Eh, sorry for the long layoff guys but work mixed with laziness is not a good combination. In this installment, you'll probably see that I wasn't too harsh because overall I thought the whole show was very, very good and Strikeforce continues to step up and put up good cards. But, you do know that I had some not so nice things to say to a few of our main card players, so take a look after the jump.
The Popular Opinion - The few fighters that I really don't have anything bad to say about.
Hershel Walker - I won't be too harsh on Hershel seeing as how he's only been training for a limited amount of time, he's 47 and he had a lot of pressure on him going into Saturday night. Fortunately for him though, his hand-picked opponent wasn't only horrible, he was dreadful. Walker, however, did show some great cardio for a 47 year old but I don't think that's ever been a problem in his career. As expected with anyone just starting out, his striking was pretty stiff when he actually tried to strike and he didn't look as if he knew much about defending during the stand up, but he really didn't have to since his opponent didn't really try to do much of anything the entire time. From all signs this might have been his one and only MMA fight and if it is he came in and went out with a bang, so kudos to Hershel as well as him donating his win money to charity which really places him in the popular opinion.
Cris ‘Cyborg' Santos - Is t here any possible way that the athletic commissions would allow a female to fight a male? If not, then Cyborg will probably become the Fedor of the women's 145 division barring Urijah Faber or Jose Aldo taking an excessive amount of estrogen and getting a special surgery in Thailand. I think Cris answered all the questions in her fight as she had excellent takedown defense, she could take a punch and she was noticeably quicker than her seemingly lighter opponent and to top it off had no cardio issues whatsoever. If they place any hope in Gina Carano, they had best slip her some Alistair Overeem juice and load up her five ounce gloves or we will see her pretty face massacred once again. Erin Toughill, nice knowing you!
Nick Diaz - Is it me or does Nick Diaz look unstoppable? I still prefer him at middleweight and thought Jake Shields should have been fighting for the 170 title and Nick for the 185, I can live with this. The problem now is...who the hell is out there for him to fight at welterweight? Hayato ‘Mach' Sakurai? Maybe a few years ago that fight would be anticipated and/or competitive but ummm Sakurai just lost twice in a row and one of the losses is to guy that Diaz just pummeled. Jay Heiron? I do think it'd be competitive and Jay definitely has the tools to get the job done but he hasn't exactly looked championship caliber in his last few fights, at least not in my eyes. If only Diaz could make amends with Zuffa, he could really become a household name with not only his style of fight but his no-nonsense straight to the point personality. Strikeforce though will have to do some big time scouting for welterweight talent. Maybe, just maybe Tyron Woodley can step it up and get a few more wins before challenging Nick in what I think would be an all out war!
The Unpopular Opinion
Wes Sims - There's in shape and then there's what Wes came in as. Fight went exactly how we imagined and Wes looked his usual self. However, I can't hate on Sims too much, from what I hear he earned $30,000 to go in the cage and stink it up, so in shape or not his pockets just got swoll. I really won't spend much time on Wes seeing as how he will more than likely NOT be seen in a Strikeforce cage again. Unless Hershel Walker needs a last minute opponent.
Bobby Lashley - Although his Strikeforce debut isn't entirely his fault as the matchmakers spent too long looking for a ‘suitable' opponent for the TNA wrestler, he's got to realize that going forward he can't have another Wes Sims night. Lashley is nowhere near the caliber MMA fighter that his fellow wrestling star Brock Lesnar is but he has the physique and wrestling background to make a solid run. However, in my opinion he hasn't progressed at all. While Wes is a veteran and has some skill buried in that gut of his, Lashley looked absolutely horrible with his striking. In fact, had he been fighting someone/anyone with a half decent striking pedigree (thought Sims did) they would've knocked his milk dud shaped head into the upper deck. Not only did he over commit with them he was stiff. Of course, with time he can fix those things but seeing as due to his popularity, the likelihood of him continuously getting fed cans is going to come to an end and soon. If Bobby's smart, he'd abandon trying to stand and bang altogether and just bumrush his opponents ala Bob Sapp (who he destroyed), otherwise I see him on the wrong end of a devastating KO in his near future.
Melvin Manhoef - Kelvin hit it on the head...no pun intended...Melvin's chin doesn't match his deadly, well polished striking. Despite him basically ravaging Robbie Lawler, his mental lapse in defense got him a free dose of Ambien. Manhoef's flashy enough to get away with this beatdown and stay relevant but this pretty much kills any chance he had at an opportunity at the middleweight title. Luckily for him they have a few fighters tailor made for his strengths in Scott Smith and Cung Le but with that porcelain chin, those fights may end up like déjà vu.
Robbie Lawler - MMA is one crazy sport. Where else can you absolutely get your butt kicked for nearly 2 minutes straight and limp away the victor? Lawler did however show some incredible patience but I don't think that was due to him having this new found discipline rather it was simply he was running for his life and had no other option but to play it safe. Thing is, now where does he go from here? Sure there's some intriguing match ups within Strikeforce but while guys like Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, and Ronaldo Souza hang around the top of the middleweight food chain I don't see ‘Ruthless' having much luck. Yep I said it, Lawler cannot beat those three and I even see him having trouble with Jason ‘Mayhem' Miller again.
Greg Nagy - I won't even waste my time because him being on the televised part of a Strikeforce show makes as much sense as a post-Blade Wesley Snipes movie hitting the big screen. One thing we can say is dude was tough and probably in the record books as being the first guy TKO'd due to strikes to the shoulder blade.
Marlos Coenen - Sometimes good/great fighters are put against an absolute beast, that's the case with Coenen. She did everything and I mean everything she could to score points and to do damage to Cyborg, to no avail. Like I said, the way Cyborg was just eating them shots like they were McDonald's dollar menu chicken sandwiches makes me think she should be fighting with the boys but Coenen threw all she had and then some. Coenen in my opinion would be best served to drop to 135 where she'd have a lot more women fighters to fight because the only fight looming for her now is Gina Carano and I'm not sure Coker and Co. are willing to sacrifice their golden child to Coenen just yet.
Marius Zaromskis - This guy is proof positive that sometimes hype outweighs actual skill. Reading and analyzing this guy blinded my better judgment and lead me to pick him over Nick Diaz. When the fight actually began, I immediately knew I had made the wrong choice. While for a flash this was competitive, Marius gave up way too much in the way of reach and for the most part was willing to brawl with Diaz instead of at least try to make some distance. I'm not sure if Zaromskis will be back in a Strikeforce cage seeing as how he's Dream's welterweight champion AND having your champion lose more than once in another organization isn't exactly the best means of promotion, he'll probably be spending his next few fights in the land of the rising sun.
- I have a feeling that the Dream/Strikeforce partnership is going to melt out sooner than later. It's one thing to have some of your top talent come over to another organization and lose but it's even worse to have one of your champions do so. I can almost guarantee Shinyo Aoki will not fight Gilbert Melendez in the near future, especially not in a Strikeforce cage. I also have my doubts about Sakurai but I could see that coming into fruition since...well...'Mach' isn't exactly the draw he once was and he'd really have nothing to lose in a fight with Nick Diaz.
- Speaking of the Dream/Strikeforce partnership, I really think going forward Strikeforce will need to do a better job in promoting these guys. They were given some gems in Melvin Manhoef and Marius Zaromskis but I guarantee most casual fans had no idea how good or how many highlights both guys had leading up to their fights. I'm not saying they should do a Countdown show like UFC for all their events, but a little glimpse or preview show on Showtime would really do them some good, especially if they showed it BEFORE the actual event like at a 9PM timeslot leading into the show.
- Pat Miletich vs. Frank Shamrock...are they for real?
As usual, please feel free to comment on your thoughts or your own unpopular opinions about Strikeforce Miami. I'll tell you guys now I'm not ordering UFC 109 and I'm not sure if I'm going to make the trek to a bar, so we'll see how things turn out for next week's edition