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Five Reasons Why You Should Watch Strikeforce Tomorrow Night

By Cage Potato contributor S.C. Michaelson

(Hmm..Guess they ran out of space for Cyborg and Gracie on the poster.)

Saturday’s Strikeforce event is the promotion’s first non-Challengers event of 2011. Unfortunately, it’s been toiling in the shadows of the much-anticipated Heavyweight Grand Prix and hasn’t received much in the way of coverage. There are quite a few reasons to tune in this weekend.

Here are five big ones.

Herschel Walker, Genetic Freak
Though only a novice in the game of mixed martial arts, Hershel Walker is no stranger to high levels of competition. His athletic accolades read like a novel. College football Heisman trophy winner, All-Pro NFL running back, track and field star, black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Olympic bobsledder. Yes, Olympic bobsledder. And after all of this, Walker decides to throw his hat into the cage and try MMA. Did I mention he’s 48? Now, in MMA that may not seem special as we have our own version of a 48-year old wonder in Randy Couture, but Couture looks every year of 48. Walker, on the other hand, could pass for a man in his early 30s and has the physique that men in their athletic primes dream to attain. Herschel Walker, at 48, might be the greatest physical specimen to step foot in an MMA ring or cage…ever.

Roger Gracie, Ground Wizard
The Gracie name is synonymous with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Their legacy extends back to the inaugural UFC some 17 years ago. Following names like Royce, Rickson, Renzo; Roger Gracie is the 21st century embodiment of the Gracie pedigree. His submission grappling resume is unlike any other in contemporary MMA. A winner of every imaginable BJJ competition while suffering only a handful of defeats, Gracie took his submission skills to the MMA cage and acquired at 3-0 record with his last victory over Kevin Randleman. Fans of BJJ should take notice of his skills, especially when it gets to the ground…and if Gracie wants it to, it will. Gracie is only 28 years of age and still has a future in MMA and potential matchups at 205 with Dan Henderson, “King Mo” Lawal, and the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Rafael Cavalcante.

Robbie Lawler, Crocodile Hunter?
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion coming off an undisputable win over Tim Kennedy. However, the question going into this fight is “Which Robbie Lawler is going to show up?” If it’s the Robbie Lawler that went on a 5-fight (T)KO streak with wins over Joey Villasenor, “Ninja” Rua, Frank Trigg and Scott Smith, then there will be a great fight. That same Robbie Lawler who took a beating from top-level striker Melvin Manhoef before countering him with a beautiful punch to KO him and just last month crippled Matt Lindland with one punch. IF that Lawler shows up, we could possibly have a new champion. But if it’s the Robbie Lawler that was choked out by Jake Shields or picked apart by Babalu, then it could be a long (or short) night. Lawler’s love of entertaining the crowd with his standup could prove to be his undoing as the other facets of his game have not evolved in line with the evolution of the sport since his earlier days. A focused Lawler could walk away from the fight with the Middleweight Championship of the world.

Nick Diaz, Billy Goat’s Gruff
Known for his resemblance to Pan from Greek mythology, Stockton, California’s favorite bad boy Nick Diaz will celebrate his one-year anniversary as Strikeforce welterweight champion by going to battle with Evangelista Santos. The build up for this match has been overshadowed not only by the Heavyweight tournament, but Diaz’s own “beef” wit h fellow Strikeforce personality Jason “Mayhem” Miller who’s been pushing for a fight with Diaz. His own pre-fight phone conference was filled with bizarre ramblings about broken down cars, Hondas, and GSP. To say he is an interesting character is an understatement. One thing he is not is boring; neither outside, nor inside the cage. Diaz’s high-volume, rap and slap style of punching is visually fascinating and, if by chance it gets to the mat, Diaz’s aggressive submission offensive style appeases even the biggest groundophobe.

Strikeforce has been able to pick up some much needed momentum after a subpar 2010. It began with the December 4th show that went up head-to-head with the UFC. Though the UFC show won the ratings war, Strikeforce had overwhelming shown itself as the better show that night. Then an announcement of a Heavyweight Tournament with 8 of the top 25 heavyweights in the world was made. Steam really picked up when the first round announcements were made and Fedor/Silva and Overeem/Werdum were announced. Strikeforce was able to put on a second great show in a row on January 7th featuring prospects Ovince St. Preiux, Daniel Cormier and Tyron Woodley. Suddenly Strikeforce has some cache in the MMA community, Coker and Co have the next few shows outlined and fans actually have a semblance of a schedule. There’s a lot of momentum behind the Strikeforce brand, the question is, can they keep it up?  

Cagepotato Comments

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steampunk22- January 29, 2011 at 11:39 am
BeastUnleashed- January 29, 2011 at 6:41 am
1 reason. Nick Diaz no explanation needed.
snicket916- January 29, 2011 at 3:50 am
love the article, as always
"Lawler’s love of entertaining the crowd with his standup..."
do you really get the vibe from lawler that he cares about what the crowd likes?
dude is a beast and knocks grown men unconscious and gets paid a lot of money to do it
i really hope diaz wins, cyborg is a weirdo
fatbellyfrank- January 29, 2011 at 12:21 am
^ with the goatee yes, he would fit right in with the armies of Aslan as well, as long as he sports the goatee,and then we could rename it the satyrpack, running round the woods, smokin their pan pipes, nailing wood nymph's til the cows come home.
But he definitely needs the goatee to carry it off.
tnbp- January 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I got the Pan reference, as well, and chuckled at it. It's maybe not the right crowd for mythology humor but those of us who get the reference must have thought it was funny because he TOTALLY looks like him. :p
Shatski- January 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm
Yo, MRuss! Let's hope Gus Johnson is just mistaken, then. I got my info from MMAFighting. Johnson can't tell one submission hold from another, so maybe he can't read dates, either. We can hope anyway. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'd much rather hear Bas providing actual insight during the event.

rampageisgod- January 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm
@BlackLesnar I wasn't attempting to be a twat

@RwilsonR Yes! My life is not as sad as I thought, I was impressed by the taste of Fat Tire.
DangadaDang- January 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm
I get it now...why all these new guys are getting these guest columns, MRuss is sick of getting the new guy flack. Hell, he gets blamed for articles he didn't even write, I can understand. There is only one option, hire two time funniest commenter of the week and obvious front running candidate for the next writer at CP, myself. That's right Rex, I'm coming for you. I may not have written an article yet, but I will take your job quicker than Jack Donaghy in the mail department.
BlackLesnar- January 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm
@rampageisgod Don't be a twat. I wasn't refuting anyone's argument. I was stating why I put he was "known for looking like Pan". It was an inside joke.

BTW, he looks like Pan.
Lysol- January 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm
...I appreciated the Pan joke.
RwilsonR- January 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm
@ rampageisgod - I always thought of Nick Ring as more of a Ganymede type of guy.

...and Fat Tire is some good shit.
rampageisgod- January 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm
I enjoyed the Pan reference as well. Nick Diaz reminds me of Ganymede, I hope someone gets that. In unrelated news, I just tried Fat Tire for the first time.
RwilsonR- January 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm
^ Yet your article was meant for a public audience.

El Guapo wins this round.
BlackLesnar- January 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Saying Diaz is "known" for resembling Pan was an inside joke.
PortlandMMA- January 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm
I'm not gonna lie the Pan line cracked me up, but what do I know? I once gave Gallagher a handjob just so I could hear some of his new material...lets just say it ended in a facial but he was all out of was cantaloupe you sick bastards...God please help the next 18 minutes of work to go by faster.
fatbellyfrank- January 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm
@ waldizzle, nooooo, say it aint so, another shitty boxing card that should be on for free at the RSL
fatbellyfrank- January 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm
There are plenty of things Nick Diaz is known for, looking like Pan from Greek mythology? hmmm, maybe not so much
Waldizzle- January 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm
I would love to but Main Event in Australia didn't get gg either ME or Strikeforce....:( Instead we've got fucking Sonny Bill Williams fighting a shitcan and some 2 randoms boxing.
dranokills- January 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Mike Russell Says:
Fri, 01/28/2011 - 22:56

El Guapo, you need to mix up the Dubble Bubble jokes.

The "crickets chirping" gag is losing its lustre...Maybe throw in the odd, "I know you are but what am I?" or a "Not!" for variety every once in a while.
OR.......maybe since you didn't write it you need to not be the one to defend it as if you shat it out that ugly ass of yours.
OR....maybe you think Diaz looks more like a unicorn, and you LOVE unicorns. should check yourself before you wreck yourself....was that old school enough for ya?
OR.......maybe write something worth reading that might be funny so we can see how cool you claim to be.
PortlandMMA- January 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm
Gus Johnson ruins everything; MMA, NFL, College basketball, fucking Madden 11'
El Guapo- January 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm
I WILL admit that Nick looks like a goat. A scraggly lookin', tin can eating, 'butt you with his horns... in the ass, junkyard goat. I just don't think that's what he's known for, is all. Don't liver kick me, brrro.
Mike Russell- January 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm
From GuJo's FB Page:Gus Johnson Official Fan Page Also, I'm doing the Strikeforce Fedor v. Silva New Jersey Izod CenterJanuary 8 at 3:35pmHe isn't doing tomorrow night's show.  
Videodrome_NOW- January 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm
MRuss--- "You don't see the how that joke was awesome? I was implying that Nick looked like some half man, half goat, hooved flute player."

El Guapo----"Yeah, I got it. Wasn't funny. Keep trying, though."

MRuss---"You're Double Bubble jokes need work."

El Guapo---"Uh,...ok? Why don't you get someone funny around here to show me how it's done."

MRuss---"BAM. Now you're no longer El Guapo. You are Double Bubble Boy. hahahahaha."

Entire CP ARMY------"....Sigh...."
Shatski- January 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Rex13 and Bongtar, at least for the Fedor Vs. Bigfoot show it looks like Bas will be on color commentary with Schiavello.
Old_Bald_and_Irish- January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Hmmmm....a "positive" Strikeforce article????

Actually, I appreciated the "Pan" reference. I thought I was the only one who would get it.