A score to settle, a pair of ladies seeking to bounce back from championship losses, the force known as “OSP” and two fighters looking to overcome late-replacement opponents.  Those are the storylines of this weekend’s Strikeforce Challengers 17 card, which takes place at The Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas on July 22.

After losing a technical decision to Roger Bowling in their first meeting at Strikeforce Challengers 8, Bobby Voelker returned with a TKO win over Bowling in the rematch at the eleventh edition of the Challengers series.  Now, it’s time for the rubber match.  The conclusion of their first meeting brought controversy and the second affair saw Bowling fade after gaining the upper hand early on.  Now, both men seek to put a decisive end to the trilogy.

The last time Sarah Kaufman set foot in a Strikeforce cage, she relinquished her Strikeforce women’s welterweight title to Marloes Coenen via submission.  Kaufman has since bounced back with a win under the Armageddon Fighting Championships banner, but this will be her first opportunity to redeem herself in front of a Strikeforce audience.  Her opponent, Liz Carmouche, is in a similar position.  With two wins on Challengers cards, the prospect earned the next shot at the new champ, Coenen.  While she impressed early in the bout, “Girl-Rilla” also eventually succumbed via submission to Coenen.  Now, both ladies look to position themselves for another run at the championship.

Ovince St. Preux has built up an incredible amount of momentum since returning to Strikeforce last November.  Three unanimous decision wins in the span of two months have vaulted OSP into a prominent position among Strikeforce’s light heavyweights.  Now, he’ll have to overcome a Roufusport-trained striker in Joe Cason if he wants continue to climb the 205-pound ladder.

Rounding out the main card, Ron Stallings and Devin Cole have both experienced late changes in opponents.  Stallings goes from facing a grappler to facing the striking-oriented Adlan Amagov.  Meanwhile, Cole goes from underdog versus Lavar Johnson to likely favorite against Bellator veteran Shawn Jordan, who took the bout just days out from the event.

The MMA Corner’s Corey Adams, Rob Tatum and Richard Wilcoxon break down the five main card fights, set to air live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET, in this edition of The MMA Corner Round Table.

MW: Adlan Amagov (7-1-1) vs. Ron Stallings (9-3)

Wilcoxon: This event kicks off with a middleweight contest between two debuting fighters that is a throwback to the Cold War.

Amagov is a late replacement who jumped at the chance when Brian McLaughlin pulled out of the bout.  Stylistically, this is a huge change.  McLaughlin is a grappler who won all of his fights by submission while Amagov is a striker who has finished five fights via TKO.  The Russian had an extremely busy 2010 competing five times and going 4-0-1, but this is his first fight in 2011.  This will not only be his first fight in the Strikeforce stage, it will be his first fight in the US.

Stallings is a well-rounded fighter. The Lloyd Irvin Team product has an extensive grappling background, winning multiple NAGA tournament and grappling championships.  However, he has won four of his nine victories in MMA via TKO.

This is a match-up between two prospects.  Stallings just signed a multi-fight contract with Strikeforce, while Amagov has been brought in as a late replacement.  Stallings may enter the bout as a slight favorite, but I will actually lean the other way.  Amagov has dynamic striking and Stallings has struggled with strikers in the past.  I will take Amagov by second-round TKO.

Tatum: Coming in on late notice is always an interesting situation, as it largely affects the game plan of both fighters.  As Richard pointed out, Stallings was preparing for a grappler and now faces a striker, a significant transition to say the least.  And Amagov is now forced to do his homework rather quickly on the well-rounded Stallings.

While Amagov’s resume is impressive, I can’t help but notice that M-1 Global, Russia’s most prominent promotion, did not sign him.  Either he played hard ball or they didn’t feel his talents were warranted.  Always tough to gauge the level of competition competing outside of North America and Japan.

I think Stallings will work methodically to get this fight to the mat.  Once there, Amagov will be a fish out of water, falling victim to a choke in the second round.

Adams: This is a difficult match-up to dictate who will take home a win, as many have not seen either fighter compete much in the past. While looking at the resumes of both men, it appears that Amagov is more of a slower-paced fighter, while Stallings comes in looking for the finish early.

With that said, I think Stallings will come out quickly and look to make a statement against the Russian. I believe he will be able to finish Amagov by either KO or submission, and will make his Strikeforce debut impressively.

LHW: Ovince St. Preux (10-4) vs. Joe Cason (9-1)

Tatum: In a battle of fast-rising light heavyweights, former University of Tennessee linebacker St. Preux will take on Roufussport product Joe Cason.

After destroying former UFC competitor Jason Day in only eight seconds, St. Preux wasted little time making his mark on Strikeforce after signing with the promotion in the summer of last year.  Competing three times in only seven weeks, “OSP” defeated Antwain Britt, Benji Radach, and Abongo Humphrey, all by decision.  The athletic St. Preux has shown a well-rounded attack in each of his fights.

Cason, meanwhile, will be making his promotional debut.  He is coming off a KO victory over former UFC combatant Sean Salmon.  Eight of his nine victories have come by way of knockout, and all have been inside the first round.  Training with renowned striking coach Duke Roufus, Cason will enter the bout with the upper hand in the stand-up department.

The biggest question entering this fight is whether OSP will try to stand and trade with Cason.  If he’s smart, he’ll use his explosiveness to get this fight to the mat and take Cason out of his element.  I look for OSP to continue his ascension up the light heavyweight ladder by submitting Cason late in the second round.

Adams: This is a fight I’m looking forward to, as my fellow Tennessee native St. Preux goes up against an up-and-coming prospect making his debut with the promotion.

Ovince St. Preux (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

As mentioned, St. Preux is a former University of Tennessee linebacker who possesses athletic ability that many cannot match in the light heavyweight division. He is not particularly someone who has power in his hands, having not been committed to the sport as most, but has five wins by way of knockout. In this match-up, he will need to have his stand-up game solid to earn a victory.

Cason is a guy that has potential to be become a solid MMA fighter in the future. Coming out of the Roufusport camp in Milwaukee, he has a great kickboxing game, as well as many solid training partners. Cason also has not been defeated since 2009 and will look to make a statement as to why he should be considered a contender in Strikeforce in the future.

As far as predicting a winner in this bout, I’m going to go with OSP as well. Even though his skills aren’t ready to step up to take on a champion, he continues to improve after every fight. I think he gets the win via decision.

Wilcoxon: My colleagues have done a great job of covering the background of these two fighters.  However, where they see Cason as having potential, I see an inflated record.  Besides a victory over Salmon, who has a record of 18-15, the next best opponent since the start of 2010 only has a record of 1-2.  In fact, excluding Salmon, the record of all of his opponents in his victories is just 2-29.  St. Preux wins this any way he wants.

HW: Shawn Jordan (10-2) vs. Devin Cole (18-9-1)

Adams: Jordan comes in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Lavar Johnson and will take on Cole, who is eager to get back on track.

Jordan becomes a bit of a different match-up for Cole, as he is heavier (262 pounds) compared to the original opponent, Johnson (243 pounds). He has mainly competed in the Bellator organization, compiling a 3-1 record, including a first-round stoppage of John Hill in May.

As for Cole, he also trains at a solid camp in Portland, Ore., at Team Quest. His style is primarily wrestling-based, but he has the ability to knockout anyone, as indicated by his record (10 out of 18 wins coming by KO). This also is a must-win situation for him, as he has fallen short of a win in his last two bouts against Aaron Rosa and Daniel Cormier.

This will be a tough test for Jordan, as he has not taken part in a full training camp compared to Cole. I would’ve originally taken Johnson to defeat Cole, but now I’m going to lean toward the member of Team Quest  to earn a decision win over Jordan.

Wilcoxon: Jordan enters this fight as a very late replacement.  The former LSU fullback comes in winning seven of his last eight bouts, and five of those via TKO.

Devin Cole (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

Cole has a strong wrestling background, as he was a former All-American and led Southern Oregon University to a national NAIA championship. He later coached wrestling for the school.  In MMA, he does like to trade blows before looking to take the fight to the mat.

This is a little different than the earlier fight we were discussing where there was a change.  In that fight, the replacement had a completely different style than the original opponent, while in this fight a striker is replacing a striker.  I think Cole has caught a huge break.  I thought he would probably lose to Johnson, but I see him winning a one-sided decision in this one.

Tatum: The Cole-Johnson matchup that was originally scheduled was a much more difficult fight for Cole.  Now, despite Jordan’s strong athletic background, Cole possesses a number of advantages.  Obviously, the short notice will prevent Jordan from having a proper camp and game-planning for Cole.

Cole has faced much more difficult competition in his career, and will have a large advantage in the grappling department.  He has rarely strayed away from a firefight on the feet, but to get back in the win column, his best chance is to take the fight to the ground.

Jordan enters the bout after a solid performance in Bellator.  If he keeps the fight upright, he has the power to finish.  His larger frame may aid his cause, but I look for Cole to put him on his back and force him to work.

In a sloppy fight, Cole exits the cage with a unanimous decision victory.

Women’s WW (135 lb.): Sarah Kaufman (13-1) vs. Liz Carmouche (5-1)

Tatum: Former Strikeforce champ Kaufman returns to the promotion for the first time since losing her title to current divisional kingpin, Marloes Coenen.  The defeat was the first of Kaufman’s career, but she has since rebounded with a TKO win over Megumi Yabushita at AFC 5.

Sarah Kaufman (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Like Kaufman, Carmouche also fell victim to Coenen’s lethal submission game, but only after giving her all that she could handle.  The former Marine stepped in late for an injured Miesha Tate and was not expected to challenge Coenen.  However, Carmouche pummelled the champ from the mount for much of the first three rounds before succumbing to a triangle choke in the fourth round.

Despite the unexpected performance against Coenen, Carmouche is still fairly inexperienced.  Her attack largely relies on her power and heart, rather than technique and skill.  Kaufman possesses crisp boxing and can mix in occasional takedowns as well.  While Carmouche certainly has potential, as evidenced by her title challenge, I expect Kaufman to methodically pick her apart on the feet en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Wilcoxon: This is a fight of potential-to-be-great against one of the best in the business.

Carmouche is relatively young and inexperienced in her career.  She is tough and powerful for the division and has shown a lot of heart.  She clearly has the physical tools to be great someday.

Liz Carmouche (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

Kaufman has experience, skill and talent.  Despite losing the title, wins over Tate, Shayna Baszler and Roxanne Modafferi still place her as one of the top fighters in the weight class.

Both fighter are primarily strikers.  Carmouche may have more power, but Kaufman has the experience.  I think that experience will be tough to overcome.  I also see Kaufman picking Carmouche apart for three rounds.

Adams: I’m going to agree with my fellow panelists in this one by taking Kaufman.

As mentioned, Kaufman is a more experienced fighter, which makes her a more skilled fighter than her opponent. I’m not saying Carmouche is a bad fighter, as she surprised many with her performance early in her fight with Coenen until getting choked out, but I believe Kaufman possesses more talent than does Carmouche.

Ten of Kaufman’s 13 victories have come by way of knockout, but she is also working hard on her BJJ, currently holding a purple belt. However, I do not think she will be able to finish the tough Carmouche, and will win a close fight by decision.

WW: Roger Bowling (9-1) vs. Bobby Voelker (23-8)

Wilcoxon: The main event features the conclusion of  a trilogy.  Bowling took the first fight by a controversial decision, Voelker got revenge in the second fight, leaving this fight to be the finale of some exciting wars.

Voelker has been one of the busier fighters.  He debuted in 2006 and in just five years he competed in 31 fights.  Voelker is primarily a striker and has won 14 of his fights via TKO.

Roger Bowling (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

Bowling debuted in 2007, but only has a fraction of the experience Voelker has.  He has battled injuries throughout his career.  He has a background in wrestling but has been working hard on his kickboxing.  He is a very good striker and has won five of his fights via TKO.

Voelker has a huge experience edge, but he is a notoriously slow starter.  He didn’t just lose, but was completely dominated in the first round of his last three fights.  That is a huge concern for me.  It means that Voelker has to either stop Bowling late or win both of the last two rounds. I think this is Bowling’s fight to lose.  He had the second fight in control until he started to slow it down.  He has won every round they have fought where he kept the pace fast.  Bowling takes this via decision.

Adams: I think I’m going to agree with Richard in this grudge match and go with Bowling to settle the score between the two.

Bowling will once again have a height disadvantage, but his record of 9-1 is impressive, even with his injury troubles. He is coming off a decision win over Josh Thornburg in March and should be focused to make a run, starting with his foe Voelker.

Bobby Voelker (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

Voelker is a tough fighter, but he has not fought since Oct. 2010, when both he and Bowling had their second meeting. I agree also with Richard’s point that to defeat Bowling, he will have to either find a way to stop him with a KO or somehow win two out of three rounds, but it will be a difficult task.

All signs point to Bowling, in my opinion, to win this fight. I think he earns a decision victory, but one that won’t come in controversial fashion.

Tatum: As both Richard and Corey have stated, Bowling has to be the be favorite heading into this rubber match.  Voelker is a gritty, hard-working fighter, but notoriously starts slow.  Against a seasoned wrestler like Bowling, he can’t expect to win on points.

Voelker is certainly the more accomplished striker, and if he can keep the fight standing, he’ll have a chance to repeat the outcome of their second fight.  Bowling, meanwhile, will have to keep his foot on the gas for the entire fight to avoid slowing down and letting Voelker picks his spots.

Bowling should take this fight to the ground early and often to break Voelker’s will and convince the judges that the original fight was no fluke.  I’ll take Bowling by decision as well.

Top Photo: Bobby Voelker (l) and Roger Bowling battle in their second meeting at Strikeforce Challengers 11 (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)