Event: Strikeforce: "Feijao vs. Henderson"
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime
Location: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
Rafael Cavalcante vs. Dan Henderson
Kid Nate: It’s foolish to sleep on Feijao in this fight. He looked great beating King Mo and the 40+ year old Henderson has nothing Mo doesn’t save for a nuclear right hand. Feijao can evade Hendo’s one punch. He’ll have to do it for five rounds as Hendo is hard hard to stop. Feijao by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: I can’t shake the Kyle fight from my mind. Henderson is going to wade forward and find a home for his right hand and finish this fight pretty early on. Dan Henderson by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: Pointing to "Feijao’s" victory over Mo Lawal as a blueprint for this fight is a mistake. Henderson and Lawal have different skill sets past being "wrestleboxers." Henderson isn’t going to shoot from the outside or bob his head down near Cavalcante’s knees. And while "Feijao" looked impressive in stopping Mo in third round, that came right after a round in which Mo took the fight to him. Dan Henderson by TKO, round two.
Nick Thomas: If Cavalcante survives the first couple rounds, Cavalcante wins this. Cavalcante by decision.
Leland Roling: Henderson’s plodding stand-up game won’t give Feijao too many opportunities in this fight. Henderson has always sacrificed output for one punch power, leaving him less open to counters. It wouldn’t help his cause if the fight went to a decision, but he is banking on a finish over a judges’ decision. I think that works to Henderson’s advantage defensively, and his resurgent wrestling will put him in the position offensively to crush Feijao from the top. Dan Henderson via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: While moving back to light heavyweight may help Dan Henderson's cardio a bit, I think this fight might show how much his age has caught up with him. He's been relying solely on his big right hand for quite some time now, and if he doesn't catch Feijao early, it's going to be a very long night for the 40-year-old. Feijao by Decision
Matt Bishop: We all know Henderson isn’t getting any younger and the early rounds are where he’ll win this fight. If Feijao employs the strategy he did against King Mo, he’ll probably win this fight. I see Henderson getting tired and Feijao putting it on him late to win. Feijao by decision.
Marloes Coenen vs. Liz Carmouche
Kid Nate: Carmouche is coming on extremely short notice for the injured Meisha Tate. Have to go with the champ with a full camp. Coenen by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Coenen is tough and a handful for most anyone, let alone someone coming in on late notice. Carmouche has a nice future ahead of her, that future just doesn’t include this fight. Marloes Coenen by decision.
Mike Fagan: I’m disappointed that Tate pulled out of this fight. I’ve only seen one of Carmouche’s fights, and this is only the sixth pro fight in her career. Hard to imagine she dethrones Coenen on two week’s notice. Marloes Coenen by submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: Coenen has the advantage everywhere, including height and reach. Coenen by submission.
Leland Roling: Carmouche is a very interesting opponent, but without a full camp and the proper training to deal with Coenen’s size and reach -- it’s an easy pick. Coenen via submission.
Anton Tabuena: I would pick her even if it wasn’t on short notice. Coenen by Submission.
Matt Bishop: Coenen is a tough fight for anybody at 135 pounds let alone someone with limited professional experience who’s coming in on short notice. Coenen via submission, round 1.
Tim Kennedy vs. Melvin Manhoef
Kid Nate: Melvin is a supremely dangerous one-trick pony. For all his bluster about wanting to trade on the feet, Kennedy knows that Melvin on his back is a fish out of water. Kennedy by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Kennedy should not be stupid enough to hang out on the feet any longer than he has to. I think he’ll look to finish with strikes after the takedown rather than the submission just to keep the "I’m going to knock him out" prediction safe. Tim Kennedy by TKO, round one.
Mike Fagan: It never occurred to me just how unimpressive Manhoef’s MMA record is. Kazuo Misaki, OK. Mark Hunt, eh. Zombie Sakuraba, frown. Then it’s a bunch of donks and Bar Fight Cyborg. Kennedy wins if he avoids playing Manhoef’s game. Tim Kennedy by decision.
Nick Thomas: Kennedy with the instant takedown. Kennedy by submission.
Leland Roling: It pains me to say this..., but Melvin Manhoef does not belong in the cage with Tim Kennedy. Kennedy can talk all he wants about knocking out Melvin, but the first sign of danger will result in a shot for the takedown and a quick submission. Kennedy via submission.
Anton Tabuena: Kennedy won’t strike with him, and once he gets the takedown, it’s over. Tim Kennedy by Submission.
Matt Bishop: Either way, I don’t see this one going past the first round. Kennedy’s going to do the smart thing here and take Manhoef down, where he’ll easily pass to mount and pound away until the referee stops the fight. Tim Kennedy by TKO, round 1.
Billy Evangelista vs. Jorge Masvidal
Kid Nate: The 11-0 Billy Evangelista is one of Strikeforce’s best home grown prospect with six of his wins (and one NC) coming under their banner. Masvidal is your classic MMA Ronin who’s fought for everyone from Bodog to Bellator to Sengoku and now returns to Strikeforce off a 170lb loss to Paul Daley at Shark Fights. I’m going with Masvidal to expose Evangelista. Masvidal by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Yeah, Evangelista is another in the long line of Strikeforce "prospects" that is not going to live up to the hype once the competition jump comes into play. Masvidal isn’t a world beater but he’s more than solid enough to simply outwork his opponent and take the decision. Jorge Masvidal by decision.
Mike Fagan: I don’t get excited about prospects who finish less than half their fights against mediocre competition. I also remember a lot of people thought Nam Phan deserved the decision over Evangelista back in 2008. Jorge Masvidal by decision.
Nick Thomas: Close fight here. Masvidal has the height and reach advantage, but that won't matter when he's on his back. Evangelista by decision.
Leland Roling: Billy will have a hard time trying to defend Masvidal’s takedowns and avoiding the aggressive nature of Masvidal’s stand-up game. Masvidal is a flat out gamer when it comes to these anticipated striking duels, and he can throw a curveball into Billy’s gameplan quickly. Jorge Masvidal via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Masvidal is just the more talented fighter overall and he has faced the better competition. Jorge Masvidal by Decision.
Matt Bishop: Very solid matchmaking here and I’m looking forward to this one. We’ll see if Masvidal’s new diet pays off here against an undefeated fighter in Evangelista, who we’ve never really seen tested. I bet Masvidal tests him and it does not turn out well for Evangelista. Masvidal by TKO, round 2.