Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cyborg thoughts and Strikeforce preview

The class of women's MMA won't be doing her sport much favors when she gets caught for taking banned testosterone-based steroids.

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos will be suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for a year because of a positive test for stanozolol in her urine. Her recent victory where she successfully defended her Strikeforce Women's 145 lb. World Championship has been retroactively dubbed a no contest.

Cyborg will be stripped of the title, according to UFC President Dana White. His statement further seems to imply that the women's 145-pound division, which Cyborg had essentially cleared out, will now be shut down.

This certainly won't help the condition of women's MMA. Fans will have to watch knowing the top female is not going to be seen for at least a year. Even then, she will have to compete in a weight class that she could very well have trouble cutting down to.

That said, keeping the focus of women's MMA on the deepest division may serve everyone better. And with Ronda Rousey now inserted into the title picture controversially, the division will certainly be of interest over the next year.

Anyway, there is a Strikeforce event tonight, and so let's take a look at the Main Event first:

Middleweight title fight: Luke Rockhold (c) vs. Keith Jardine

Rockhold is coming off a victory over Jacare Souza for the belt, and now he has to prove that it's  not a fluke. (NOTE: Fighting Jardine does NOT necessarily prove that.)

Jardine is a perennial failure in the Light Heavyweight division, ultimately losing his job in the UFC due to the sheer volume of failure.

This is definitive proof to me that this division has absolutely no claim to being on the UFC's level. Neither of these men should be sniffing the title picture, but here we are.

I'll take Jardine by KO in Rd. 1 because I think his power will overwhelm Rockhold within the first few seconds, but if Rockhold keeps away early on, Jardine's weight cut will become an issue.

Middleweight bout: Robbie Lawler v. Adlan Amigov

This won't be that interesting of a bout in my opinion. Lawler has shown he is a legitimate top-20 fighter at 185 lbs. Amigov... well, is in a bout with him.

I see Lawler exerting dominance on the ground and winning this fight by Submission in Round 2.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Muhammad Lawal vs. Lorenz Larkin

This could be a very exciting (and possibly short) fight. Lawal's got a good striking game, but Larkin, a friend of this blog, will stand and bang with him and is probably a superior striker.

If this is a standing fight, Larkin will win within the first round, but I'll take King Mo to keep it on the ground and grind out a decision.

I'll also take Tyron Woodley to win his welterweight bout with Jordan Mein. That should earn him a shot at the vacant welterweight belt, but as this is Strikeforce, who the hell actually knows what will happen with the title?

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