Strikeforce Heavy Artillery Predictions

Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery
MAY 15, 2010
Scottrade Center
St. Louis, Missouri

Main card:

Overeem__rogers_medium Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers

Luke Thomas: I've long thought this is a bad fight for Overeem. This isn't to say Overeem can't win. My god, of course the guy can. He's a devastating finisher and has the best standing guillotine in all of MMA. Rogers is green by comparison to Overeem and doesn't have the multitude of ways to win Overeem posseses. But Overeem's been built (no pun intended) into something more mythical than he actually is. He's always had a problem with speedier fighters or those with decent hand speed often times because he's so selective about his shots he waits too long to strike. He's also a bully...if you let him be one. When he's pushed his shot selection goes from measured to reactionary and that's when he gets into trouble. I do expect Overeem to hurt Rogers in this fight and hurt him badly. But Rogers has vicious KO power of his own and is much more willing to engage the fight. Keeping constant pressure on Overeem is easier said than done, but he will wilt in the face of that. I also tend to think Rogers time spent at The Bodyshop means he's looking to unload GNP. And given how large he is, he's going to be a lot of man to be muscled around. The longer this goes, the more it favors Rogers. Look for him to weather an early storm only to come back. Is there a bubble on Overeem he's created in his absence from the U.S.? We're about to find out. Rogers by TKO, round 2.

Kid Nate: This one is giving me some tension. Last week I went against my gut and let my brain and my hopes talk me into picking Machida. I can see the reasons why Overeem should win, but I just feel like Rogers is powerful and hits too hard for the Dutchman. Rogers by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: Call me crazy but I really like Rogers here.  He's not going to get bullied and he's not going to be afraid.  Overeem has made his bones in MMA over the past few years beating up on overmatched opponents who he could bully and who presented very little threat of doing anything in return.  Brett hits like a truck and he is developing some wrestling and even has a few submission tricks.  Overeem probably should win on paper, but I think Rogers will pressure him and hurt him before getting the finish.  Brett Rogers by TKO, round 2.

Mike Fagan: Maybe I'm making the mistake of overlooking Rogers, but I have a tough time seeing how a "good" MMA striker beats a guy who has had legit success in K-1 AND has a better overall MMA game. Lest we not forget that this is the same man who went six minutes with Abongo Humphrey a year ago. Alistair Overeem by TKO, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Like most everyone else, I can easily see this fight going either way. Barring a Brett Rogers flying armbar, there's no finish to this fight that would really surprise me. I don't think Overeem will get inside Rogers' head the way that the mythical Fedor did, but I also think Rogers may come out tentative. And that's where the 'Reem capitalizes. Let's go with an old favorite and say standing guillotine. Overeem via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: This is such a great fight by the fact that I'm having trouble picking a winner. Overeem has eaten hard shots from Badr Hari, Remy Bonjasky and Peter Aerts. But I can see Rogers hurting him. It's close, but I have to go with Overeem by having more ways to win. Overeem by TKO.

Leland Roling: I'm going against the idea that Rogers isn't going to get wrecked in this fight. Overeem, while he has questions that need to be answered, is a different fighter than he was years ago during his PRIDE run. Sure, he's beat up on nobodies for the past year, but that was during his involvement in K-1. Taking less risk in MMA fights to continue trying to make a lucrative payout with K-1 isn't a stupid idea for a guy as popular as Overeem had become in Japan. He'll control the clinch, knee Rogers to hell, and probably punch his face in after defending Rogers' bricks with his massive forearms. Alistair Overeem via KO, Round 1.


Overeem__rogers_mediumAndrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva

Luke Thomas: I've long thought Pezao has been overrated. He can be mentally broken and while Arlovski isn't the guy to necessarily break Pezao's will, his power will be daunting and make the Brazilian tentative. Arlovski's sub defense is suspect as well particularly to someone who is such a physical presence, but I'm betting he's got enough takedown defense to get back to his winning ways. Arlovski by decision.

Kid Nate: Silva is tailor made for Arlovski to pick apart. He's slow, has poor footwork and has no one punch KO for Andrei to worry about. It'll take him a little while, but the Belorussian will win and he'll look good doing it. Arlovski by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: I don't really like Silva to be able to finish Arlovski here.  He is just so big and plodding that I think he'll have trouble landing on Arlovski or catching him with anything at all.  I think this ends up a fairly lopsided Arlovski win.  Andrei Arlovski by TKO, round 2.

Mike Fagan: You know what doesn't mix well with not having a chin? Fighting at heavyweight. It must be hell for Arlovski diehards, having to sit through 15 minutes of fighting and hoping, praying the other fight doesn't land a solid shot on the button. Antonio Silva used to be "the guy to beat Fedor". And while he's not just "a guy" at heavyweight, his chances of fulfilling that potential slim by the day. I have a hard time picking Arlovski against anyone with top talent and longer than 3 minutes of fighting time. Antonio Silva by TKO, round 2.

Chris Nelson: Arlovski plays pro boxer and picks "Pezao" apart for three rounds. Arlovski via decision.

Nick Thomas: Silva just has to land something early and Arlovski will crumble. Silva by TKO.

Leland Roling: Silva's size is really a problem for his speed, but great for his ability to clinch up and take down Arlovski. Arlovski has never been an unbelievably ground guy, and it was evident that his skills were lacking in his more recent fights when he did find himself on his back. Fortunately, his footwork and speed is good enough to avoid those situations for the most part. I think if he comes disciplined and sticks to a gameplan, he'll move around, avoid Silva, and not commit to some sort of vision of spectacularly knocking someone out and steadily overwhelm Silva to a TKO win. Andrei Arlovski via TKO, Round 2.

Overeem__rogers_mediumRonaldo "Jacare" de Souza vs. Joey Villasenor

Luke Thomas: Jacare's improvement in tightening defensive liabilities - most notably improving his decision making and timing in striking - has really impressed me. This is his to lose. Jacare by submission.

Kid Nate: This is about as close to a gimme as Jacare can get in Strikeforce. Villasenor is a good fighter, but he's not exceptional enough as a wrestler to keep it on the feet and he doesn't have the high level JJ skills needed to survive Jacare's attack, few do. Jacare by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: It's a very appropriate step for Jacare, and one that he should win without ever truly being in danger.  Jacare by submission, round 1.

Mike Fagan: Villasenor is a solid middleweight, but this is a showcase fight for Jacare. Ronaldo de Souza by submission, round 2.

Chris Nelson: I'd give Villasenor a better chance if he wasn't coming off a year-plus layoff. As it stands - and I don't think it'll stay standing for long - it's gotta be Jacare via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: Souza is a beast and Villasenor is coming in with ring rust. After watching Souza dominate Lindland, you just can't pick against him. Souza by submission.

Leland Roling: Souza is just too strong for Villasenor in this fight. He'll find a way to put him to the ground, and it's over from that point. Jacare is far too good on the ground, and his strength only adds to his skill-set on the ground. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza via submission, Round 1

Overeem__rogers_mediumRoger Gracie vs. Kevin Randleman

Luke Thomas: Come on. Roger by submission.

Kid Nate: Randleman is years of hard fighting, hard living and several staph infections past his prime. Gracie is utterly one dimensional, but I think he should be able to get the sub. Gracie by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: Randleman is sick and on the verge of pulling out, add that to the fact that he has looked like a bit of a shot fighter over the past few fights and I think it's an easy call.  Roger Gracie by submission, round 1.

Mike Fagan: I'm not as high on Gracie in MMA as I am with Jacare, but who knows where Kevin Randleman is at these days. Outside of all the issues he's dealt with over the past few years, he's already hinted that he's sick and might have to pull out. OK. Roger Gracie by submission, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Mr. Coker, is Nobuyuki Sakakibara holding your family hostage and forcing you to put on this bout for his amusement? I urge you to go to the authorities. Gracie via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: A sick Randleman will be no match for Gracie. As soon as this goes to the ground, it's over. Gracie by submission. 

Leland Roling: Randleman was not only about to pull out of the fight, but he's simply way over the hill and hasn't evolved at all. Roger Gracie via... armbar, Round 1.


Overeem__rogers_medium Antwain Britt vs. Rafael Cavalcante

Luke Thomas: Britt is a load with vicious KO punching power, good athleticism and respectable takedown defense. He also takes a decent shot. His submission defense and guard leave a lot to be desired, but I don't see Feijao testing those waters anyway. Britt by TKO.

Kid Nate: Britt is very dangerous but very limited. He's got some hard punches but not much striking technique and decent wrestling. Feijao is dangerous on the feet and on the ground. His condition is somewhat suspect but so is Britt's. Feijao by TKO.  

Brent Brookhouse:  Britt isn't exactly carting around the world's largest gas tank.  If this goes longer than a round Feijao has a much better chance of winning.  Rafael Cavalcante by TKO, round 3.

Mike Fagan: The "Feijao" hype train was severely disabled when Mike Kyle upset him last year. Can he continue his rebound following a win over Aaron Rosa? I think he will here. Rafael Cavalcante by TKO, round 2.

Chris Nelson: If this doesn't end early, it's gonna get ugly and could go either way. I'm banking on "Feijao" capitalizing on Britt's shaky sub defense. Cavalcante via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: Probable #1 contender fight for King-Mo. If Britt isn't winning on the feet, he will take this down and win it there. Britt by decision.

Leland Roling: I still like Britt's strength in this fight. I think he has the overall edge against Cavalcante in a striking war, and I think he can neutralize Cavalcante's clinch with his strength. Obviously, conditioning is a factor, but I think he'll bomb Cavalcante before we get into the late rounds. Cavalcante wins this in the latter rounds if Britt can't finish though. Antwain Britt via TKO, Round 2    

Undercard predictions in the full entry.

Strikeforce_heavy_artillery_button_medium

UNDERCARD FIGHTS

Jesse Finney vs Justin DeMoney

Luke Thomas: It's a serious toss up as neither has a particularly great skill set, but Finney has more ways to win. I'll lean that. Finney by decision.

Brent Brookhouse:  Jesse Finney by TKO, round 1.

Mike Fagan: Finney's 4-0 with 4 first round stoppages. Jesse Finney by TKO, round 1.

Chris NelsonFinney via TKO, round one.

Leland Roling: Somewhat interesting battle as DeMoney and Finney love to strike. Finney's kickboxing experience will come into play heavily, but I wonder if DeMoney might actually try to wrestle with Finney. Finney's jiu-jitsu is a work in progress, but very solid for a guy who's only been working on it for a couple of years. I think Finney has more tools here, but I think if DeMoney runs with his same gameplan as in past fights -- Finney wins with more experience in the striking department. Jesse Finney via TKO, Round 2.


Overeem__rogers_mediumLyle Beerbohm vs. Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro

Luke Thomas: I'm going to the ring rust and Beerbohm's wrestling should be enough...provided his head is still in the game. Beerbohm by decision.

Kid Nate: Shaolin belongs to another era in MMA. Back when conservative old school position before submission jiu jitsu could make you a dominant MMA fighter, that's what he was. But he can't wrestle and he can't kickbox. Fancypants ought to be able to sprawl and brawl to an easy win. Beerbohm by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: I just think Lyle has the ability to be the one to decide where the fight takes place.  Assuming he plays it smart he should be able to keep it standing and just push out a decision. Lyle Beerbohn by decision.

Mike Fagan: OK, the only worthwhile fight on the undercard. Beerbohm is undefeated in his 13 fight career. "Shaolin" has 3 losses in 23 fights to Kawajiri, JZ, and Aoki. Tough fight for "Fancy Pants". Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro by decision.

Chris Nelson: No elbows allowed, right? If they were, I'd take Beerbohm by stoppage. As they're not, I say he outworks and out-wrestles Ribeiro for three straight rounds. Beerbohm via decision.

Nick Thomas: Tough tough fight for Beerbohm. On the ground, you have to give this to Ribeiro. But I think Beerbohm will keep this standing. Beerbohm by decision.

Leland Roling: Great fight. Ribeiro has to be very quick in his transition game off his back, and in reality -- he needs to be improved in his striking if Beerbohm wants to simply stay off the ground and strike. In any case, I think Ribeiro's methodical ways really hurt him against a surging Lyle Beerbohm. Beerbohm will produce some heavy punches from the top, and I think he edges out Ribeiro on the feet as "Shaolin" is just not a good striker at all. In any case, I'll take Fancy Pants. Lyle Beerbohm via decision.


Fransisco "Kiko" France vs Lee Brousseau

Luke ThomasFrance by flying armbar, round 1.

Brent BrookhouseFrancisco France by submission, round 1.

Mike Fagan: I guess I'll go with the ATT guy. Francisco France by submission, round 1.

Chris Nelson: "Kiko" could take this early, but seeing as he was KO'd just a few weeks ago, I think he plays it safe. France via decision.

Leland Roling: Brousseau is going to have a hard time battling the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who also happens to have Ben Askren helping him in the wrestling department. Barring a knockout blow from Brousseau, France takes this. Francisco France via submission, Round 1


Mike Chandler vs Sal Woods

Luke Thomas: There's no reason Chandler should lose this bout. Chandler, TKO.

Brent BrookhouseMike Chandler by TKO, round 1.

Mike Fagan: Do I go with the 2-0 guy or the 3-7 guy? Hmmmm. Mike Chandler by TKO, round 1.

Chris NelsonChandler via decision.

Leland Roling: Mike Chandler probably should have placed in NCAA D-I, but being fifth in a division stacked with three former champions and a two-time runner-up isn't a bad credential on your resume. Chandler is unbelievably strong, a great wrestler, and has filthy ground and pound. He'll be a prospect to watch in the future, and Sal Woods is about to be crushed. Mike Chandler via TKO, Round 1.

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