Hello everyone. Remember me? Strikeforce? That other MMA promotion. In case you didn't remember, we are going to be holding our next big event, Strikeforce: Houston, in a little less than two weeks. It features two, count'em two, title fights and our own former WWE superstar, Bobby Lashley.
Yes, Strikeforce is holding their first big event since Fedor-gate on August 21 (I realize I am completely overlooking their Challengers event this weekend) and with UFC 117 behind us, it should be a good time for some first thoughts on the fight card.
Can King Mo avoid the Light Heavyweight Title Jinx? Regardless of the promotion, it seems over the past few years, whoever becomes a Light Heavyweight champ seems to lose the title a fight or two later. Example, since May 2007 in the UFC, the Light Heavyweight strap has gone from Chuck Liddell to Rampage Jackson to Forrest Griffin to Rashad Evans to Lyoto Machida to the current champ Shogun Rua. The Light Heavyweight champs from Strikeforce haven't done any better than their UFC counterparts. In the same time spanned, the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight belt has been passed from Bobby Southworth to Renato Sobral to Gegard Mousasi to King Mo. It is going to be interesting to see if King Mo can "reverse the curse" and hold onto the title for a while.
Will Jorge Gurgel fight for the fans or for the win? Now, I am not trying to say that Gurgel isn't trying to win every time he fights, it's just that he goes about it in a strange way. Gurgel, for those of you that don't know, has fantastic BBJ. Eight of his first nine wins were via submission. He once arm barred a guy in 18 seconds. He has his own MMA academy in Ohio where he has given out black belts to students under HIS teaching. Yet, lately when Gurgel squares off against someone in a cage, he feels a need to stand and bang with them instead of using his BJJ to his advantage. At Strikeforce: Houston, he is going to be fighting KJ Noons who is primarily a kickboxer, so you figure Gurgel would want to take his fight to the ground where he can use his superior ground game to his advantage. Yet, we are most likely going to see Gurgel throw caution to the wind and get into a striking match with Noons. Head scratching to say the least.
More thoughts after the jump...
Can Bobby Lashley help Strikeforce's declining numbers? If you are going off the numbers for the last time Lashley fought, which was at Strikeforce: Miami, then answer to the question is no, Lashley won't help Strikeforce's ratings. You figure having someone with the crossover appeal of Lashley would at least get some people interested that aren't hardcore MMA fans, but so far it hasn't happened yet. Who's to blame for these failings? Maybe the lack of ratings is Strikeforce's and Showtime's fault for failing to promote their events properly. Maybe Lashley's crossover appeal isn't actually there. Maybe it's due to Lashley not being on a stacked fight card to help support him. Regardless of the reason, Strikeforce hasn't had a great 2010 so far and if they want to right the ship, it has to start with Strikeforce: Houston. Promote, promote, promote.
Can Tim Kennedy stop this from happening against Ronaldo Souza in the Middleweight Title Bout?