Tango & Cash. Pancho & Lefty. Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. All great duos, and yet none can last forever. So it is with Cage Potato’s own Ben & Ben. But before we break up the team for good, we’re getting together one last time to go head-to-head on Strikeforce: Nashville picks in this week’s MMA FightPicker (Heavy Hitter Pool 10 #1517, stand up!). If you haven’t made your picks yet, get to it. Time waits for no man, and neither does the UFC/Pride prize pack.
Henderson vs. Shields @ Strikeforce: Nashville…
BG: I don’t think he’ll run away with it, but Dan Henderson clearly holds more advantages in this matchup and should be able to take the victory. Hendo has serious knockout power, and unlike Shields’s past opponents, he won’t be manhandled on the ground.
BF: Agreed. Shields isn’t going to submit him and definitely can’t hold him down for five rounds. It’s a bad, bad matchup for him.
Who will score the first takedown?
BG: Shields will be more desperate to get the fight to the mat, so he’ll be trying for it. I’ll give him the nod on this one.
BF: Yeah, Henderson has very little reason to ever want to get this fight to the ground, so that leaves Shields as the only guy trying.
Will Henderson vs. Shields go to a decision?
BG: By virtue of Jake Shields‘s toughness, I’ll say yes.
BF: I’m not questioning his toughness, but if he can’t get Hendo on his back and keep him there, at some point over the course of the five rounds he’s going to get lit up. I’m seeing a late TKO for Henderson.
Mousasi vs. Lawal: Who will win?
BG: Never heard of this "Lawal" guy. All I know is that Gegard Mousasi is gonna beat the brakes off of King Mo.
BF: I don’t feel at all secure with this pick, but I’m taking King Mo. I think his wrestling will keep Mousasi off-balance all night.
Will Mousasi vs. Lawal end in a KO/TKO before round 3?
BG: Trust and believe it.
BF: No. It took Mousasi a round and a half to put Sokoudjou away. “Sweet Sassy” will find Lawal tougher to finish off.
Melendez vs. Aoki: Who will win?
BG: I think this matchup depends 100% on who has home-field advantage. In the U.S., in a cage, under Strikeforce rules, this is all Melendez. I say El Nino overwhelms Aoki with the power of his strikes, both standing and on the ground. If a rematch takes place in DREAM, it’ll be a different story.
BF: Aside from the lack of tights, I think Strikeforce rules only help Aoki. No knees on the ground mean a finish like the one he suffered against Sakurai is no longer a concern. Over the course of five rounds, I think Aoki will be able to grab a submission in there somewhere.
Will Melendez vs. Aoki end in a submission?
BG: Nah. A TKO is more likely, with an outside chance of a decision.
BF: Yes. And it will be something crazy. And it will be awesome. And the next morning Aoki will go to an American breakfast buffet and be absolutely mystified by what he sees there.
Miller vs. Stout: Who will win?
BG: Is that supposed to be a joke? I’ll take the 12-1 favorite.
BF: Yeah, this kind of thing is beneath Strikeforce. There’s no logical reason for Miller to go from Shields to some local kid, but whatever. Mayhem’s got this.
Will Miller vs. Stout last more than one round?
BG: No. To make things fair, this match should be held under Bully Beatdown rules, so that Stout can be tapped out five times in round one before the fight actually ends.
BF: That’s actually not a bad idea. But if Miller’s fighting, who stands outside the cage and cracks wise? I vote for Han Solo. Nah, Solo’s probably booked. But yeah, Miller finishes this quick.
Will Miller vs. Stout be shown in its entirety?
BG: Sure. As long as it ends in the first round, and Mousasi/Mo finishes before round three, I think they’ll have enough time to show it.
BF: Yes. At least one of the title fights will end in the first couple of rounds, and Miller shouldn’t need more than a couple of minutes to put Stout away.
Underwood vs. Worsham: Who will win?
BG: Even though Hunter Worsham is the son of early UFC competitor Cal Worsham, I’ll give this one to his undefeated opponent, Zach Underwood.
BF: Agreed. I have nothing more to add on the situation.
Schockman vs. Yarbrough: Who will win?
BG: Both guys have done well in regional leagues since their brief stints in the UFC. I’m picking TUF 7 vet Cale Yarbrough based on his longer win streak (six fights compared to four) and the slightly higher level of competition he’s been facing.
BF: Agreed. Yarbrough should take this nine times out of ten.
Well, at least we’re going out with a bang, with five points of difference between us. Who said we’re just a couple of jerks who agree with each other all the time? Because that person was only half right.