Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Josh Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov Vegas Odds, Free Picks, Favorites and Expert Predictions – Josh Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov Free Betting Tips and Preview: Check out the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Josh Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov odds, predictions, preview and free picks from NSAwins.com expert UFC/MMA handicapper Eric Moore below for Saturday, September 10th’s Strikeforce matchups and betting card. Enjoy…
Strikeforce – Light Heavyweight Bout
“King” Mo Lawal vs. Roger Gracie
“King” Mo Lawal (7-1) is the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion defeating Gegard Mousasi to earn the strap. Lawal was a two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American forOklahomaStateUniversityand he utilizes that wrestling prowess in the cage. It was most evident in his win against Mousasi where Lawal controlled the excellent striker for five rounds on his way to a unanimous victory. His reign was short lived and he lost his belt just four months latter to Rafael Cavalcante.
Having the last name Gracie instantly conjures up images of bone snapping arm bars and chokes from back mount. So far in his young MMA career Roger Gracie (4-0) has lived up to that billing. Coming from the most prestige’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu family in the world comes with certain expectations and Roger has shown he can carry on the legacy. All but one of his fights he has finished in the first round and all have come by way of submission. With three rear-naked chokes and an arm bar under his belt Roger is looking to be the Gracie for a new generation.
This is going to play out like a classic wrestler versus grappler match. Lawal (-140) is use to being able to grind out his opponents with superior wrestling using takedowns and good positioning on the ground. The problem is Roger (+110) can tap anyone out once the fight hits the mat. This fight could turn into a standup war with both fighters not wanting to enter the others element. The more likely scenario is that at some point this fight hits the ground and Roger finds a way to sink in a submission.
Prediction – Roger Gracie by way of submission
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship Bout
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (Champion) vs. Luke Rockhold (Challenger)
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (14-2-1) is currently unblemished in Strikeforce and is the holder of the middleweight belt with one defense to his name. Souza is currently 4-0 in Strikeforce and fought for the title in his third fight with the promotion. He won the vacant title after five hard fought rounds with Tim Kennedy. Souza looked even better in his first title defense against Robbie Lawler where he tapped out Lawler two minutes into the third round.
Currently riding a six fight win streak Luke Rockhold (7-1) has never been outside of the first round. Rockhold has shown well rounded skills finishing five fights by submission and the other two by TKO. With nagging injuries and scheduling difficulties he hasn’t fought since February of 2010. This will work against Rockhold because he found a rhythm from late 2008 and into early 2010 that saw him go 6-0 and finish everyone he fought.
Both of these fighters have good standup and an excellent ground game to complement it. Rockhold (+250) is one of the many young, fast rising stars within the organization that has shown the ability to finish fights in spectacular fashion. Souza (-350) has a similar skill set but the level of competition he has faced is much higher. With the experience advantage and with Rockhold being on the shelf for over a year and half Souza comes out the victor in this fight.
Prediction – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by way of unanimous decision
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix – Heavyweight Grand Prix Bout
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva vs. Daniel “DC” Cormier
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (16-2) showed in the quarterfinals why he is a legitimate contender in this heavyweight tournament. Silva laid a beat down on the most feared man in MMA, Fedor Emelianenko, and in the process showed good standup and an excellent top game on the ground. Huge even for a heavyweight Silva has shown that he can take opponents down and wear them out with punches and his sheer size. Silva is on a three fight win streak that includes victories over Andrei Arlovski, Mike Kyle and Fedor Emelianenko.
Daniel “DC” Cormier (8-0) is a formerUnited StatesOlympic wrestler and hasn’t lost inside the cage. To go along with his world class wrestling Cormier showed much improved standup in his last fight against Jeff Monson. Monson was the much more experienced fighter going into the bout and Cormier did pretty much whatever he wanted on the feet. He steps into this fight as an alternate taking the place of Alistair Overeem due to injury. If Cormier can put together a consistently good standup attack he will be a scary opponent moving forward.
Both of these men have knockout power in their hands and an equally devastating ground game to complement their styles. Cormier (+140) has shown a new and improved version of his technique every time he steps into the cage. He has only been pro since 2009 but is constantly improving with every fight. Silva (-170) is going to use his massive size advantage to neutralize what Cormier will bring to the table. Silva will be able to stay on the outside and only close the distance when he wants to take the fight down. His size and experience will be the factors that lead Silva to victory.
Prediction – Antonio “Big Foot” Silva by way of TKO
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix – Heavyweight Grand Prix Bout
Josh “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Josh “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett (27-5) is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and was dominate in his first fight of the tournament tapping out Brett Rogers in the second round. Barnett is currently on a seven fight win streak that dates back to 2008 where he submitted Hidehiko Yoshida. He uses a catch wrestling style that utilizes equal parts wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Barnett has won eighteen fights by way of submission and seven by TKO or KO.
Sergei Kharitonov (18-4) Strikeforce debut was a vicious knockout of Andrei Arlovski in the first round of the heavyweight tournament. Kharitonov isn’t a stranger to the knockout finishing nine of his wins by KO. He is 5-1 in his last six fights and was the last man to defeat the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. Professional since 2000 he has competed in almost all of the major MMA organizations like Pride, Dream and Strikeforce.
Even though Barnett has well rounded standup Kharitonov (+220) is going to have the advantage on the feet. Kharitonov has devastating knockout power and has shown his punching prowess in other organizations, K-1 for example. Barnett (-300) will keep the fight standing just long enough to safely get in tight and work inside the clinch. Barnett has some of the best submission wrestling in the world and look for him to use it early in the fight just like he did against Barnett.
Prediction – Josh “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett by way of unanimous decision
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