The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix continues tonight from Dallas, Texas. The opening bunch of fights took place in New Jersey, like, two years ago? I was there I think. Obstructed view seating… Sounds familiar.
Anyway, since Zuffa hasn’t merged Strikeforce with the UFC yet, they’re going to go ahead and finish the HWGP. The winner probably will come out of one of the fights tomorrow. Try and guess which one.
While its fun to talk shit, the way Strikeforce cards have been going lately I have high expectations for tomorrow night’s festivities. If we get half the action we got at Fedor vs. Silva, it’ll be a good night.
Alistair Overeem (34-11, 1nc, 3-0 SF) vs. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1, 3-0 SF)
This is a pretty damn good fight. Werdum presents Overeem’s first real challenge in like 4 years. This fight is pretty simple. Werdum has to stay out of the clinch and Overeem has to stay off the ground. Wedrum hasn’t fought in the last year and Overeem only had a brief appearance in December when he destroyed Todd Duffee.
(Skip to the 5:15 mark for the fight)
I think whoever wins this fight wins the tournament whenever they get around to holding the final. Whenever that will be.
Josh Barnett (29-5, SF Debut) vs. Brett Rogers (11-2, 2-2 SF)
Barnett compiled a 4-1 record in the UFC on his way to becoming the UFC heavyweight champion. There was a time when Brett Rogers was a marginally feared fighter who had knocked out all 10 of his opponents. Then he got knocked out twice. Sure it was against Fedor and Ubereem, but still. He looked like a guy who changed tires for a living. Barnett’s Strikeforce debut is a long time coming and he hasn’t fought in a year. Actually, he hasn’t lost since Big Nog decisioned him on New Years Eve 2006. So he’s got all that – plus his superior wrestling – going for him. Brett Rogers has his big hands.
Jorge Masvidal (21-6, 3-0 SF) vs. K.J. Noons (10-3, 3-1 SF)
The only non-HW fight on the card has title implications in the lightweight division. For one fighter at least. If K.J. Noons wins, he probably fights Gilbert Melendez next. If Masvidal wins then JZ Cavalcante or Justin Wilcox might fight Melendez. Or Gilbert will just find a way to go to the UFC. Everything is in play here. This should be a standup battle and Noons should have the advantage.
Daniel Cormier (7-0, 4-0 SF) vs. Jeff Monson (42-11, 4-3 UFC)
Jeff Monson! Anarchy in the cage! Cormier still fairly (Especially compared to the Snowman.) new to MMA after a great amateur wrestling career that included national runner-up at Oklahoma State. Monson meanwhile has fought everyone anywhere. In the last YEAR he’s gone 8-0 and this is his fourth fight of 2011. This is a hell of a test for Cormier, but everyone seems to think he’ll be able to pass.
Chad Griggs (10-1, 2-0 SF) vs. Valentijn Overeem (29-25, 1-0 SF)
Chad Griggs, you magnificent bastard. Two fights in Strikeforce. Two performances where he goes out there and just throws bombs with no concern for his own safety. The first time he broke Bobby Lashley. The second time he broke the hearts of the tri-state area. Both Griggs and Overeem fought at the last HWGP event and are replacement fighters in case anybody gets hurt. Look for Chad Griggs to swing wildly for minutes at a time.
As you can see, the residents of Texas are really excited for the fights tonight.
PRELIMINARY CARD (HDNet)
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox
Magno Almeida vs. Conor Heun
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Joe Ray
Mike Bronzoulis vs. Todd Moore
Brian Melancon vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg