Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal will take place on Dec. 17, at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA. Here are my predictions for the entire fight card:
Gilbert Melendez versus Jorge MasvidalMasvidal was sharp in his last outing, earning the unanimous decision over former EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons. Masvidal will need to dig down even deeper, if he wants to dethrone the Strikeforce lightweight champion. Melendez was just as impressive in his last fight, stopping veteran Japanese MMA fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri in the very first round. Masvidal is one of those guys that always brings it on fight night, but he'll have a hard time dealing with Melendez' grappling. Melendez wins by decision.
Cristiane Santos versus Hiroko YamanakaSantos is clearly the most dominant female fighter in MMA, and it's hard to see her losing anytime soon. Yamanaka has also accomplished a lot in her career, but she hasn't faced the level of competition that Santos has. Santos wins via TKO.
Gegard Mousasi versus Ovince St. PreuxOvince's eight fight winning streak will be in serious jeopardy when he meets Mousasi on Dec. 17. Ovince is a well-rounded MMA fighter, but he hasn't faced anyone on Mousasi's level in the past. Experience will be the biggest factor in the fight, and I expect Mousasi to walk away with the victory. Mousasi wins by TKO.
KJ Noons versus Billy EvangelistaNoons is skilled enough to be a serious contender, but he didn't fight to his abilities in his last two outings. Evangelista is coming off the first loss of his MMA career, and he'll be eager to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth. It should be a very close fight, but I have a feeling KJ will be able to get his MMA career back on track. Noons wins by decision.
Roger Bowling defeats Jerron Peoples
Caros Fodor defeats Justin Wilcox
Gabriel Salinas-Jones defeats Devin Cole
Fernando Gonzalez defeats Eddie Mendez
Herman Terrado defeats Chris Brown
Fight and fighter information from Sherdog.com
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