30.1.2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Bit of a lackluster StrikeForce card after the last one, which was stacked with great talent. Here's the card:
Nick Diaz (20-7) vs. Marius Zaromskis (13-3)
Cris "Cyborg" Santos (8-1) vs. Marloes Coenen (17-3)
Robbie Lawler (16-5) vs. Melvin Manhoef (24-6-1)
Herschel Walker (0-0) vs. Greg Nagy (1-1)
Bobby Lashley (4-0) vs. Wes Sims (22-12-1)
Jay Hieron (18-4) vs. Joe Riggs (32-10)
Sabah Homasi (2-0) vs. John Kelly (3-0)
Pablo Alfonso (5-1) vs. Marcos Da Matta (7-0)
To be honest, besides the couple of fights that may have some value for the sport of MMA, this card has also fights that I believe will have scripted choreographies and thus predetermined results. But we'll see. Anyways, here's few thoughts on the fights that I'm looking forward to.
Nick Diaz (20-7) vs. Marius Zaromskis (13-3): Stockton bad boy Nick Diaz and Lithuanian striker Marius Zaromskis meet in a title bout that will almost certainly not go full five rounds.
Diaz makes a comeback to the welterweight division in this fight. Nick had several great fights at 170 in the UFC where he fought guys like Parisyan, Sanchez and Sherk. Diaz has pretty good boxing, but he rarely uses any other strikes like knees or kicks. On the grappling department he excels on the ground, but his wrestling is not as good, which is the main reason he lost many close fights in the UFC. Diaz uses his long limbs and reach advantage well on the feet peppering his foes with punches in bunches.
Zaromskis is currently based in London, where he trains and represents London Shootfighters. Before the Dream welterweight GP not many people knew him outside of Europe. Zaromskis had been a regular on the british event CageRage, where he beat guys like Ross Mason and Ross Pointon, but also lost twice to Che Mills (who tried out for TUF UK vs US, but didn't make it). So obviously he wasn't given much chance in the tough GP of Dream. Well the rest is history as they say. Zaromskis surprised everyone when he KO'ed Mach Sakurai with a headkick and did the same to Jason High at the final. Zaromskis is a wild man with explosive kickboxing skills.
Prediction: Diaz is going to take advantage of his reach advantage in this fight and apply constant pressure to Zaromskis by moving forward and punching all the time. This, with a looming threat of being taken down, will make hard for Zaromskis to fight the right spot for his effective kicks. Zaromskis isn't the best boxer and because of this he needs unnecessary shots, which means he's in for a rough night. Diaz will bloody him up with his trademark chain-punch style and finish the fight on the ground with GnP. Diaz by TKO strikes R2
Robbie Lawler (16-5) vs. Melvin Manhoef (24-6-1): Another fight that has a very slim chance of going to judges decision. Both guys are primarily strikes, but there's also much differences between the two. On the feet Lawler is much more of a brawler who batters his opponents with brute force. Melvin on the other hand has solid Dutch kickboxing technique and much more explosive style. But the main difference between the two is that Lawler has been training with excellent grapplers like Matt Hughes for something like a decade now. If he doesn't try to take this fight to the ground immediately I am stunned. Manhoef basically gives up if you take him down and he hasn't shown any real interest to fix his weak ground game.
Prediction: Lawler will try to toe the company line and stand with Manhoef in order to please fans. This will not end well for him as Manhoef proves that he's probably the second deadliest striker at 185. Manhoef by KO R1.
Jay Hieron (18-4) vs. Joe Riggs (32-10): It's a real shame that this quality welterweight fight is dropped down to non-televised prelims, when there are total horseshit "fights" on the main card. Hieron has been waiting for his shot against bigger fish and possibly the StrikeForce title fight, but again he has to settle for much less publicity. Hieron is riding a nice six fight win streak and considering the latest happening in his career I bet he's hungry for more. Hieron, who trains at the Xtreme Couture, is a well rounded and athletic fighter, who's best quality is that he can fight competitively wherever the fight ends up.
Riggs, who actually started his fighting career in the heavyweight division, made a pretty sweet career at 170 in the UFC fighting guys like Hughes, Diaz, Swick and Sanchez. Back in those days Riggs was known as a heavyhanded brawler who was very strong for the weight class and also cut huge amounts of weight. After getting cut from the UFC, Riggs dealt with back injuries and different personal problems. But now it seems that Riggs has his stuff together again and that his in great shape. Riggs showed improved striking skills in his recent fight with Phil Baroni. Riggs punished Baroni with sharp kicks and flying knees and kept his own distance with great footwork.
Prediction: Riggs is game for sure, but I think Hieron is much more hungrier for the win. This will probably be a very exciting fight to watch, but I still think it might go to the judges. Hieron by UD.