Strikeforce and WEC 41 Weekend Predictions
By Matthew Degonzaque, DoghouseBoxing (June 6, 2009) Photo © Esther Lin/Strikeforce
How’s it going Pounders?! These are my predictions for this weekend’s two amazing MMA cards. First up, on Saturday, we will have Strikeforce: Lawler versus Shields on Showtime at 10pm eastern time. Then on Sunday, we will have the biggest fight in WEC history when Urijah Faber tries to win back the featherweight championship he lost last year to Mike Brown. WEC 41: Brown versus Faber II airs on the Versus network at 9pm eastern time. Make should you check out both cards, they should be amazing!

Strikeforce: Lawler versus Shields, June 6th

-Robbie Lawler (16-4) vs. Jake Shields (22-4-1):
Lawler has most of the advantages in this fight. He is fighting at a comfortable weight while Shields has to move up from 170 to 185 to fight him. He has the better stand up by far and has knock out power in both hands. Shields has always had mediocre stand up and has had to always rely on his Jiu Jitsu to win his fights. Lawler has good takedown defense and should be able to stuff Shields take down attempts and stop Shields. Prediction: Robbie Lawler by 1st round knockout.

-Nick Diaz (19-7) vs. Scott Smith (15-5):
Diaz is hot after his one sided victory over Frank Shamrock two months ago. Diaz has the better boxing skills while Smith has proven in the past to be more of a brawler who looks for the big shot. Diaz has a great chin and has taken shots from bigger punchers than Smith, so its doubtful Smith will be able to knock Diaz out. Diaz is also far better on the ground and will submit Smith if it goes there. Diaz is just a much better fighter in all areas. Prediction: Diaz by Decision.

-Andrei Arlovski (15-6) vs. Brett Rogers (9-0): Arlovski is pulling double duty as he is scheduled to make his boxing debut on a Golden Boy card later this month. Arlovski has some of the best hands in the heavyweight division and was beating Fedor Emelianenko in their fight last January until making a mistake, trying a flying knee, which cost him the fight. He should be able to get past Rogers here. Rogers has some power, but he is a lot slower than Arlovski. If Rogers hits Arlovski with a good shot then he might be able to win it as Arlovski has been stopped before, but I’m guessing Arlovski’s own superior skills give him the win in this one. I doubt either fighter will be looking for a takedown so expect a stand up battle. Prediction: Arlovski by 1st round knockout.

-Joe Riggs (29-10) vs. Phil Baroni (13-10):
Neither fighter will ever be a champion in any major promotion; this is more of a battle to stay relevant. Riggs is a complete fighter who has never been able to get the big win against the elite. Baroni is a muscle head brawler whose mouth has kept him more relevant than his skills. Baroni also has limited cardio and a lackluster ground game, which gives Riggs an easy advantage if the fight goes more than a round and if it hits the ground. Baroni’s only saving grace has always been his stand up, but Riggs has the edge in that department as well. It should be an easy win for Riggs. Prediction: Riggs by 1st round submission.

-Kevin Randleman (17-12) vs. Mike Whitehead (23-7):
This is probably the hardest fight on the card for me to pick and it’s also probably the least meaningful. Whitehead is a Miletich product who has never proven to be anything other than a journeyman, a gate keeper. Randleman is a former UFC heavyweight champion who was dominant in the early years of MMA. In his last 10 fights his record has been 3-7 and his overall record of 17-12 isn’t that impressive either. He’s a relic of the early years of the UFC who has hung around far too long and hasn’t defeated a quality opponent in years. But at the same time, Whitehead is hardly a world beater and if Randleman can use whatever explosiveness he has left to keep Whitehead on his back, he might be able to win the fight. I’m guessing that won’t happen though. Randleman may dominate early but he will get tired quickly. After that, Whitehead will control Randleman on the ground or out strike him on the feet, wherever the fights goes Whitehead will dominate. Prediction: Whitehead by decision.

WEC 41: Brown versus. Faber II, June 7th

-Mike Brown (21-4) vs. Urijah Faber (22-2):
People like to say that Mike Brown’s 1st victory over Urijah Faber was a fluke; Faber was winning until Brown hit him with a lucky punch. Well that’s revisionist history and it’s completely wrong. Mike Brown finished Urijah Faber with a counter punch and not some wild shot. Not only that, but up until then Brown was completely dominating Faber. Brown was overpowering Faber, out striking him and throwing him around the cage. Since then Brown has shown that his dominance over Faber wasn’t a fluke when he destroyed the very capable Leonard Garcia in only 1:57 at WEC 39. Faber meanwhile has picked up an easy victory against a past his prime and under prepared Jens Pulver at WEC 38. A lot of people think this is going to where Faber regains his title, but instead this fight is going to resemble Silva-Franklin II instead. Brown is going to defeat Faber in dominating fashion again and this time it will be in Faber’s home town with his friends and family watching. The only difference is that Faber will probably last longer than he did in the first fight. But the result will still be the same. Prediction: Brown wins by TKO in the 2nd round.

-Jose Aldo (14-1) vs. Cub Swanson (13-2):
This is going to be an easy victory for Aldo, who WEC is already building up as a future title contender. Swanson is a journeyman most known for getting choked out in 35 seconds by Jens Pulver at WEC 31. Expect Aldo to win easily here and for the announcers to hype Aldo as the challenger for the winner of Brown-Faber. Prediction: Aldo by TKO in the 1st round.

-Donald Cerrone (9-1) vs. James Krause (10-0):
Cerrone is biding his time waiting for Jamie Varner to heal up so they can have a rematch. Krause is just a fresh body for him to look good against until that rematch happens. Krause does have the better record, but all of his fights are on smaller shows against easy opposition. Prediction: Cerrone by 2nd round submission.

-Jens Pulver (22-11-1) vs. Josh Grispi (12-1): Might as well call this fight Pulver’s last stand because that is what it is. Pulver is at the very end of his career and a loss here will either retire Pulver or cause the WEC to release him. Gone is the fighter who out classed and defeated BJ Penn at UFC 35. Pulver has become a fighter who is slower than his opponents and can’t take a big shot anymore. The deterioration of Pulver’s skills is evident as he has lost 5 out of his last 6 fights. Grispi is only 20 years old and already has amassed an impressive 12-1 record. Look for Grispi to hit Pulver with something big in the 1st round and that will be the end of the fight and the end of the great career of the first ever UFC Lightweight Champion. Prediction: Grispi by 1st round TKO.

That’s all I got Pounders, watch the card and look out for next week’s edition of the news feed when I go over the results of these two cards.

Dana White WEC Video Blog DHB

Questions or comments,
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Matthew at: mdegonzaque@hotmail.com

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