Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine Preview/Picks/Odds
Well, not exactly the ideal way to close out the season. I went a sub-par 4-6 at UFC 141. But, as I looked around the Internet, no one had a great night in fight picks, so I’ll take that. But, if you compare the first season (125-95, 57%) to this second season (196-117, 63%) I greatly improved in the tough world of fight picking and I greatly improved your bank accounts. You’re welcome.
But, that was last season. It starts all over (0-0) with this first MMA event of the year. And for free TV, this is a pretty good card. There are no giants on this card, but there are some decent names fighting. Especially if you like to watch up-and-coming talent. I know I do. Tyron Woodley, Tarec Saffiedine, and current Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold have bright futures in this sport, so I urge you to watch. And you have no excuse, because this weekend is a “Free Preview” weekend for Showtime. So everybody has the channel this weekend. And if you are really hardcore, the entire preliminary card will be on Showtime Extreme. But, as always with Strikeforce cards, I don’t pick those.
For those of you who don’t know, the favorite will have a negative (-) number, while the underdog will have a positive (+) number. MMA money lines are based on units of $100. If the favorite is -225, it means that you have to wager $225 to win $100. But if you are betting on the underdog, the formula is different. If the underdog is at +185, it means that if you wager $100 you will win $185 for a total of $285. Easy enough, right? Good.
Welterweight bout: Tarec Saffiedine (-450) vs. Tyler Stinson (+300)
This is a fight, and anything can happen, but I don’t really see a way that Stinson pulls this one out. He doesn’t have a good enough ground game to stall Saffiedine’s striking game. I would be mildly shocked if this fight got to the third round. Saffiedine’s striking is just on another level, or two, than Stinson’s.
My Pick: Saffiedine, Round 2, (T)KO
Welterweight bout: Tyron Woodley (-370) vs. Jordan Mein (+280)
Woodley is pretty much the uncrowned Strikeforce welterweight champion. He beat everyone not named Nick Diaz (never fought) and should already be fighting for the vacant title. This is just a tune up match for him, as far as I can tell. Woodley is too powerful and his wrestling is too good. Look for a possible knockout, but I think Woodley will just dominate Mein on the ground.
My Pick: Woodley, Round 3, Decision
Light Heavyweight bout: Muhammed Lawal (-600) vs. Lorenz Larkin (+400)
Larkin is flashy with his strikes, but he’s undefeated so it works for him. Problem is, when you are flashy, you leave yourself open for powerful counter punches and takedowns, both of which Lawal is good at. I think Lawal will catch him early and make him pay for an unorthodox strike, but if push comes to shove and Lawal starts losing the stand-up game, he’ll just grind out a decision using his wrestling.
My Pick: Lawal, Round 1, (T)KO
Middleweight bout: Robbie Lawler (-170) vs. Adlan Amagov (+140)
Lawler needs this win. Bad. Not good to lose three straight, but he’s going to have his hands full with Amagov. For a grappler, Amagov has zero submission wins. He uses his skills to take his opponent of their feet and then he KO or TKO’s them. I don’t think he’ll knock Lawler out, but his grappling will be Lawler’s undoing.
My Pick: Amagov, Round 3, Decision
Middleweight Championship bout: Luke Rockhold (-550) vs. Keith Jardine (+375)
Keith Jardine getting a title shot. Almost makes the Strikeforce title a joke. It’s still a title in a major MMA organization, but no way Jardine should be getting a shot coming off a Draw to Gegard Mousasi, a fight many believed he lost. But, it is what it is, and now Rockhold will have, despite what many may think, a tough first title defense. Jardine has power and his punches come from weird angles. But youth is on Rockhold’s side. He’s nine years younger with a much larger gas tank. Jardine has the experience, but Rockhold will not be stopped by the former UFC fighter. If he has to, Rockhold can just start taking Jardine down and use ground and pound to score points.
My Pick: Rockhold, Round 5, Decision