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Strikeforce: Miami Preview and Predictions

Strikeforce is back on Showtime Saturday night with a card that has three very good MMA fights that will, unfortunately, get overshadowed in terms of media attention by lesser fights involving fighters who are more famous for their endeavors outside MMA, Herschel Walker and Bobby Lashley. We've got the full preview and predictions below.

What: Strikeforce Miami

Where: BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida

When: The non-televised undercard begins around 7:30 PM ET Saturday and the Showtime broadcast starts at 10 PM ET.


Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims
Sims is the toughest test Lashley has faced so far, but that says more about Lashley's four previous opponents than it says about Sims. Strikeforce, Showtime and CBS would love to build up Lashley as one of the organization's biggest stars, but I'm skeptical that he'll ever become a fighter worthy of that kind of promotion. Still, he's big, strong and a good enough wrestler that he shouldn't have too much trouble with Sims.
Pick: Lashley

Melvin Manhoef vs. Robbie Lawler
This is probably the fight I'm most looking forward to, and it's a match-up that I've always thought would make for an extremely entertaining fight. True, it'll be entertaining in part because of the limitations of both of these fighters -- neither guy is particularly smart about defense, or particularly good on the ground -- but we can all enjoy a good, old-fashioned slugfest, can't we? I like Manhoef to do a little more slugging.
Pick: Manhoef

Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
The former football superstar is taking on an opponent almost as inexperienced as he is in Nagy, who's 1-1 in his MMA career, with that one victory coming over an opponent who's 0-1. I sense that Walker is taking his foray into MMA more seriously than former NFL player Johnnie Morton did, and I'll pick him to win what will most likely be a fairly boring fight.
Pick: Walker

Cris Cyborg vs. Marloes Coenen
This should be a spectacular fight for Strikeforce's 145-pound women's belt. I'm tempted to take Coenen because I believe she's a more well-rounded, skillful fighter, but ultimately I believe Cyborg will use her greater physical strength to win by TKO.
Pick: Cyborg

Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis
Strikeforce will finally crown a welterweight champion in this fight, and if Zaromskis wins, he'd add the Strikeforce welterweight belt to the Dream welterweight title that he won in 2009. That would be a major accomplishment, simultaneously owning the titles of the second- and third-biggest MMA promotions in the world, but I think Diaz is going to get Zaromskis on the ground and submit him.
Pick: Diaz
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