If you missed the news, Strikeforce has signed a new deal with Showtime and the promotion will put on up to eight shows next year. Before that new deal kicks into gear the promotion has one final event of 2011 this weekend as Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal hit San Diego, California.
The card will feature two title fights along with a light heavyweight contest that could see the winner earning a title shot for the vacant belt in 2012.
Fighting for the 11th time under the Strikeforce banner, Gilbert Melendez (19-2) defends his lightweight title against Jorge Masvidal (22-6) in the main event. Before the new deal with Showtime it was nearly a lock for Melendez to move to the UFC with a win but things have since changed. Masvidal and his heavy hitting is a tough challenge for the champ but a welcomed challenge for “el Nino”.
The second title fight will be in the women’s 145 lbs. division as Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (10-1) makes her third title defense against Hiroko Yamanaka (12-1). Santos has run through her competition in Strikeforce, winning all four fights by (T)KO.
Rounding out the main card is a light heavyweight bout between Gegard Mousasi and Ovince St. Preux, plus a lightweight contest between K.J. Noons and Billy Evangelista.
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
155 lbs.: Champion Gilbert Melendez will defeat Jorge Masvidal by 4th rd TKO
- Expect a good fight early as Masvidal’s power keeps Melendez at a distance. Take being said though; Melendez will get some takedowns in the first couple rounds that will keep him ahead on the score cards. As the fight enters the championship rounds Melendez will turn it on and following a takedown Masvidal won’t have enough in the tank to get up and the champ will ground and pound his way to a TKO win.
145 lbs.: Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will defeat Hiroko Yamanaka by 1st rd. TKO
- This might be the last fight at 145 lbs. for Santos as competition has become nearly impossible. Hiroko Yamanaka stand across from “Cyborg” for her third title defense and like the other two, Santos will make short work of here. This one doesn’t escape the first round
205 lbs.: Gegard Mousasi will defeat Ovince St. Preux by Unanimous Decision
- Mousasi has looked less than impressive of late in Strikeforce while looking impressive in his fights for DREAM. Mousasi has had his problems with wrestlers and how much he has improved in that area will determine the outcome of this fight. St. Preux has won eight in a row and is taking a big step up in competition. He’ll hold his own with the former champion but in the end will come up short against Mousasi on the scorecards.
155 lbs.: K.J. Noons will defeat Billy Evangelista by Unanimous Decision
- Look for this fight to be a slugfest and a great fight to open the night on Showtime. Both fighters are coming off defeats and expect both fighters to come out throwing leather. Evangelista is not going to be able to out box his opponent and the jab of Noons will keep him out of the clinch. Both fighters will be bloody but Noons is going to out point Evangelista for a clear-cut decision.
170 lbs.: Jerron Peoples will defeat Roger Bowling
155 lbs.: Justin Wilcox will defeat Caros Fodor
265 lbs.: Gabriel Salinas-Jones will defeat Devin Cole
205 lbs.: Fernando Gonzalez will defeat Eddie Mendez
170 lbs.: Herman Terrado will defeat Chris Brown