Four weeks after a show that drew weak ratings on CBS and got bad press for a post-fight brawl, Strikeforce will try to get back on track Saturday night with a fight card featuring four good heavyweights in the top two fights. We've got the full preview and predictions below.
What: Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery
When: Saturday, Showtime broadcast begins at 10 PM ET.
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
Predictions on the five televised fights:
Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers
This fight is for Strikeforce's heavyweight belt, and it's the return of Overeem to the United States after a couple years of fighting in Japan, focusing mostly on kickboxing while winning some MMA squash matches. I really don't know what to expect from Overeem now that he's back on American soil and fighting a big, tough, powerful puncher like Rogers, but I suspect that Overeem is going to struggle against an opponent he can't physically manhandle, and that Rogers will knock him out.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva
This is Arlovski's first fight since Rogers knocked him out in 22 seconds a year ago, and there's no way to know what kind of shape he's in. If he comes out rusty, he's going to lose to Silva, a well-rounded fighter who's about 30 pounds heavier than Arlovski. But I believe Arlovski will come back in great shape and get back on track with his first victory since he knocked out Roy Nelson in 2008.
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Joey Villaseñor
Jacare is one of the best submission grapplers in the world, and I don't think he'll have much trouble taking Villasenor down and submitting him.
Roger Gracie vs. Kevin Randleman
Gracie's submission skills are right up there with Jacare's, and I expect Gracie to have an even easier time winning by submission than Jacare will. Randleman, a former UFC heavyweight champion, is way past his prime and has been talking about retirement. Gracie could bring Randleman's career to an end on Saturday night.
Rafael Cavalcante vs. Antwain Britt
This matchup of light heavyweight strikers should be a lot of fun for as long as it lasts, which probably won't be very long. I like Cavalcante to knock Britt out in the first round.