Tonight marks the first fight card since officially joining the team at Five Knuckles , and to celebrate the occasion, I'm giving myself a clean slate.
Over the eight months of making picks at Keyboard Kimura (R.I.P. Dear Friend...Gone But Not Forgotten), I was able to amass a record of 143-106-2, which works out to 56.9 percent accuracy with my picks. Is that great? Of course not, but it's a little better than "Smooth" Jimmy Apollo and there is room to improve.
Said improvements begin here, today, with Strikeforce: Miami . In part to save myself some unnecessary losses, but also because the information available on them is minimal, I'm going to rattle off reasoning for six fights—the five main card bouts and my man Jay Hieron taking on Joe Riggs .
"The Thoroughbred" Jay Hieron (18-4-0) vs. Joe "Diesel" Riggs (32-11-0, 1 NC)
The winner of this most likely faces the winner of tonight's main event for the Welterweight title. Hieron was promised that same opportunity when he signed with the promotion after the fall of Affliction, and while he's saying all the right things heading into this fight, there is no question that the Xtreme Couture member wants that title shot.
Riggs has the power to knock just about anyone out. The one-time heavyweight (it's true—look it up) looked in solid shape at the weigh-ins (always a concern with Riggs), and will be a difficult challenge for Hieron. Unfortunately, Riggs is kind of trading on his name these days. His last fight with a "name" opponent was a decision over Phil Baroni .
No offense to "The New York Bad Ass," but if you're going a full 15 with a guy who has a notoriously small gas tank, the chances of you emerging victorious over the always well-conditioned Hieron aren't so great.
Hieron is faster, more technical and, perhaps most importantly, hungrier than Riggs, and should be able to come away with a win...and hopefully his long-awaited title shot.
There really isn't much to break down.
Walker is a marketing goldmine making his debut, and Nagy is the guy who will be able to get a free drink or two out of being "the guy who lost to Herschel Walker in his MMA debut." What more do I need to say?
The third time was the charm in finding an opponent for the former WWE and current TNA superstar. Unfortunately, "the charm" is Wes Sims , fresh off his appearance as part of TUF 10: The Heavyweights.
Sims is an interesting personality and used to have some promise. Not the use of past tense. Now, he's fresh off a first round submission at the hands of Justin Wren during the "elimination round" of The Ultimate Fighter. In that bout, Wren wrestled Sims to the ground, threw on an arm triangle, and had his hand raised.
Bobby Lashley is a better wrestler than Justin Wren . He also carries his 250-plus pounds in a different way than "The Viking," going with more of a muscular approach to Wren's "thick throughout" look.
It will be a little more dangerous than the Herschel Walker fight, but nowhere near "this could be an upset" territory.
Two things are certain to me in this fight: (1) it's not getting out of the first round, and (2) in the words of 50 Cent, "Somebody gon' get laid the *&$@ out."
Lawler has a distinct advantage on the ground; think of the advantage Usain Bolt has in the 100m dash...against me. Everyone and their mother knows that Manheof is tough on his feet and suspect on the ground, which means taking him down and earning a win should be Lawler's plan of attack.
Something tells me that isn't going to happen. Robbie Lawler likes to trade. He likes to bang. It might even be fair to say that he likes getting punched in the face. The problem with that course of action against the debuting Dutch striker is that he has dynamite in his hands.
One of those fist-sized powder kegs will connect, and Lawler will be left looking up at the lights.
Coenen has more wins, a better ground game, and is more attractive by conventional standards than the female "Cyborg."
Unfortunately, this fight has nothing to do with records, isn't a grappling match, and, as witnessed last August, looks don't win you a fight. Especially not against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos.
Until further notice—and I recommend this for everyone—if "Cyborg" is fighting, pick her. She is unquestionably the most devastating female fighter on the planet. Megumi Fuji may be collecting submission wins, and Sarah Kaufman is on a tear of her own, but "Cyborg" simply overwhelms her opponents and leaves them broken.
The 145-pound title will remain around her waist for the foreseeable future.
Here's a question for you: Why does Nick Diaz get so much love? While he is unquestionably entertaining and a tough kid, the elder member of the Fightin' Diaz Brothers hasn't beaten any on top-tier talent.
Not to play Revisionist History Professor or anything, but his five-fight winning streak is made up of a self-professed journeyman (Scott Smith ), an over-the-hill former champion (Frank Shamrock ), a regional journeyman who lost to Pat Miletich in 2008 (Thomas Denny ), a guy who can't buy a win in the WEC Lightweight division (Muhsin Corbbrey ), and Katsuya Inoue .
Zaromskis may not be the top of the heap either, but he's been putting people to sleep as of late, utilizing his devastating head kick to finish Ho Bae Myeon, Jason High, and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai in his last three contests.
While Diaz is certainly the more recognizable name, he's never been a knockout artist, and Zaromskis is tough enough to stand in front of Diaz and take his best offerings. Then he'll load up a head kick and have Scott Coker wrap the Strikeforce Welterweight title around his waist.
Punch Drunk Predictions
Jay Hieron over Joe Riggs, TKO, Round Two
Herschel Walker over Greg Nagy, TKO, Round One
Bobby Lashley over Wes Sims, TKO Round One
Melvin Manhoef over Robbie Lawler, TKO Round One
Cris Cyborg over Marloes Coenen, TKO Round One
And in the Main Event of the evening...
Knuckle up —it's fight night!
Originally posted at FiveKnuckles.com
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