Strikeforce Henderson vs Babalu Breakdowns and Predictions Josh Davis May 23, 2011 Events, Previews On December 4, 2010 Strikeforce brings their fans their last event of the year and it arguably could be one of the year’s best. In the main event Dan Henderson takes on Babalu Sobral in a light heavyweight bout that will certainly have title implications. The co main event between Robbie Lawlor and Matt Linland also has title implications. The winner will be in line for a title shot while the loser will have to start at the back of the line. The rest of the card is stacked with fights that will absolutely entertain fans. Dan Henderson (25-8) vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral (36-8) The main event at the Scottrade Center in St.Louis, Missouri will feature a rematch between two MMA veterans who fought each other way back in the year 2000. Former Pride Champion, Dan “Hendo” Henderson will compete in his second Strikeforce fight since joining the promotion. In his last bout, Henderson was defeated by then Strikeforce middleweight champion, Jake Shields. Shields won the fight via unanimous decision, controlling Henderson on the ground in the later rounds of the fight. Henderson fought at 185 pounds in this fight, but will move back up to his normal 205 pounds to fight Babalu. Babalu is coming off a decision victory against Robbie Lawler in a catchweight fight at 195 pounds. Babalu showed off all of his skills, shooting for takedowns, using kicks, and working his boxing very well. Sobral has always been known as an all-around fighter, and is a dangerous opponent to have to face. As these two fighters face each other on Saturday, look for anything to happen. Henderson has said “it’s going to be a good mixture of everything”. But of course, Henderson is going to load up his right hand, and look to end it early. Even at age 40, Henderson is still a dominant fighter. If he has prepared for Babalu and his many aspects, then he can win this fight. But if his ju-jitsu skills have not improved then he could get dominated again. Henderson will bounce back and get a win in this one. His cardio should be top notch, and he is more comfortable fighting in the light heavyweight division. He isn’t wanting to retire anytime soon, and is ready to put himself right back in title contention. Prediction: Dan Henderson via knockout in the 2nd round. Robbie Lawler (17-6) vs. Matt Lindland (22-7) In the co-main event, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will take on Matt “The Law” Lindland in a middleweight bout. Lawler lost in his last fight to Babalu Sobral in a catchweight bout. It was a close fight throughout, but the cardio endurance may have got to him. Lawler should look and feel much healthier at his normal weight against Lindland. Matt Lindland, who is known for his Greco Roman wrestling, is coming off a win back in May against Kevin Casey. Lindland was able to use his wrestling ability to get a TKO victory over Casey. In this fight against Lawler, he will have to have the same game plan as he had for Casey. He needs to use his wrestling ability to take Lawler down and try to work the ground and pound. For Lawler to win this fight, he needs to keep it standing. Sixteen of his nineteen wins are by way of knockout. Lawler should be able to keep the fight standing, and use his hands well against Lindland. Prediction: Robbie Lawler by 1st round KO. Antonio Silva (14-2) vs. Mike Kyle (18-7-1) Two heavyweights collide next as Antonio “Big Foot” Silva takes on Mike Kyle. Originally, Silva was supposed to face Valentijn Overeem, but Overeem suffered an elbow injury to force him out of the fight. “Big Foot” (as Silva is often called) defeated Andrei Arlovski in his last fight by unanimous decision. Silva is a very big heavyweight, normal weight being 265. He is known for his Brazilian Ju-Jitsu background, and is not afraid to take fights to the ground. Mike Kyle recently fought a few weeks ago in XMMA, where he won the promotion’s light heavyweight championship. Kyle normally fights at 205, but will move up to heavyweight to face Silva. In his past fights at heavyweight, Kyle hasn’t looked his best. He was easily defeated when he fought Fabricio Werdum. Kyle will defiantly have a disadvantage in this fight with Silva, having been put in at the last minute. Silva will be able to control Kyle in the fight, both on the ground and standing. Prediction: Big Foot wins this fight via unanimous decision. Paul Daley (25-9-2) vs. Scott Smith (17-7-1) In the first fight of the main card, Paul “Semtex” Daley will fight Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith. Since being released by the UFC, Daley has been fighting in several promotions, but now has a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce. In his last fight, Daley won a decision over Jorge Masvidal. Daley is known for his heavy hands, but has not won by knockout since leaving the UFC. Scott Smith, also known for his hands, is coming off two fights against highly regarded Cung Lee. Smith won the first fight, but lost the second. In this fight, these guys are going to stand and bang with each other; there is no way this fight will go to the judges’ scorecards. Both fighters have a combined 5 wins by decision (Smith having gone to one). Look for a knockout in this one. Prediction: Paul Daley wins by KO. All four of these fights have the possibility to be fight of night. Everybody on the main card has something to prove and can not afford a loss if they want to continue to make title runs in their respective divisions. No matter what though, this is a card that you do not want to miss.