This Saturday in San Jose and on Showtime, we will see Strikeforce's next event. The main card features four fights, including two title bouts. The fights are Tyron Woodley vs. Andre Galvao, Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante vs. Josh Thomson, champ Sarah Kaufman vs. Marloes Coenen (for women's welterweight title), and, in the main event, champ Nick Diaz vs. K.J. Noons (for welterweight title).
Galvao is a Muay Thai and Brazillian Jui jitsu fighter who trains with Team Nogueira and holds a record of 5-1. Woodley is a wrestler who trains with American Top Team and holds a record of 8-0.
I give Galvao the edge on the feet but I see this fight going to the ground and Woodley using his wrestling to control Galvao on the ground. Unless Galvao is able to catch Galvao as he shoots in, I see Woodley controlling this fight and taking the decision.
Cavalcante trains with American Top Team and is considered one of the best up and coming fighters. His current record is 15-3-1. Thomson trains with American Kickboxing Academy and is the former Strikeforce lightweight champion. His record currently stands at 17-3.
I think that this is a very close fight and I give Cavalcante a slight edge in the fight. I see Cavalcante winning by TKO in the third round.
Kaufman is the defending champion and holds a record of 12-0. Coenen usually fights at 145 and is dropping down to 135 for this fight. She holds a record of 17-4.
Kaufman uses her wrestling and ground and pound to win fights. Coenen uses her submission skills to win most of her fights. One thing to watch for is how the cut to 135 affects Coenen. In the end I think Kaufman's wrestling will win out and she will walk away with the decision.
Diaz is the current Strikeforce welterweight champion and trains under Cesar Gracie and holds a record of 22-7. Noons is going into his fourth fight this year after an almost two-year break from MMA to focus on boxing. He holds an MMA record of 9-1.
This fight is a rematch of a fight that took place almost three years ago that saw Noons use his technical striking to open cuts on Diaz's face that resulted in the doctor stopping the fight. Diaz's boxing has improved since then though. Noons still has a slight edge on the feet.
If this fight goes to the mat, Diaz has a definitive advantage. It will be interesting to see if Diaz can fight the urge to brawl with Noons and take the fight to the ground where he has an easy path to victory. I think Diaz wants the win bad enough that he will take the fight to the ground and get the submission win in the first.