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Strikeforce Grand Prix: Biggest Strengths & Weakness for All 4 Fighters

Jeffrey McKinneyContributor IIIJune 17, 2011

Strikeforce Grand Prix: Biggest Strengths & Weakness for All 4 Fighters

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    The Strikeforce Grand Prix will continue live from Dallas on Saturday, June 18.

    The two bouts will include tough Chicago brawler Brett Rodgers taking on former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett, and UFC and Pride vet Fabricio Werdum taking on Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, Alistair Overeem.

    All four fighters are dangerous in their own rights. All four also have weaknesses that could be capitalized on. 

    Here are some of the biggest strengths and weaknesses for each fighter. 

Brett Rodgers: Hard Hitter but One-Dimensional

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    Biggest Strength: His hands.

    Rodgers is a guy who is willing to stand and bang with anybody.

    10 of his 11 wins are by KO and he has only gone the distance once in his career.

    Rodgers has the power to knock out anybody. 

     

    Biggest Weakness: Leave's himself open and is one-dimensional.

    As good of a slugger as Rodgers is, he has not had much luck with anything else.

    Unless he adds some more tools to his game, he will become a guy who always takes the big swings and leaves himself wide open for KOs.

    While this works some of the time, MMA is a changing sport where the more you know, the better off you will be. 

Josh Barnett: Great Fighter Who Has a Past To Overcome

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    Biggest Strength: Submissions. He is also a very accomplished fighter.

    Barnett is a catch wrestler who has 17 submission victories in his career.

    Barnett also has a few KO victories and can be dangerous either standing or on the ground.

     

    Biggest Weakness: Drug testing and Mirko Cro Cop.

    Many of Barnett’s career accomplishments are often overshadowed by the fact that he has tested positive for steroids three times. 

    Also, out of his five career losses, Barnett has lost to Mirko Cro Cop three times. 

    Although Brett Rodgers is no Cro Cop, Barnett should not take him lightly. 

Fabricio Werdum: Excellent BJJ but Could Get in Trouble on His Feet

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artist Fabricio Werdum arrives at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Biggest Strength: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and he already beat Overeem once.

    Werdum scored the biggest win of his career, and one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, when he defeated Fedor Emelianenko last June.

    Werdum is very accomplished in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, winning many championships in the sport. In MMA, eight of his 14 wins have been by submission—including one over his opponent Alistair Overeem.

    Werdum also has four victories by knock out, which makes him a tough fighter to go against.

     

    Biggest Weakness: Cage/ring control and he could get into trouble on his feet.

    Three of Werdum’s four losses are by decision.  

    While Werdum is good on his feet, if he gets in trouble like he did against Fedor, he’ll be looking to take the fight to the ground.

    The only problem is, will other fighters get baited into challenging the second-degree BJJ black-belt?

Alistair Overeem: Excellent Striking, but Not Against the Best

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    Biggest strengths: Well rounded and experienced.

    Overeem, Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Champion, has not lost since 2007.

    Overeem is dangerous on his feet and on the ground. He has looked unstoppable since becoming the champion.

    Overeem’s versatility makes him a tough fight for anyone. His experience also comes second-to-none, with nearly 50 fights on his resume.

     

    Biggest Weaknesses: His chin and he hasn’t fought top-competition lately.

    A lot has changed since Overeem was a skinny kickboxer in Pride.

    In Pride, Overeem picked up a majority of his career losses, many of which came by KO.

    Overeem fought some of MMA's best back then, but lately he hasn’t seen any of the top heavyweights.

    This all changes Saturday, when he faces Werdum. 

    Overeem will get his chance to prove why he is one of the best fighters in MMA today.

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