Strikeforce: Melendez vs Masvidal will be held Saturday, December 17th at Valley View Casino in San Diego, California. The fights will be broadcasted per usual on Showtime at 10pm. For this card, schedule permitting, I will be updating this prediction article with the actual results as they happen. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back frequently Saturday night. Also, I will try to hop on the live chat, located on the bottom of this page, for those who want to talk MMA and tell me their opinions on these fighters!
KJ “King Carl” Noons 9-3 vs Billy Evangelista 11-1-1
Talk about starting the main card off right. KJ Noon vs Billy Evangelista will have the San Diego crowd on their feet!
King Carl Noons is a champion in all aspects of the word. His father was a very well known kickboxer who raised his son in the ring. Starting at the age of 5, KJ has since flourished in boxing and MMA. So much that he is dancing around being the first person ever to be a World Champion in two sports. Pops must be proud as hell!
Noons is a great opponent to have if you want a challenge but let’s be real here, he’s running on a two loss streak. I give him credit though; at least he wasn’t shown up by a couple of nobodies. In October 2010, Noons had the honor of stepping in the cage, for the second time, with current UFC star Nick Diaz. Noons had rocked Diaz back in 2007 when they first met in their EliteXC: Renegade battle, winning in the 1st round by TKO (doctor stoppage). No doubt did he come out confident that he could do it again in Noons vs Diaz II. Unfortunately for King Carl, Diaz had drastically improved and the two went toe to toe for all 5 rounds. Diaz pulled out a win over Noons by unanimous decision. Noons last fight was against a contender in this current cards main event, Jorge Masvidal, in June 2011. Once again, KJ went the distance however came out short against his opponent.
I’m not sure if we will witness his comeback this Saturday, since he’s going up against an 11-1 hardcore fighter like Evangelista.
Billy Evangelista has a very strong wrestling, jiu jitsu and muay thai background and trains out of Ralph Gracies. Like Noons, Billy has also experienced defeat against Mister Jorge Masvidal recently, via unanimous decision. However for Billy, that was his first and only loss in his profes
sional career. Given the type of fighter Evangelista is, I don’t see him being content with losing. I believe he has learned from it, taken everything he could out of it and is planning to turn his game around. Even though he’s going up against an exquisite boxer, Evangelista has some exciting striking of his own to show off.
I do not want this fight going to the judges. I want to be “Wowed” by a flurry of fists and I want one of these two men to unleash the KO I know they have in them! Call me needy, but I want to witness greatness.
Winner: Billy Evangelista in the 2nd round via TKO.
**ACTUAL RESULT** Winner by Unanimous Decision KJ Noons
Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi 30-3-2 vs Ovince St. Preux “OSP” 11-4
A product of the Netherlands, Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi has mingled with a plethora of various MMA, Boxing and kickboxing organizations.
I don’t know if he is addicted to money or the thrill of the fight, but this man has a lot of fights notched on his bed post. Holding a 30-3-2 record, Mousasi is a competing machine. From 2006-2009 he breezed though his matches earning a win streak of 15. In April 2010 at a Strikeforce event, Mousasi experienced a loss via unanimous decision to Muhammed Lawal. Looks like that loss might’ve shook his concentration a bit because a few fights later, again with Strikeforce, his fight against Keith Jardine ended in a draw. He would’ve had it if not for an illegal upkick causing a one point deduction. Now Mousasi has been dominant in his Dream fights but since 2010, he can’t seem to catch a break when thrown to the mats with Strikeforce talent. If this doesn’t work in his favor, he can always fall back and get in gear for his 2012 Summer Olympics-Boxing tryout. We’ll have to wait until Saturday to see if The Dreamcatcher wakes up long enough to win this matchup.
OSP…Did you say GSP is fighting in Strikeforce? No…O-S-P, Ovince St. Preux. I know, get your own initials right? Hopefully his skills make up for his lack of nickname originality
Hailing from Knoxville, TN, OSP has been broadcasting his natural athletic abilities since high school. After two failed attempts to get drafted into the NFL, OSP figured he’d try out hitting people in a different sport. St. Preux started his pro career out slow with two initial losses in his 2008 debut. But he has since grown and adapted to the ways of the sport, currently riding an 8 fight win streak. OSP is also the first Strikeforce fighter to come out victorious 3 (Strikeforce) fights in a row, beating Antwain Britt, Benji Radach and Abongo Humphrey. He recently added on his fourth consecutive win against Joe Cason via submission (punches), July of this year.
I’m actually leaning towards a decision here. I know Mousasi is going to come out hard, and with both men being insane boxers, it’s a given they’re going to go punch for punch. If St. Preux can execute one of his favorite superman punches we might see a sweet KO or Mousasi could try and revisit his younger years by submitting OSP with a triangle choke. Whatever the outcome, it’s coming in round 3.
Winner: St. Preux via decision.
**ACTUAL RESULTS** Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision.. OSP was extremely disappointing, to say the least..
Cris Cyborg 10-1 vs Hiroko “Cats Eye” Yamanaka 12-1
Current Women’s featherweight champion and the number one ranked female fighter, Cris Cyborg, is stepping back into the cage after a hiatus lasting a year and a half. That aside, she has not lost a fight since her professional debut back in 2008. They need to create a new word just for her because her striking style is beyond aggressive. With husband Evangelista Santos by her side, she has the support needed to stay at the top, where she has made herself rather comfy!
I suppose this match might actually have potential to give Cyborg a little competition. Hiroko Yamanaka’s record is impressive; with a 12-1 record she was dominating the Smackgirl and Jewel fighting organizations. What was left except venture to new grounds?
This will be “Cats Eye’s” first fight on American soil as well as her Strikeforce debut. She must be good if they’re putting her up against Cris Santos. From what I can tell, Hiroko is determined to win her fights anyway possible. She adapts to the fighter, knowing what method of attack she must execute in order to catch them off guard or out grapple them. Needless to say Hiroko is going to make Cyborg do work. One thing we have to look at as well is that in Japan, they only have two rounds, how’s Hiroko’s stamina? Can she last an extra round?
In recent interviews, Hiroko has been quoted as saying “I do feel like my experience will benefit me. I feel like I have a lot of good experience and it will benefit me in this fight.” I for one am anxious to see what Hiroko can bring to Strikeforce and if Cyborg will have someone soon nipping at her heels for that belt!
I’m torn. Both these women are extremely dangerous in the cage, but it’s Cyborg! Decisions. Decisions.. For entertainment purposes, I want to go with the Strikeforce “newbie”, but I know who’s taking this..
Winner: Cyborg, 2nd round TKO
**ACTUAL RESULTS** Cyborg in the first 16 seconds of round one by TKO
Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez 20-2 vs Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal 22-6
The main event of the evening will be a brawl for the Lightweight Belt and title. This might be Gilbert Melendez’s last fight before being signed into the UFC. Will Melendez show us all why he’s moving up in the MMA world, or is Masvidal prepared to make him look like a chump before he gets the chance to step into a UFC octagon?
Gilbert Melendez is the current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Currently Melendez is earning is nickname, “El Nino”, given to him by a Japanese sports broadcaster during a Shooto competition; the man stated Melendez destroys everything in his path. With his 20-2 record I’d say that’s a legitimate statement.
Since his professional start in 2002, Melendez has only experienced two losses, both via unanimous decision. No one has ever knocked him out, made him tap or caused concern for the referees to stop his fights. He’s made such an impression with his striking abilities and his jiu jitsu skills, which he holds a brown belt in, that he’s even caught the eye of UFC President Dana White. White wants the entertainment Melendez brings to his fights in the UFC with other champions he feels will be more of a challenge for El Nino. It’s been rumored that White has said he’ll give Melendez an immediate title shot. I hope that’s not the case because, his overall performance may warrant such a treat but I feel in each organization you have to climb the ranks like everyone else.
From 2009 til now, Melendez has consecutively conquered the following matches in strikeforce: Rodrigo Damm via KO (punches), Mitsuhiro Ishida via TKO (punches), Josh Thomson and Shinya Acki via unanimous decision and Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (elbows). With all these wins, Melendez is still acting smart. He knows Masvidal is a worthy and challenging opponent; he cannot and will not take this fight lightly.
Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is a heavy hitting MMA beast. He might have more losses than El Nino but that’s more experience and more learning from your mistakes. You can’t become a better fighter if you don’t know what needs improvement.
Masvidal started off his professional career in 2003 with Absolute fighting, where he started off strong and only fell off balance a few times. He later became involved with BoDog Fight, Sengoku and some other various fighting leagues where he dominated everyone they threw at him. He eventually joined the better known organization, Bellator. In 2009 Masvidal was part of Bellators Submission of the Year, unfortunately he was on the losing end, submitted by Toby Imada via triangle choke.
Currently, Masvidal has won his last 2 Strikeforce matches via unanimous decision. Gamebred will need to step up and accomplish something spectacular to get the attention off of Melendez and onto himself. His best bet would be to avoid Melendez’s takedown at all times. Keep the fight standing and land every heavy punch he throws. Like Melendez, Masvidal knows a win of this magnitude isn’t going to just fall in his lap. He has to work hard and pounce on any and all weaknesses he finds while in the cage with his opponent.
I call this one: Melendez, after a bloody exchange of blows, via unanimous decision.
**ACTUAL RESULTS** Melendez via unanimous decision!