Our experts are back to provide you with more insight on the upcoming Strikeforce: Houston preliminary bouts featuring 5 fights with Houston area fighters. Oh yeah, we also had them quick pick the main card too, just for fun.
Do you agree with them or do you think they are crazy? Â Either way, let ’em know! Â When you’re done reading all the pics, feel free to leave your own picks and comments below and let our experts and Houston know who you think is going to win and why.
Meet the experts
Mike Calimbas (mopthemats.com) – (17-15-0) Mike Calimbas is an MMA Writer, devotee, and fan that has been a part of the Mixed Martial Arts community for over fifteen years. He has served as a ring official & timekeeper for amateur MMA in numerous local events in Texas with the USACA/Lonestar Beatdown. Mike has also written and provided analysis on the topic of MMA & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for various online publications, including FightLine, Ploomy, and MoptheMats.com. Mike has been training BJJ, etc. on-and-off for the past six years. Off the mats, he spends most of his time with his family, including his baby son, Nicholas and girlfriend, Megan. For more on Mike, check him out on http://twitter.com/mikecalimbas.
Justin Trapp (fighterportraits.com) – (18-14-0) Justin Trapp is a photographer, designer and one of the premier marketing minds in the MMA industry. He manages the branding and marketing for mma companies, fighters and gyms. He has been a loyal fan of the sport since its inception and works to educate the biased. To see some of his work visit his website, fighterportraits.com.
Richard Burmaster (thecagedoor.net) – (18-14-0)Â Richard Burmaster is co-owner of (and a writer for) thecagedoor.net. He has been active in the MMA scene for close to 8 years and has trained in MMA for the last 5 years. His job keeps him on the go across the United States, and thus has afforded him the opportunity to train in many of the top gyms across the nation. From Army combatives to the Militech Fighting Systems, he has been able to try out many of the martial arts from coast to coast. When Richard is not working on his full time job, training in MMA or working on thecagedoor.net, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son.
You can get to know the fighters by reading our interviews with them. Â Click on their name to be taken to their TCD.net interview.
|Chad Cook||VS||Artenas Young|
|Hurricane||Nickname||The Machine Gun|
|Rocky Long MMA||Gym||Hoger MMA|
Mike: Finally, Machine Gun Young makes it to the big -stage against a seasoned opponent in 8-8 Chad Cook. An exciting win here could propel Arteneas to even greater heights while Cook is looking to rebound after losing 5 out of his last 6 fights. I truly feel that anything can happen in this matchup. Will Young be effective with his counter-punching style or will Cook avoid playing that game on his feet and look to take Young to the ground? I think it will be the latter and we will see Young face his first test on the ground. On top of that, Cook’s only been finished on his feet once and that was against a top veteran in Matt Thompson.Â Â Prediction: Chad Cook via Submission.
Justin: Grappler vs Striker the ole classic matchup. Â If Chad can get this fight to the ground we will all see what the Sam Hoger blue belt is made of…..the only trick is getting it to the ground and i dont see that happening. Â Prediction: Artenas Young via KO
|Chad Robichaux||VS||Humberto DeLeon|
|#1 (@135)||TCD rank||#1 (@125)|
|Gracie Barra The Woodlands||Gym||Bushi Ban|
Mike: With all due respect to Humberto De Leon, whom I consider the most highly-gifted 125 ibs. pound fighter in perhaps all of Texas, he will lose this fight against Chad Robichaux and lose handedly. Chad is a terrible matchup for Humberto for a myriad of different reasons. For one, De Leon’s strength, using his active hips to set up armbars, will be stymied by Chad’s grappling experience and own ground skill. Secondly, Chad is physically a much larger fighter than “Robo.” While Humberto sports a 5-3 record and has indeed fought MUCH better opponents in the cage (Jimmy Flick, Johnny Bedford) than Chad Robichaux, this is a fight set up for a win and showcase one at that for the Gracie Barra fighter. The real challenge here will be if the overwhelming favorite in Robo can FINISH Humberto Deleon. Most would pick him to do so via submission. However, guys like Bedford couldn’t finish him and that guy (Bedford) subbed Legacy 145 champ Daniel Pineda and Tim Snyder, amongst many others. I say Robo still takes the win but he’s going to do it via unanimous decision over a scrappyÂ Humberto Deleon..Â Â Prediction: Chad Robichaux via Unan. Decision.
Justin: Both guys from a BJJ background but I think their levels of BJJ will show contrast on Saturday night. Â Humberto is very tough and can take a punch but I do think that Chad is just better in every area. Â Needless to say Humberto still has a great career ahead of him and this fight is a win/win for him win or lose. Â Prediction: Chad Robichaux via submission.
Rich: Look for Deleon to try and stand with Chad in hopes of getting to the later rounds (where Robo has not been) in hopes of pushing Chadâ€™s cardio to its breaking point. Deleon is the future of Houston MMA, but this match up plays into Roboâ€™s strengths, and Chad will be able to show why he is the #1 P4P fighter in the city.. Prediction: Chad Robichaux via submission.
|Jose Santibanez||VS||Rey Trujillo|
|#2 (@145)||TCD rank||#1 (@155)|
|Silverback Fight Club||Gym|
Mike: This has got to be seen as a revenge fight considering Trujillo just lost to Santibanez’s brother Daniel Pineda at the recent Legacy card. In this match, we’re going to see who gets their “3”, meaning their 3rd loss. I think Rey is going to come out with his usual frenetic pace and look to damage Santibanez. And as a matter of fact, on the set of “Houston MMA Now” I picked him to win. Disregard that. After careful deliberation, I’m flip-flopping more than Brett Favre and picking Joe Santibanez to take this via a hard-fought decision victory..Â Â Prediction: Jose Santibanez via decision
Justin: After losing to Daniel Pineda in the first round at Legacy I fully expect Rey to come out with something to prove. Â I dont remember seeing Jose fight so I Youtube’d him and found his ultimate fighter tryouts.Â Prediction: Rey Trujillo via unan. decision.
|Adam Schindler||VS||Kierre Gooch|
|N/A (First Houston Fight)||TCD rank||Not Ranked|
|Gracie Barra The Woodlands||Gym||Bushi Ban|
Mike: At 7-1, Adam Schindler is a straight-up beast. He’s got a strong wrestling pedigree to go with power in his hands and a BJJ brown belt in his gym bag. I’ve talked up his opponent, Kierre Gooch, before as someone having a record that belies his actual talents. Still, I’m befuddled at how this matchup was made. Kierre is 2-5 and coming off a controversial decision victory against Kenny BurkeÂ thisÂ pastÂ April atÂ WGC. I don’t foresee him turning it around in this fight as Schindler should win and win handedly via RNC submission somewhere near the end of the first round.. Â Prediction: Adam Schindler via Submission
Justin: I have heard some say that Adam Schindler is on another level from any other fighter in all of Houston. Â He just beat Brian Melancon at Bellator. Â Gooch is a lot better than his record indicates but I see Schindler winning. Prediction: Adam Schindler via everything
Rich: Gooch has a punchers chance to win this fight, but if Brian Melancon could not KO Schindler, then I think itâ€™s going to be hard for anyone outside of the 170lb division to accomplish that.Look for Adam and Gooch to come out swinging, and when Adam is ready, he will take this fight to the ground and look to end it. Prediction: Adam Schindler via Submission
|Vinicius Magalhaes||VS||Rocky Long|
|Not Ranked||TCD rank||#7|
|Gracie Barra Texas||Gym||Rocky Long MMA|
Mike: What a legends match! Rocky Long has an MMA record dating back longer than 99% of the people reading this have been MMA fans. While most of you were sporting Taekwondo yellow belts and bowing to your sensei’s, Rocky Long was 5-fingerÂ slapping people in the face like a Pankratian Charlie Murphy at events like HooknShoot and Renegades. I mean seriously, this guy’s fought in Texas so long that he deserves a state-sponsored pension plan. On Saturday night, Rocky will be standing across from Draculino, the famed BJJ-trainer from the Gracie Barra camp. As much experience as Rocky Long has fighting, Vinicius Magalhaes has probably forgotten moreÂ about theÂ ground Â game than Rocky has ever learned. This is going to be an interesting fight because of that contrast of MMA experience vs. BJJ experience. Like UFC 1 in 2010. The x-factor will be whether Drac can drag Rocky to the ground long enough to inflict his ground game. Meanwhile, Rocky will look to confound the GB Professor on his feet. I picked Draculino on “Houston MMA Now” but the more I think about this, I see Rocky Long taking a three-round decision. Â Prediction: Rocky Long via Decision.
Justin: Rocky is very well known in Houston for being tough and a grinder. Â If this fight goes the distance I see him pulling it out. Â However, I dont see this fight going the distance. Â I have watched 3 of Rocky’s recent fights and he lost all 3. Â I think Drac will be able to take him down and when he does its over. Â Prediction: Draculino via Submission
Rich: Draculino is a hard man to ever bet against as he almost always comes out on top, but I think Rockyâ€™s experience will be the deciding factor in this match. Rocky has said this is his final match in Houston, and he will surely look to go out on top.. Â Prediction: Rocky Long via TKO
|King MoÂ vs. Feijao||King Mo||King Mo||King Mo|
|Tim Kennedy vs.Â Jacare||Jacare||Tim Kennedy||Tim Kennedy|
|Bobby Lashley vs. Chad Griggs||Bobby Lashley||Bobby Lashley||Bobby Lashley|
|K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Gurgel||K.J. Noons||K.J. Noons||K.J. Noons|