Strikeforce Emelianenko vs. Henderson Undercard Analysis

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The MMA world is fixed on Strikeforce this weekend, and with good reason.  Saturday night will mark what should be the best card in Strikeforce history and one of the best shows of 2011.  It’s got legends, title fights and fights that will certainly be explosive.  The undercard is being overlooked, but it shouldn’t be, here’s why.

Bryan Humes vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones

This is a heavyweight clash that will be fun.  Humes is a talented big man sporting a 6-1 record with his lone defeat being a decision loss to Paul Buentello.  He is a heavy handed slugger who will be looking to keep this one standing and knock out Gabriel Salinas-Jones.  Speaking of Gabriel, he’s no slouch.  He’s an undefeated 4-0 and holds a win over former Ultimate Fighter contestant Zack Jensen who just had an explosive war on Bellator this past week.  Gabriel Salinas-Jones is comfortable standing, but likes the submission game as well.  None of his fights have gone the distance and only one has left the first round.  This should be a fun fight, kicking off perhaps the MMA card of the year.

In what could be a war, expect Gabriel Salinas-Jones to stay unbeaten and win the fight by submission.

Derek Brunson vs. Lumumba Sayers

Derek Brunson is on the verge of being a big name in MMA.  He’s 7-0 and looked great at Strikeforce Challengers in Kent, WA last month.  He has a very solid standup game including excellent kicks and can also work submissions pretty well.  He’ll be facing Lumumba Sayers, who is 4-1 and has won all four of his fights by submission.  If Lumumba isn’t able to take the fight to the mat, he could find himself in some serious trouble.  Derek Brunson should be able to land shots and take it to Sayers.

Brunson has a decisive edge standing and is more than capable on the mat.  He’ll be too much for Sayers and should win this fight by TKO.

Julie Kedzie vs. Alexis Davis

This should be a very scrappy fight between veterans of the sport trying to work their way towards a title shot.  Julie Kedzie  is a tough girl, and she’s been in there with all the best fighters.  Alexis Davis is 9 and 4 and trying to get into the title picture with a win over Kedzie.  Julie is 16-8 and has fought the likes of Kaitlin Young, Gina Carano and Tonya Evinger.  She’s currently riding a four fight winning streak and looks to be a favorite over Davis.  Davis however is no slouch and despite only being 3-3 in her last six, has very solid submission game, but will find submitting Kedzie a difficult challenge.  In what could be a back and forth fight, I expect this one to go the distance.

Julie is on a roll, and has faced all the top competition but expect an upset here when Davis outworks her for a unanimous decision win.

Tyler Stinson vs. Eduardo Pamplona

Another exciting match featuring Stinson (20-7) taking on Eduardo Pamplona (15-2).  Pamplona was on the Kent, WA Strikeforce Challengers card I attended last month and looked very good in defeating Jerron Peoples in the first round.  Pamplona hasn’t lost a fight since 2007 when he was stopped in the third round by Robbie Lawler.  Stinson has been in some big fights but could be out of his depth in this fight with Pamplona who trains at Black House and has excellent stand up.  Both men will be happy with the fight taking place standing but at some point it is likely to hit the mat, and when it does, the edge lies with Eduardo.

When it’s all said and done, expect Eduardo Pamplona to be too much for Stinson and beat him by TKO.

Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs. Bobby Green

This fight would be considered the “Main Event” of the undercard and should be a fun fight.  In “JZ” you have one of the better all-around Lightweights in the sport, capable of winning a fight standing or via submission.  He brings a very solid and veteran tested 15-4-1 record into this fight and is coming off of a no contest with Justin Wilcox, when Wilcox managed to self-eye poke himself with Cavalcante’s finger.  Yes, it was odd.  Bobby Green is also 15-4 although he hasn’t faced the same level of talent that Gesias has.  Bobby Green is a tremendous athlete and will look to engage standing but is comfortable on the mat with his wrestling, and has six submissions in his fifteen wins.  This could go either way.

In a fight that is more even that it appears, expect Gesias’ experience against top level talent to be too much for Green who will lose a decision.


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