What: Strikeforce Challengers: Kaufman vs. Hashi
When: The non-televised undercard starts at 8PM ET Friday and the Showtime card starts at 11PM ET.
Where: San Jose Civic Auditorium
Predictions on the five televised fights:
Takayo Hashi vs. Sarah Kaufman
This bout marks the second time that a women's fight has been the main event of a card otherwise devoted exclusively to male fighters, following the August match-up of Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg. Although Hashi and Kaufman aren't the big names that Carano and Cyborg are, they're just as accomplished as fighters, and this bout will crown a very worthy 135-pound champion. I like the 10-0 Kaufman to remain undefeated.
Karl Amoussou vs. Trevor Prangley
Amoussou is an M-1 Challenge veteran who's known for exciting finishes; in four of his fights he's finished his opponents in 35 seconds or less. But he hasn't beaten anyone as experienced as Prangley (who is 37 years old, has a 22-5 record, and probably shouldn't be on a Challengers card), and I don't think the 24-year-old Amoussou is quite on that level yet.
Paul Bradley vs. Luke Rockhold
Rockhold was last seen whipping the former Ultimate Fighter bad boy Jesse Taylor, which makes him something of a fan favorite -- at least among the many who think Taylor is an obnoxious jerk. I think Rockhold will keep winning against Bradley.
Tarec Saffiedine vs. James Terry
The Belgian Saffiedine is returning to fighting in the United States after a couple of fights in Japan with Dream, and I see him getting a submission win over Terry.
Raul Castillo vs. Yancy Medeiros
This is a good example of what the Challengers cards should be about: Castillo is 6-0 and has finished all six of his opponents; Medeiros is 7-0 and has finished six of his opponents. Both fighters have shown promise and are now getting a step up in competition against each other. I could go either way on the pick, but I'll say Medeiros's 0 is the one to go.