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Strikeforce: Los Angeles, Preview and Predictions

Robbie Lawler will try to deliver more punishment at Strikeforce: Los Angeles Robbie Lawler will try to deliver more punishment at Strikeforce: Los Angeles

Strikeforce prepares for another event as they pursue a share of the MMA market in a UFC mad North America. Despite having some of the sport’s top talent, Strikeforce as so far failed to steal much attention from most UFC fans. Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Robbie Lawler, and Marius Zaromskis are all entertaining fighters, though. So let’s have a look at how they will do in Wednesday’s event.

First, the main event. This is a 195 lb. catch-weight bout between Babalu, who usually fights at 205 in the light heavyweight division, and Lawler, who typically weighs in at 185 for his middleweight matches. This is a big fight for these guys, as the winner gets a title shot in his respective division.

Strikeforce may be short on depth, but at the top of their divisions, they have some great fighters. Lawler is a heavy-handed banger coming off a knockout win over the frighteningly powerful Melvin Manhoef. Lawler isn’t very technical but his power is one-punch and Babalu will be in trouble if he tries to stand.

Babalu is cagey and experienced, and will probably enjoy a bit of a size advantage come fight night. If he can avoid the big punch, Babalu will win this fight. If it hits the ground, Babalu has the advantage as well.

Lawler hasn’t lost much, but submissions have definitely been his weakness. By contrast, Sobral’s latest losses have all been via (T)KO.

This is tough to call, but let’s go with Babalu making a return to form. His experience will carry him through a tough fight to a decision win.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos fights in the MMA shadow of his wife, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, but his style is very similar to his better half’s. Unlike his wife, however, Evangelista is a banger with a spotty record.

Santos’s opponent, Lithuanian sensation Marius Zaromskis, on the other hand, has looked like a smaller version of Cro Cop with his lightning head kick KOs. He looks to bounce back from a loss to Nick Diaz, and has a good chance of doing so against his reckless opponent.

If nothing else, Zaromskis’s cardio could win the day for him, if his more technical striking isn’t advantage enough. Expect a Zaromskis KO before the end of Round 2.

In other fights, Tim Kennedy faces MMA vet Trevor Prangley. Prangley will grind out a full-time win in this one.

Conor Heun is outmatched in his contest versus KJ Noons. Noons should be able to finish this one early, as the inferior Heun also has to contend with being a late notice replacement.

It’s an uphill battle for Strikeforce to carve out a place in the MMA landscape versus the UFC juggernaut. If the likes of Renato Babalu Sobral, Robbie Lawler, and Marius Zaromskis can deliver fireworks the way they should, that will help.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:13

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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