This Saturday is the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum event from the HP Pavilion Arena in San Jose headlined – of course – by consensus greatest heavyweight of all time Fedor Emelianenko taking on former UFC heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum.
It’s an odd match and an obvious placeholder until they can put the fight together between Fedor and the promotion’s Heavyweight champion (the belt Fedor carries is the WAMMA Heavyweight Title – don’t ask), Alistair Overeem.
The card also features a rematch between Cung Le and Scott Smith, and Women’s 145 pound Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos being fed a fighter with a record of 8-7 that usually fights at 135.
Predictions after the jump.
JOSH THOMSON vs. PAT HEALY (Lightweight Bout)
WINNER: JOSH THOMSON. Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Melendez in December, Thomson shouldn’t run into problems with Pat Healy, a scrapper who is a few rungs below Thomson in the Lightweight food chain.
CRIS “CYBORG” SANTOS vs. JAN FINNEY (Womens 145 Pound Title)
WINNER: CYBORG. The common phrase being tossed about is that Jan has a “puncher’s chance,” which is a nice way of saying she has about as good a chance as anybody else who goes in against the seemingly unstoppable Cyborg. Why Strikeforce would book such a ridiculously lopsided fight on the heels of Cyborg beating two legitimate challengers and potential stars is anyone’s guess.
CUNG LE vs. SCOTT SMITH (Middleweight Bout)
WINNER: SMITH. This is a rematch of their fight last December, in which Smith came from behind in the third after losing handily to Le and delivered a devastating knockout. If you’ve read this blog or listened to the latest MANville podcast, you know my feelings on Le. The long and the short of it is that Le lost that fight not just on a lucky punch, but also because he’s a one-dimensional fighter who doesn’t have the ability to put away someone like Smith, who himself is simply a knockout artist with no ground game to speak of. There was no controversy, and I think it’s an irresponsible precedent to start granting Cung Le immediately rematches simply because he lost.
FEDOR EMELIANENKO vs. FABRICIO WERDUM (Heavyweight Bout)
WINNER: FEDOR. Realistically, Fabricio doesn’t have anything in his game that Fedor hasn’t already proven he can handle. Fedor’s only trouble comes against bigger, stronger, more unpredictable fighters like Brett Rogers, Kevin Randleman, and Kazuyuki Fujita. Werdum doesn’t even come close to fitting that bill. He’s skilled on the ground, but that’s not where Fedor runs into problems.