Strikeforce: Last-Minute Fly-by Predictions

Strikeforce just completed it’s deal with Showtime. With that under it’s belt, we have tonight’s event: Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.

Here are my predictions:
Lightweight bout
United States KJ Noons vs. United States Billy Evangelista

Billy  Evangelista takes on KJ “Boy Band” Noons. OK, that’s not KJ’s nickname, and he’s proven himself to be a talented boxer, solid MMA fighter and is apparently good on the ground, although I personally have never seen him roll. That said, Evangelista is a man, having tried to hide his orbital fracture against Masvidal and continue. I find myself liking KJ more and more as I see him fight, but I don’t think he can finish Evangelista. Prediction: Evangelista, Split Decision

 

Light Heavyweight bout
Armenia Gegard Mousasi vs. Haiti Ovince St. Preux

Mousasi’s an impressive fighter, but OSP is a rising star and I don’t think Mousasi can deal with OSP’s dynamic striking. Prediction: Ovince St. Preux, KO/TKO, 2nd round

 

Women’s Featherweight Championship bout
Brazil Cristiane Santos (c) vs. Japan Hiroko Yamanaka

Hiroko Yamanaka is talented and certainly no one to be slept on but Cyborg being Cyborg, this one’s the easiest of my predictions. Prediction: Christiane Santos, submission, 2nd round

 

Lightweight Championship bout
United States Gilbert Melendez vs. United States Jorge Masvidal

Dana White has said that Gilbert Melendez will stay in Strikeforce and not move to the UFC, in spite of what both of them have said publicly leading up to the Showtime deal. Was this part of the Showtime deal? The network looking to protect the value of the Strikeforce brand before all the top tier fighters leave? Dunno.

What I do know is that Melendez wants to prove he’s the best lightweight in the world, and I believe that he is. Who’s going to beat him: Frankie Edgar? No way. Michael Chandler? I’d give Eddie Alvarez a better shot and I don’t even think Alvarez could win against Melendez. Certainly not Jorge Masvidal. Prediction: Gilbert Melendez, TKO, first round

 

So that’s my main card predictions for Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal. Anything can happen once the cage door closes. Enjoy the fights!