Strikeforce: Los Angeles
June 16, 2010
Los Angeles, California
Robbie Lawler vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Luke Thomas: Sobral should look for the takedown and work damage on top to create scrambles where his superior positional grappling and submission hunting style will overcome the defensively limited Lawler. If he tries to bully Lawler standing with volume punching, he's getting KO'd. Not sure what to expect, but I lean Babalu. Sobral by submission, round 2.
Kid Nate: Lawler's sprawk is pretty good and Babalu has a bad track record of getting KTFO'd if he can't get the fight to the ground. Sobral also looked old and spent against Mousasi. But I think Babalu will be the bigger and stronger man by a considerable margin here and he'll finish Lawler on the ground. Sobral by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: I don't know that Sobral can ge the fight to the ground, and if he can't get the fight to the ground he gets stopped. Robbie Lawler by TKO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: This really depends on who gets caught first. I think Lawler's a little more likely to stop "Babalu" than vice versa, but I think Sobral gets the nod more often if it goes the distance. Coin flip. Renato Sobral by submission, round 1.
Chris Nelson: I'm going to pick Lawler's sprawl and punching power over "Babalu's" size and ground advantages. Lawler via TKO, round two.
Nick Thomas: If Lawler can stop the takedowns, he ends this on the feet. Lawler by TKO.
Leland Roling: Sobral looks pretty good at 185 from the training photos we've seen, so we'll see how he does in the striking department. I think Lawler will ultimately stuff takedowns and outstrike Sobral on his way to a stoppage. Lawler via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: I really like Robbie Lawler. As a fighter, he's explosive and always entertaining. As an interview, he's always a source of awkward and unintentional comedy. Too bad that Babalu is a worst case scenario matchup for him. Anyone have a good reason this will be appreciably different than the Shields fight? Babalu via Submission.
Marius Zaromskis vs. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos
Luke Thomas: Zaromskis is faster, puts combinations together with hands and feet, uses movement and has enough experience to attack or retreat with more optimal timing. Santos is tough, but I don't really know what to make of the cut. It has little to do with the attack Zaromskis presents. Zaromskis by TKO.
Kid Nate: This is exactly the kind of fight I want to see in Strikeforce. Neither of these guys is a world-beater, but they both put on a great show. Cyborg is cutting too much weight to win here IMO. He's being fed to Marius to rehab "the Whitemare" after Nick Diaz damaged his brand. Zaromskis by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: I don't even care who wins because this is going to be stupid fun. Still, I think it'll be hard for Santos to keep pushing forward for 3 rounds at 170. Once Cyborg starts to fade it will be Zaromskis that takes him out. Marius Zaromskis by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: I'm still not sure how "Cyborg" makes this cut. I really don't think 170 is the right weight for him. Marius Zaromskis by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: "Cyborg" looks sucked out at 170, and I'm not sure I could pick him even if this was at a catchweight. Sorry, Luke. Zaromskis via TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: As Santos slows down in the later rounds, Zaromskis takes this. Zaromskis by decision.
Leland Roling: I'm going with the consensus vote. Zaromskis is by far a more powerful and dynamic striker, but Santos can surprise. I don't think he has the skills to keep Zaromskis pressed in the cage, and Zaromskis has decent takedown defense. Zaromskis via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: It takes giant cajones to marry a woman just as tough as you are. Not that we had any doubt about Cyborg after seeing him slug it out with Melvin Manhoef. But Cyborg's best days are past; Zaramoskis has yet to see his best day. Marius via decision.
Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Prangley
Luke Thomas: Prangley has the best ability to hang on for a guy who gasses from round two on. He'll use his resources to hold on to Kennedy in round one, only to get gassed by a fresher Kennedy in round two and take a beating in round three. It'll be close, but I see this one going for Kennedy by decision.
Kid Nate: Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see Kennedy being the better wrestler here and without his top control game he'll be a fish out of water. Prangley by grinding decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Man, I kind of forgot what a good card this is. I can see a lot of ways where Kennedy gets beat by Prangley's top game. I still have to go with Kennedy though based on being a little more aggressive and outworking him for a very close decision. Tim Kennedy by decision.
Mike Fagan: This looks like a showcase for the Army ranger. Tim Kennedy by submission.
Chris Nelson: Really like this fight, and I think it's a close one to call. I've got to give it to the more active and experienced South African. Prangley via decision.
Nick Thomas: Great fight here. Prangley will score takedowns and pressure Kennedy with his size. Prangley by close decision.
Leland Roling: I think the improved Tim Kennedy uses his increased skills to put a peppering on Prangley standing while Prangley picks his shots and scores a bit. I think Kennedy can be a bit more dynamic on the ground, but Prangley is such a survivor. Tim Kennedy by decision.
Jonathan Snowden: This is a really good fight. We've often wondered how good Tim Kennedy could be, if only he was able to train full time. Well-that's happening. Put up or shut up time for the former Special Forces operative. A few years ago, I would have picked Prangley by way of a sleep inducing wrestling attack. Not today. He'll make a mistake and Kennedy will make him pay. Kennedy via Knockout.
K.J. Noons vs. Conor Heun
Luke Thomas: I'd be very surprised to see Heun win here. A rubber guard player who tries to brawl for entertainment purposes against a boxer-wrestler type with superior hand speed and punching power? Yikes. Noons by TKO.
Kid Nate: Too bad Noons won't get to avenge himself on Krazy Horse, but Heun should be a comparable showcase for what Noons can do. He's a remarkably accomplished striker by MMA standards and I hope he has a good run in Strikeforce. He's one fighter I would love to see move up to the UFC. Noons by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: It's always fun to watch Noons. His boxing is fantastic (relative to MMA fighters) and this will be a good fight to showcase it. K.J. Noons by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: I don't see anyway Noons loses this. K.J. Noons by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Noons will out-work and out-box Huen, but don't expect "The Hurricane" to make it easy. Noons via decision.
Nick Thomas: Heun won't be able to take Noons down. Noons by decision.
Leland Roling: Heun could press Noons hard to the clinch, but Noons' speedy strikes are the difference. KJ Noons by TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: This show is shaping up to be something special. Too close to call here, but calling it is my job. Noons via decision.