The Betting Corner: Strikeforce GP Semi Finals

| September 3, 2011 | 10:13 am | 2 Replies

The line-up might be different from what many had imagined, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix soldiers onward. Barnett, Kharitonov, Silva and Cormier will be vying for that tournament victory, but the action isn’t just for the heavyweights, as Jacare defends his Middleweight strap against one-time prospect Luke Rockhold. All this and more await us, so check out my comparison betting odds for the event, as well as my list of valid prop bets to help you maximize profit.

Now, onto the fights!

Josh Barnett -240

Sergei Kharitonov +180

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over, Barnett by Decision

It’s nice to see a Pride reunion like this, as these two never faced each other in their time within the promotion. Since that time, both men have had ups and downs in their careers between steroid issues and injury, but should both meet here at the best of their abilities. This fight really comes down to the takedown, and whether or not Barnett can muscle the badly aging Kharitonov to the mat consistently.  While Barnett isn’t exactly the best wrestler on the planet, his relentless style and size should give him the edge in any clinch situations against the fence, allowing him to work his grappling game plan.  Barnett isn’t the best finisher here, so I’d recommend the Hammer and Anvil, using Barnett straight as your anvil and Barnett by Decision as the Hammer. Alternately, you might want to consider taking the Over, on the off-chance Kharitonov can stop the majority of takedowns and drag this to an uncertain decision.

Antonio Silva -185

Daniel Cormier +145

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over

In a move that can make or break a young career, undefeated Daniel Cormier finds himself brought in as an alternate for Alistair Overeem, taking on Antonio Silva. Silva is coming off the biggest win of his career with a TKO of Fedor Emelianenko, and has shown a few characteristics that will give Cormier pause here, such as his sturdy chin and deceptive hand-speed. Cormier brings a very different game to this fight than Silva’s previous opponent though, as his speedy striking game and world-class clinch wrestling make him a real conundrum for Silva. While Silva should have the size, reach and overall skills to take this fight, Cormier isn’t one to be ignored with his work ethic and constantly improving game.  To me, the best bet here is the Over, as Cormier will make this a difficult fight for Silva every step of the way and could easily force this to an uncertain decision.

Ronaldo Jacare Souza -280

Luke Rockhold +200

Props: Rockhold by KO

A truly dangerous prospect that has been plagued by injury after injury, Luke Rockhold will jump right back into the deep end of the division, taking on Jacare for his Middleweight title. While Rockhold is certainly going to be rusty for this fight, a lot of folks are looking past him as a threat to Jacare. While this fight is a foregone conclusion on the mat, Rockhold brings in a deceptive reach, accuracy and power with his striking that could put Jacare on ice early. Betting wise, you can’t do much better than a small play on Rockhold by KO, which will be at an outrageous line.

Muhammad Lawal -160

Roger Gracie +130

Props: Gracie by Submission

In what I imagine is a number one contender fight for the LHW championship in Strikeforce, former champion King Mo will face the most dangerous submission artist on the planet in Roger Gracie. Lawal has in turns impressed me greatly and shown a lack of understanding in this sport, riding mostly on his extreme athleticism, rather than putting in real gym time. While Lawal has certainly added a formidable striking arsenal to his wrestling, his lack of fight smarts here really scares me against such a murderous foe as Gracie. While I think Lawal takes this by TKO or decision, his sometimes thoughtless takedowns could find him in a grappling bout he can’t win, making Gracie by submission a smart play at a positive number.

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Category: Betting, Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, Strikeforce

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

Comments (2)

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  1. Wow says:

    Not gonna read your site cuz u didnt fill in date of fights. Its like BASIC WRITING.

  2. WOW easy on the cap there sparky.

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