Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Cavalcante
You know you’re an MMA legend when you get four title shots despite having a record of 4-3 in your last seven fights. That’s what happens when you’re Dan Henderson.
Hendo’s latest title shot will be for Rafael Cavalcante’s Strikeforce Light Heavyweight championship at Strikeforce Columbus, and the best-priced line at Bovada has the former Pride Fighting champion as the -200 favorite to finally win another belt.
Rafael Cavalcante is a member of the famed Black House MMA team that includes Anderson Silva and the Nogueira brothers. His only real loss came when Mike Kyle was able to beat him back in June 2009; otherwise he’s been a wrecking machine knocking out all comers with strikes. Yet he will go into his first Light Heavyweight title defense as a +175 underdog at 5Dimes.
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The knock against the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion is that he’s never faced a top-ranked opponent. Despite his age Henderson is still one the best in the world at Light Heavyweight, and the step up in competition will likely be more than Cavalcante can handle.
He may not have that many big fights left in him, but Henderson still looks like he’s worth the risk in Columbus.
The co-main event at the Strikeforce Columbus fight card will be a Women’s Welterweight championship between new champion Marloes Coenen and undefeated challenger Liz Carmouche. Because Carmouche is a recent fill-in for injured Miesha Tate she will go into the fight as a big underdog. The biggest payout on her to upset is a +310 line at 5Dimes.
Coenen will be making her first title defense after a surprising upset over Sarah Kaufman last October. Now she faces an undefeated fighter for which she hasn't been training. She will be heavily favored to retain her title and will cost -370 at 5Dimes. That line looks way too expensive to us, despite her win over Kaufman.
When you consider that Carmouche is undefeated and the big payout if she can outwork the champion, this fight looks like it’s worth the risk as an upset pick. There’s no such thing as safe money in the female ranks anymore and we’ve seen female titles change hands a lot. Carmouche with the unanimous decision upset in this one.
If you’re looking for the safe money on the Strikeforce Columbus fight card we would go with the -270 favorite Tim Kennedy to beat the 5Dimes +230 underdog Melvin Manhoef. Kennedy’s technique should rule the direction of this fight until Manhoef wears down and is overwhelmed.