Strikeforce Melendez vs. Masvidal: The Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Online Staff Picks



Compiled by "Jolly" Josh Nason

Strikeforce lives! Everyone cheer!

Strikeforce Melendez vs. Masvidal



The final S'force event of 2011 is Saturday in San Diego, CA, headlined by Gilbert "Moody Jack" Melendez vs. Jorge "Who?" Masvidal for the 155-pound title. Let's get into the picks with our celebrity panel that is devoid of any Howard Stern. (We do have a Sempervive though.)

- Mike Sempervive (41-19): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare w/Adam

- Todd Martin: (43-17): weekly FFD guest | WWE RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Dave Meltzer (24-11): Wrestling Observer founder & writer | Yahoo MMA scribe

- Oliver Copp (32-28) and Mike Sawyer (36-24) of Tough Talk: Site | Show

- Yours truly (37-23): FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | WGAM MMA Show | Bloody Elbow

Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez (19-2) vs. Jorge Masvidal (22-6)


Melendez is "f**king pumped" to be in Strikeforce according to UFC Prez Dana White and he gets his chance to show it Saturday against Masvidal. He comes into the fight with five straight wins and is looking for his fifth straight defense of the 155-pound title. Masvidal is coming off consecutive wins over Billy Evangelista and KJ Noons. Fun fact: he was the guy that Toby Imada submitted with the inverted triangle choke in Bellator back in 2009.

Melendez: Meltzer, Copp, Sawyer, Martin, Nason, Sempervive

Cyborg Santos (10-1) vs. Hiroko Yamanaka (12-1)

Santos is on a 10-fight win streak but hasn't fought SINCE JUNE 2010 after her second round annihilation of Jan Finney. Yamanaka is making her promotional debut after a successful run in Japan and has won eight in a row. She isn't a finisher and has never been knocked out. That likely ends Saturday night.

Santos:
Meltzer, Copp, Sawyer, Martin, Nason, Sempervive

Gegard Mousasi (31-3-2) vs. Ovince St. Preux (11-4)

OSP fought six times in 2010, rising to some stature when he won decisions over Antwain Britt and Benji Radach within a few weeks of each other. After wins over Abongo Humphrey and Joe Cason, OSP takes his eight-fight win streak against the former Strikeforce 205-pound champ Mousasi. Since losing the belt to Lawal in April 2010, Mousasi has won three of his last four with the one blemish being a draw to Keith Jardine earlier in '11.

Mousasi: Meltzer, Copp, Sawyer, Nason, Sempervive
OSP: Martin

KJ Noons (10-4) vs. Billy Evangelista (11-1-0-1)

After leaving the sport to pursue boxing (even after his infamous win over Nick Diaz), Noons returned and won three in a row before dropping decisions to Diaz and Masvidal. Evangelista is coming off his first career loss to Masvidal and has been a fixture in Strikeforce since 2007.

Noons: Meltzer, Copp, Sawyer, Martin, Sempervive
Evangelista:
Nason

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