Strikeforce: Destruction Predictions

This still turns out to be a fairly solid card, b ut it really took a hit with the injury to Josh Thomson.  However, Strikeforce showed a lot of flexibility by bringing in Duane Ludwig as a replacement and by tapping Scott Smith and Terry Martin to fight, which really helped a card that would have been dead otherwise.  It doesn’t have UFC draw on it, but it has 4 good fights, plus the debut of Kim Couture.  There are a lot of prospects on the undercard and I only know of a few of them so I will refrain from picking out of ignorance. 

Bobby Southworth vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral

Bobby Southworth may be able to hit hard with that right hand, but I base this pick off of pure skill set.  Babalu may be a punk, but he is a top 20 light heavyweight in the world punk.  He has to hope for a win as he has a tough match up looming in January with Matt Lindland at Affliction’s second card.  Babalu is a great grappler, wrestler and jiu jitsu practitoner.  Southworth may want to watch Chuck Liddell’s fight against Babalu as Babalu may be suseptible to strikes.  However, in the end Babalu is too well rounded.  I saw he gets the take down and chokes out Southworth in round 2 to become the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.

Yves Edwards vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig

Edwards has the experience in his corner, however I think Ludwig’s muay thai will prove to be too much.  Edwards has a weak chin which will be tested in this fight.  Ludwig is not on elite level, but this should be a good fight.  Also, do not forget Ludwig will have some size advantage in this fight as well.  I pick Ludwig by TKO in round 1.

Terry Martin vs. Scott Smith

This is a great fight.  I do not know what this means for Smith’s career and the contract status with ProElite, but this is a big fight for Smith.  Scott Smith hung with Lawler in their first fight and then suffered a loss to him.   This fight will show that Scott Smith is not a one hit wonder in MMA.  A loss here would hurt Smith’s career with the fold of ProElite.  A win here and he could find a lot of offers including an offer from Strikeforce, Affliction, DREAM, or even a shot back in the UFC.  A loss would hurt that.  At one time i was on the Terry Martin hype wagon.  He looked good for a while in the UFC, but the loss to Leben hurt him.  Terry martin is a great boxer, but while he can KO people he can also be KO’d himself.  I have to believe that Smith has overall better MMA skills and hope he would utilize kicks and strikes to get the win.  I would expect this fight to stay standing.  If Smith uses his kicks well I expect he can keep his distance and pick up the win.  I pick Scott Smith to win this by decision.

Joe Riggs vs. Luke Stewart

Which Joe Riggs will show up?  Riggs has looked decent lately.  He got a bad deal with the stoppage at the last event against Kazuo Misaki, but he still was going to lose that fight.  Stewart is a relative unknown with good jiu jitsu skills.  Riggs is a solid competitior.  I expect him to win by decision.

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This Week (November 16-23) In MMA

  • Strikeforce: Destruction – November 21st –  This card was scheduled to feature a title defense by lightweight Champ Josh Thomson, however he was forced to withdraw to to a foot injury.  Duane “Bang” Ludwig was tapped to replace him against Yves Edwards.  Also on the card is a light heavyweight title bout between Champ Bobby Southworth and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.  That is a tough match for Southworth.  Strikeforce also added a good middleweight bout between UFC vets Scott Smith and Terry Martin.  Also, look for the debut of Kim Couture on this card.  It is worth a watch.
  • Ring of Combat XXII – November 21 – This card features a couple of titles.  Including Chris Liguori in a lightweight bout with Cory Mahon.  Also, a middleweight title fight between TUF 7 alums Dante Rivera and Paul Bradley. 
  • M-1 Challenge 9 – November 21 – Aleksander Emelianenko will fight Korean prospect Sang Soo Lee
  • The Ultimate Fighter Episode 11 – November 19 –  This is going to be the last of the prelim fights and will feature a fight between lightweights George Roop and John Polakowski.  Also, we expect the semi-finals match ups to be announced.
  • C-3 Fights: DominationNovember 22 –  TUF 7 Alum John Kolosci, TUF 8 Alum Jason Guida, Up and Comer Pat Curran and Eddie Wineland will all be in action at this event.

MMABlog’s Lightweight MMA Rankings

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

B.J. Penn

UFC

St. Pierre (#1 WW) 1/31

2

Takanori Gomi

World Victory Road

Golyaev (NR), 11/1

3

Shinya Aoki

DREAM

 

4

Eddie Alvarez

EliteXC?

 

5

Sean Sherk

UFC

T. Griffin (#15), 9/25

6

Mitsuhiro Ishida

DREAM/Strikeforce

 

7

Tatsuya Kawajiri

DREAM

 

8

Kenny Florian

UFC

Stevenson (#10), 11/15

9

Josh Thomson

Strikeforce

Edwards (NR), 11/21

10

Joe Stevenson

UFC

Florian (#8), 11/15

11

Gesias Calvancante

DREAM

 

12

Joachim Hansen

DREAM

 

13

Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce

 

14

Jamie Varner

WEC

 

15

Tyson Griffin

UFC

Sherk (#5), 9/25

16

Roger Huerta

UFC

 

17

Gray Maynard

UFC

Clementi (NR), 9/25

18

Frank Edgar

UFC

Wiman (NR), 12/10

19

Vitor Ribeiro

 

 

20

Nate Diaz

UFC

 

21

K.J. Noons

EliteXC?

 

22

Joe Lauzon

UFC

 

23

Nick Diaz

EliteXC

 

24

Spencer Fisher

UFC

Gugerty (NR), 9/25

25

Caol Uno

DREAM

 

 

Others Considered: Clay Guida, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal , Rich Clementi, Matt Wiman, and Mac Danzig.

My Strikeforce at the Mansion II Predictions

Kazuo Misaki vs. Joe Riggs 

Kazuo Misaki is in many people’s minds a top ten middleweight in the world.  He has fought some tough competition and his losses have come to top flight guys like:Frank Trigg, Paulo Filho, Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Chris Lytle, and Ricardo Almeida.  Joe “Diesel” Riggs is an on and off fighter who has battled serious back problems in his career.  Riggs has fought all over the place and in multiple weight classes.  He fought guys like Matt Hughes, Kendall Grove, Diego Sanchez, Nick Diaz, Mike Swick and even referee Herb Dean.  In other words both guys are experienced.  I would say Joe Riggs has a good chance in this fight, but my bet is on Misaki, who I think will win by decison.

Ashe Bowman  vs. Josh Thomson

Many have Thomson as one of the top ten lightweights in the world following his win over Gilbert Melendez.  Thomson is now the Strikeforce lightweight champ, but this is a non-title fight.  I don’t see much of a fight here.  Bowman is a lion’s den trained guy, who will be tough and that is why I expect it to go to a decision, but with Thomson picking up the win.

Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Justin Wilcox

Ishida is a top ten lightweight and I am glad to see him coming to the U.S.  He may like the setting of fighting at the mansion.  Ishida is a top notch fighter and should win easily.  I think he wins by a submission in round 1.

Cory Devela vs. Terry Martin

Devela is a tough fighter and this will be a real test for him.  I would not sleep on him, but I’d have a hard time not picking Terry Martin to win this one.  I pick Terry Martin to win this one by TKO in round 2.

Trevor Prangley vs. Anthony Ruiz

This bout was supposed to be Bobby Southworth vs. Babalu, but both withdrew with injuries.  I think this bout will come down to experience.  Prangley is just too skilled and it will be Prangley by decision

Best Non-UFC Fighters

Here are the best non-UFC fighters.  This shows where the UFC is stacked and where they lack.  There competition is mainly in Affliction at heavyweight and DREAM at lightweight.  Here are the best non-UFC guys that the UFC should look to sign if possible. 

Rank

Heavyweight

Light Heavy

Middleweight

Welterweight

Lightweight

1

Fedor Emelianenko

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Paulo Filho

Jake Shields

Takanori Gomi

2

Andrei Arlovski

Ricardo Arona

Matt Lindland

Carlos Condit

Shinya Aoki

3

Josh Barnett

Rafael Feijao

Robbie Lawler

Jay Hieron

JZ Calvancante

4

Tim Sylvia

Vladimir Matyushenko

Kazuo Misaki

Nick Thompson

Eddie Alvarez

5

Ben Rothwell

Babalu Sobral

Gegard Mousasi

Mach Sakurai

Mitsuhiro Ishida

6

Mirko Cro Cop

Tito Ortiz

Vitor Belfort

Mike Pyle

Joachim Hansen

7

Roy Nelson

Steve Cantwell

 “Jacare” de Sousa

 

Tatsuya Kawajiri

8

Aleks Emelianenko

Brian Stann

Jason Miller

 

Josh Thomson

9

Antonio Silva

 

Melvin Manhoef

 

Gilbert Melendez

10

Alistair Overeem

 

Murilio Rua

 

Vitor Ribeiro

11

 

 

Cung Le

 

Jamie Varner

12

 

 

Denis Kang

 

Ryan Schultz

13

 

 

Joey Villasenor

 

KJ Noons

14

 

 

Frank Shamrock

 

Nick Diaz

15

 

 

Yoshihiro Akiyama

 

Caol Uno

16

 

 

Jorge Santiago

 

 

17

 

 

Chael Sonnen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Organizations Rankings

I have ranked the organizations before, but here is the updated rankings of who has the best product.

1. UFC – Still the best of the best.  Has more ranked fighters by far.  Has the most recognizable names in the likes of Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Shogun, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn.

2. Affliction – By far the best competitive heavyweight divison with Fedor, Tim Sylvia, Aleksander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Pedro Rizzo and maybe Arlovski.  Not to mention Lindland, Whitehead and Babalu. 

3. WEC –  The WEC has some star power, but is in the UFC’s shadow majorly.  The growing featherweight divison will help them as will the bantamweight with star Miguel Torres.  Guys like Condit, Stann, Filho and Faber give WEC the name recognition.  WEC still seems to be the minor league UFC.  Their success will not come with the bigger fighters, but with lightweights, featherweights and bantamweights. 

4. EliteXC –  Their CBS deal will help them.  Kimbo can be a star.  They do great partnering with other promotions like Strikeforce and allowing guys to fight in DREAM. 

5. DREAM – DREAM 1-3 have been solid with solid fighters especially lightweights and middleweights. Has guys like Aoki and Ishida as well as Caol Uno and Kwajiri. Has other guys fight for them like Alvarez, Gilbert Melendez, JZ Calvancante, Diaz, Cro Cop, Jason Mayhem Miller, Manhoef, Denis Kang, Mark Hunt, Jacare, Kid Yamamoto, Sakurai and Hansen. 

6. Strikeforce – They have a few good fighters which helps them greatly.  They have Thomson, Le and Melendez

7. World Victory Road –  They don’t have an American appeal, but they do have Gomi and some other solid Japanese fighters.  Also they have Kazuo Misaki, Kevin Randlemen, Jeff Monson, and Nick Thompson