Probably one of the more interesting bouts in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Brett Rogers, designated as "The Grim Reaper" in most circles of MMA due to his ability to finish fights quickly and in brutal fashion, gets the biggest test of his career since his title fight with Alistair Overeem in former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett.
Of course, Barnett has said that he's no longer "Babyfaced," so his old nickname may not apply much to him now, but the claim of being one of the best Catch-Wrestlers in the business and having a very well-rounded game--which he can use aggressively without being reckless--still applies.
Rogers has some good Muay Thai and some very notable Boxing, which is a problem for Barnett to begin with, but the key here for the "leaner and meaner" Rogers is to use some wrestling in reverse.
If this event live from the American Airlines Center in the city of Dallas, Texas--roughly 30 minutes from where I reside quite proudly, I might add--is your first event and you don't know how to use wrestling in reverse, the basics of it is this:
If Barnett goes in for a takedown, Rogers must sprawl to stuff the takedown attempt, stand up as quickly as he can, and throw an uppercut before landing a nice one-two combo whenever possible.
If defending the takedowns opens the doors for a chance to stand in the pocket, even better, but unless Rogers has evolved to where he actually has some takedowns and some overall Wrestling that's good enough to at least neutralize Barnett's strengths, his best bet is to keep it standing and go for the finish.
If it's any extra motivation: Rogers is a heavy underdog to win here tonight, so what better way to shock all of MMA (and create a stylistically intriguing fight with Sergei Kharitonov) than to knock Josh Barnett out?
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