of punishment) and the Nog brothers, who are legit LHW/HWs. So...yeah. Have fun, Jake. Dan Henderson by KO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: Gotta agree with Nate here - I just don't see how Shields wins this fight. Henderson via TKO, round two.
Nick Thomas: Henderson will be bigger fighter and make it tough for Shields to take him down. In the stand-up Henderson dominates. I think it will be closer than people think. But I'm picking Henderson by decision.
Leland Roling: As most of the other staff has mentioned, size is going to be a major issue in this fight. Henderson should be able to bully Shields around the cage, close distance, and find a home for his massive right hand. Shields has been posturing that he has much improved striking, but he has to know his only chance in on the ground. I don't see that happening. Henderson lands some bombs in this fight. Dan Henderson via TKO, Round 2.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal
Luke Thomas: I'm going to gamble and go with Lawal. I think he'll find Mousasi is defensively a lot stronger than he expected and I can see him keeping composure under fire only to storm back if the fight goes into later rounds. Lawal by Decision.
Kid Nate: This is really an epic match-up. Mousasi is deadly in a number of ranges, but King Mo is a singularly gifted physical specimen. I think Mo can hang on the feet, dominate the take downs and avoid the submissions. King Mo by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: It seems several of my site-mates have lost their minds. This is a five round fight. Mo can win three rounds against an experienced, well-rounded and dangerous opponent like Mousasi? Really? I just don't see it. Gegard Mousasi by TKO, round 4.
Michael Rome: It's not that Mo has no chance, it's just that over the course of a 5 round fight I don't think he has the offensive tools to compete with a veteran like Mousasi. I could see Mo winning the first round, but beyond that I think Mousasi takes over and wins late. I've rewatched a lot of Mo's fights, and from a technical perspective there are just so many holes. It will take a lot of athleticism to make up for those deficiencies, and while he might have a chance at stealing a decision in a 3 round fight, I don't see it here. Mousasi via submission, round 3.
Mike Fagan: I think a lot of people are sleeping on Mo. I'm a huge Mousasi fan and I think he's the favorite, but Mo's not to be slept on here. I'm going to take the contrarian/underdog pick and say "King" Mo Lawal by decision. I'm also going to say this will be a FOTY contender.
Chris Nelson: Mo is one of the greatest prospects MMA has seen, and while I think there's a good chance that Mousasi could be too much, too soon... I also think that Mo is in Mousasi's head a bit. Lawal via decision.
Nick Thomas: Love this fight since King Mo has been hyping it up nicely. I'm a huge fan of Mousasi and can't pick against him here. Mousasi could submit Lawal but I'll go with Mousasi by TKO.
Leland Roling: Definitely a huge test for King Mo. Over his career, he hasn't looked unbelievable, but he has improved considerably. If this goes into the late rounds, he loses easily to the more experienced Mousasi. But Mo's wrestling credentials seem to be something of a mystery to most fans. He is probably the best wrestler in MMA from a background standpoint besides maybe Joe Warren. I think his wrestling base and his strength is going to be stifling on the floor for Mousasi. I'll take the upset. He wins three rounds then miraculously doesn't die in the late rounds. "King Mo" Lawal via decision
Luke Thomas: I actually think Melendez is going to put a beating on Aoki. There might be some tense moments, but Melendez's scrambling and base are going to keep him in positions to unload punishment. Melendez by TKO.
Kid Nate: This is a very very hard fight to call. I could see either fighter winning in one-sided fashion. I'm going with home field advantage and taking Melendez by ground and pound. Don't cry Shinya. Gilbert Melendez by TKO
Brent Brookhouse: You know, I could entirely see this fight going either way. Melendez's ground game is solid enough that a submission isn't going to be easy, but Aoki has rare talents that make it possible. Aoki just doesn't react well to punishment and I think that Gilbert can put a little on him. Gilbert Melendez by TKO, round 2.
Michael Rome: What a tough fight to predict. Both men are extremely motivated, and I expect this to be really good. I'm going to go ahead and pick Aoki to get Melendez down and submit him. Aoki via submission, round 3.
Mike Fagan: As with any Aoki fight against legit competition, the fight boils down to whether or not Aoki can submit his opponent. I think Melendez can keep this standing and blast Aoki there. Gilbert Melendez by TKO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: I'm so proud that no one on staff has mentioned Aoki's grappling pants in their predictions. What this fight really comes down to is whether Aoki can get inside on Melendez without taking damage. Melendez doesn't have tremendous power, but he's likely got enough to TKO the Dream champion. On the other hand, Aoki's wrestling and takedowns, while not on par with Melendez', are severely underrated. It's a true coinflip, but with 25 minutes on the clock, I'll take Melendez via decision.
Nick Thomas: Can Aoki submit Melendez? I don't think so. Melendez by decision.
Leland Roling: Melendez will more than likely win this over five rounds by maintaining range and peppering Aoki, but if he gets too aggressive... Aoki will bring him into his world and transition on him with brilliance. I don't think Aoki is going to win, but Aoki has proven me wrong so many times before. Shinya Aoki via submission.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Tim Stout
Luke Thomas: Miller by anything.
Kid Nate: Mayhem by submission in a gimme.
Brent Brookhouse: This is legitimately a fight that a commission would have every right to turn down due to being entirely non-competitive. It's a waste of everyone's time and has no business happening. I hope that in some tremendous karmic turn Stout lands a hail mary shot and turns Miller's lights out. That being said Miller by who cares.
Michael Rome: Should be a Mayhem rout. Mayhem via submission, round 2.
Mike Fagan: Why is this fight even put together? Jason Miller by decision.
Nick Thomas: Miller will be bigger, stronger and on the ground this is over quickly. Miller by submission.
Chris Nelson: Straight up, it'll be an embarrassment if Miller doesn't finish this fight early. Miller via TKO, round two.
Leland Roling: Miller should dominate here, finish as well. Mayhem Miller via submission.
Zach Underwood vs. Hunter Worsham
Luke Thomas: I'm with Nate. Worsham by KO.
Kid Nate: I'll go with the soldier, Worsham by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Worsham has enough power to end it. Underwood has an undefeated record. Hunter Worsham by TKO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: And now we get into the "Who?" portion of the card. Christ, most of these guys don't even have wiki pages. One guy's undefeated so, Zach Underwood by decision.
Chris Nelson: Under Worsham's power, I think Underwood's "0" is gonna go. Worsham via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: Don Frye endorses Hunter Worsham... who's gonna argue with that moustache? Hunter Worsham via KO.
Josh Schockman vs. Cale Yarbrough
Luke Thomas: Shockman is bigger, stronger and punches much harder. Shockman by TKO.
Mike Fagan: Oooo! A former TUF guy! Cale Yarbrough by TKO, round 1.
Brent Brookhouse: Feel like making some money? Schockman is a pretty heavy underdog and several of us like him to win it. Josh Schockman by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Wait, what? I don't think I've seen either of these guys fight for at least two years. Suppose I'll go... Schockman via decision.
Leland Roling: Schockman used to be around 230 I believe, and Yarbrough at 185. At 205, Shockman is going to be very heavy in comparison to Yarbrough, so it comes down to overall skill. Yarbrough has proven power in his hands, although Schockman is in the same boat. Upset special possible here, but I'll take Cale. Cale Yarbrough via TKO, Round 1.
Dustin Ortiz vs. Justin Pennington
Luke Thomas: Ortiz by decision.
Mike Fagan: Ye gods, guys with 0-0 records. Justin Pennington by decision because Ortiz's name reminds me too much of David.
Brent Brookhouse: If Pennington does well don't be shocked to see his next fight on a Challengers show. Justin Pennington by TKO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: Wouldn't read too much into Strikeforce having 125-pounders on the card here, since they just seem to pick up whatever fights they can when they leave Cali. Ortiz via decision.
Leland Roling: Flyweights, huh? Another local guy in Dustin Ortiz who trains out of Nashville mixed martial arts with Shockman and Pee Wee Herman. He had a solid run in the amateur circuit, but Pennington seems to have the hype as a San Shou practitioner with an ISKA title under his belt. I'll take Justin Pennington via TKO.
Andrew Uhrich vs. Dustin West
Luke Thomas: I don't care and it doesn't matter.
Brent Brookhouse: Pretending I have a clue in picking this one would be lying. Dustin West by winning the fight.
Mike Fagan: West is 1-1 with a victory over Blake Bowman and a loss to some other guy. Uhrich doesn't have a Sherdog page. Fark. Andrew Uhrich by TKO, round 2?
Chris Nelson: West via decision.
Leland Roling: West is out of NMMA like many of the other fighters on this card. Former HS football standout, Marine deployed in Iraq, and former police officer. I'll take him. Dustin West via TKO, Round 1.
Chris Hawk vs. Ovince St. Preux
Luke Thomas: St. Preux is going to smash him by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: I recognize his name so...Ovince St. Preux by submission, round 1.
Mike Fagan: Just when you think it couldn't get worse. Two guys with 3-4 records. Someone's .429 has got to go! Ovince St. Preux by decision and cool name.
Chris Nelson: St. Preux via decision.
Leland Roling: Ahh, St. Preux finds himself in the spotlight against after that calf slicer almost won submission of the year in 2009. He played for the Vols from '01 to '04 as a linebacker as well. Both guys are former decorated athletes in other sports, so we'll see how this goes. I'll go with Ovince St. Preux via submission.
Thomas Campbell vs. Cody Floyd
Luke Thomas: Floyd by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Cody Floyd by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: Campbell's is a soup. Soup comes in a can. Cody Floyd by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Floyd via decision.
Leland Roling: Cody Floyd actually beat down Dustin Ortiz in amateur action, so I'll take him. Cody Floyd via TKO, Round 1.