Strikeforce 29, Dan Henderson Vs. Babalu Sobral: 10 Reasons You Should Watch
The 12th Season finale of The Ultimate Fighter starts lives on Spike at 8 p.m. Central Time and re-airs at 11:30 this Saturday night.
While we don't have a clear idea of how the finale will play out, we do know of one event that we can definitely say a few things about, and that's Strikeforce's next outing in St. Louis, which airs live at the same time as the TUF 12 Finale and re-airs at the same time as the re-airing of the TUF 12 Finale.
Need a reason to watch the Henderson-Babalu event?
You know I can't stop at one!
How about I give you 10 reasons to watch it this Saturday, sound good?
Glad you think so, because I was planning on giving them to you either way.
Showtime Airs It at the Same Time As The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale
Conflicted between Strikeforce and The Ultimate Fighter Finale No. 12?
Well, that's not a problem if you have Showtime as part of your TV programming package.
If you have your doubts about the TUF 12 finale and if anything worth your while will happen, all you have to do is switch over to Showtime at about 8 p.m. Central Time, enjoy the three-hour live event from St. Louis (even if you're not really in St. Louis) and at about 11:30, switch it over to Spike TV.
Oh, and don't go to any website like MMA Junkie, Fanhouse MMA or MMA Weekly, or really any MMA news site for that matter before you switch your TV over to Spike, because heaven only knows the results might be up by then.
As long as you don't get any results of the event before you actually watch it, you should be good.
Then again, a card with three contendership fights on it is never really one that anyone should spoil. Plus there could be an instance where you hear a fight went a certain way and it sucked all around, but you don't believe it sucked THAT bad, so it's good to watch on your own so you can form your own analysis of the fights.
Four prospects—Wayne Phillips, Fernando Bettega, Max Martyniouk, and Patrick Durkin Cummins—will be in action at the event in the bouts listed below:
If you haven't seen them in action, this Saturday might be your one crack at seeing what these guys can do firsthand.
These guys' fights won't air on the main card of the event, aside from possibly showing in a brief recap of the fight, but if you're near a laptop or a computer, their fights will be live on Sherdog for all to see.
Not only does it give you a first look at these guys in action on the main stage at a major MMA promotion's event, but since the Sherdog stream goes until the event goes live, it'll also give you something to watch before the event starts.
With what these guys might do in the cage, though, these fights aren't going to be just "something to watch."
These are going to be fights that could be an introduction to the future of Strikeforce.
The last time Hendo and Babalu fought, it was King of Kings '99 in Japan, where Hendo won a majority decision.
Babalu is looking to settle the score or at least even it with a win over Hendo, but as much as Babalu's got a good shot to even things up, his best chance of truly evening things up is by handing Hendo the first KO loss of his career.
Can he do it?
It's MMA, so it's a possibility.
Paul Daley's Debut
The last time anyone saw him in the Octagon, he got controlled for three rounds by Josh Koscheck, and we all know what happened next.
Daley taking another trip to Strikeforce may prove to be his path to changing Dana's mind about what he said after UFC 113.
Okay, the reality is that Dana won't deviate from what he said, but at least Daley can make a name for himself in the UFC's rival promotion.
It won't be easy. Semtex has Scott "Rocky Balboa" Smith on his hands, and when people compare "Mr. Hands of Steel" to Arturo Gatti or the fictional Balboa, it's not just to hype up his fights.
Scott Smith IS the Arturo Gatti of Mixed Martial Arts.
If you think for a second that you're going to wreck him, he likely WILL not only withstand your onslaught, but he will also not hesitate to knock you out.
He'll make Daley's first Strikeforce bout anything but an easy outing.
Benji Radach in Action
When I first asked a buddy of mine if the name Benji Radach rang a bell, he texted me back saying "he can bang."
He's lost five fights by (T)KO in his career, though mostly to good competition, and the three times that he went to the judges all resulted in victories for Radach.
He's got Ovince St. Preaux this Saturday, and the latter is coming off of a win over Antwain Britt.
With Mike Kyle jumping up to Heavyweight to fave Antonio Silva, this could be one hell of a Light Heavyweight bout.
Bigfoot Silva Vs. Mike Kyle
This is what you'd call a test to see who responds better to the short notice on which this fight was made.
Kyle is moving up in weight to take on Bigfoot, while Bigfoot will have to alter his strategy to adapt to Kyle.
Will the weight gain drain Kyle out, or will Bigfoot wind up wishing that he backed out, put Coker in a tough spot and basically just waited for Valentijn Overeem?
I like Kyle, the guys is always in some sort of entertaining fight, but I really don't see how Bigfoot falls in this one.
Jason Mayhem Miller May See a Legit Reason Why Nick Diaz Can't Fight Him Yet
Forget Nashville, KJ Noons and the debate over a weight.
This time, a more plausible reason may stand as to why Nick Diaz may actually not fight Jason "Mayhem" Miller at Strikeforce 30.
Scott Coker has stated in the build-up to this card that the main event may not be the only fight on the card with title implications.
One of the fights Coker referred to when saying such a thing was Paul Daley's debut against Scott Smith.
Turns out the winner MIGHT—and we're just saying "might"—be the next guy in line for Nick Diaz's Strikeforce Welterweight Title.
Actually Mayhem, that is a very legit reason why Diaz may not be able take the fight with you yet.
I mean, unless you want to try to make 170 and face the winner of this so that you can face Diaz for the belt...
Robbie Lawler Vs. Matt Lindland = A Stylistically Good Fight By Itself
Both fighters are very experienced UFC veterans with tons of experience, and both guys are known for being well versed in all aspects of the sport.
The Ruthless One might be the more lethal knockout artist in the bout, so Lindland's only shot is to come in the better conditioned fighter and he's going to have to neutralize the standing game of Lawler.
Likewise, Lawler is going to have to prove himself to be the better fighter on the feet and the ground in order to beat Lindland, which will prove to be a feat in itself
Stylistically, though, this could go either way, and as if that wasn't enough...
The Winner of Lawler Vs. Lindland Could Get Jacare
Remember when I mentioned how Scott Coker said that Hendo-Babalu may not be the only bout on the card that has title implications?
Well, in the way Smith-Daley could see Nick Diaz face another tough fighter before his long-anticipated bout with Jason "Mayhem" Miller, so could Lawler-Lindland.
If the man who prevails can prevail in a heavily convincing manner, he could potentially be Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza's first challenge for the Strikeforce Middleweight Belt.
This means either Lawler's KO beauty faces Jacare's sick submission game or Lindland attempts to avenge his loss to Jacare at Strikeforce: Evolution in a big way.
After Tim Kennedy, there seems to be a question about if definite contenders exist in Strikeforce's 185-lb. division.
Those who doubt that the Strikeforce 185-lb. division is loaded may be proven wrong after this Saturday.
Hendo-Babalu II: The Winner Gets Feijao
There's no probably on this one: the winner of the second fight between Dan Henderson and Renato Sobral will be THE next contender for the Black House Muay Thai Wrecking Machine, Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante.
Hendo had a rough time with Jake Shields in his Strikeforce debut back in Nashville and Sobral's last outing—a 195-lb. Middle-to-Light-Heavyweight "Catchweight" bout against Robbie Lawler—was given up due to his friendship with former champ Muhammed Lawal.
This time, Sobral isn't about to win just to get another win under his belt.
If he avenges his loss to Henderson on Saturday, he's getting Feijao and he's getting a shot to get his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title back.
If Hendo goes 2-0 against Babalu, he'll be getting his own crack at Feijao, who is a training partner to UFC Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, with whom Hendo is all too familiar.
I've recently stated that Hendo would get a Unanimous Decision over Babalu, yet he wouldn't beat Feijao, but Babalu has all of Saturday night to prove my crazy ass wrong...
...and for that matter, so does Henderson.