Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal Preview and Predictions

| by Sports Nickel

Time for another one of these Strikeforce cards. Last pick ‘em outing (UFC 140) I went another .500 (6-6). And that makes it back to back events of just “so-so.” Unacceptable, but as you can see, picking fights is the hardest thing to do in sports. So now my “season” record is 188-111. Still pulling in 62.87%, so I’m doing alright, but it’s making Win 200 a little harder to achieve. And with this being a Strikeforce card, the best I could go is 4-0 (main card only). Yes, I could pick the undercard bouts, but no, you do not care.

And 4-0 it’ll be. It has to be. Looking at this card, I should be able to get that rather easily. Two championship fights and two other former champions competing on the same “free” card is fantastic. For a Strikeforce card, this is pretty stacked. “Cyborg” is easily the most dominate women’s champion in the sport, and many people rank Gilbert Melendez as the #1 Lightweight in the world. I don’t know about that, but he has a huge test in Jorge Masvidal.

For those of you who don’t know, the favorite will have a negative (-) number, while the underdog will have a positive (+) number. MMA money lines are based on units of $100. If the favorite is -225, it means that you have to wager $225 to win $100. But if you are betting on the underdog, the formula is different. If the underdog is at +185, it means that if you wager $100 you will win $185 for a total of $285. Easy enough, right? Good.

If you guys are going to bet, head over to As always, I appreciate half of your earnings.

Main Card (Showtime)

Lightweight bout: KJ Noons (-200) vs. Billy Evangelista (+160)

Boxer vs. Muay Thai striker. Usually I would side with the guy that has more tools. In this case, the Muay Thai would, but this particular Muay Thai fighter succumbed to Jorge Masvidal’s boxing and wrestling. That was Evangelista’s first loss, but if he had problems with Masvidal’s hands, he’ll definitely have trouble with Noons’ hands. I doubt Noons will knock him out, but he’ll do the same thing Masvidal did.

My Pick: Noons, Round 3, Decision

Light Heavyweight bout: Gegard Mousasi (-380) vs. Ovince St. Preux (+290)

OVP, as I call him, is a fantastic prospect. His striking is ever improving and he’s a great wrestler. But this is a huge step up in competition and the only weakness Mousasi really has is his takedown defense, but he has worked on that, and it has looked great in his last few outings. Unless OVP somehow goes the route of King Mo and continuously gets takedowns, he’s going to lose this fight.

My Pick: Mousasi, Round 2, Submission

Women’s Featherweight Championship bout: Cristiane Santos (-1400) vs. Hiroko Yamanaka (+750)

If there were a fighter that could defeat Santos, it would be Yamanaka. That being said, I don’t think I will ever pick against Cyborg. She’s a beast and a freak. A beastfreak. Yamanakda can grapple with the best of the women’s division, but she can’t strike as hard as Cyborg. I mean, her name is CYBORG. No way she’s losing.

My Pick: Santos, Round 3, (T)KO

Lightweight Championship bout: Gilbert Melendez (-400) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+300)

I really like Masvidal. He’s a great fighter with tremendous upside. He has the tools to give Melendez a run for his money. But that’s all it’ll be, a run. He won’t get there, because if/when he starts to give Melendez trouble on his feet, Melendez will resort to his wrestling and grind this one out. It should be a great fight, and it’ll be back and forth, but in the end, Melendez is too strong and gets those takedowns.

My Pick: Melendez, Round 5, Decision