Strikeforce: 'Feijao vs Henderson' predictions, preview and analysis


Strikeforce: "Feijao vs. Henderson" from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, is all set to kick off its championship doubleheader tomorrow night (March 5) live on Showtime. will provide live results and blow-by-blow commentary of the main card action beginning with the Showtime telecast at 10 p.m. ET on fight night. In addition, we'll be updating all the undercard results from the non-televised portion of the card much earlier in the evening.

If at first you don't succeed -- try, try again.

That's probably what the Dan Henderson camp is thinking after the former PRIDE and UFC superstar failed to dethrone then-middleweight champion Jake Shields in his "Nashville" debut.

Now "Hendo" gets another crack at Strikeforce gold when he locks horns with power-punching Brazilian Rafael Cavalcante, who will make his first light heavyweight title defense after usurping the throne from "King Mo" Lawal back in August 2010.

Also in action is Marloes Coenen as she puts her 135-pound title on the line against Liz Carmouche while Tim Kennedy drops himself back into a warzone when he tries to fend off the shock and awe striking campaign of "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef.

I've also included the latest odds and betting lines from our comrades at to give you an indication of where the bookmakers stand in each contest.

See you on the other side.

205 lbs.: Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (10-2) vs. Dan "Hendo" Henderson (26-8)

Nostradumbass predicts: Hen-doh! Anyone else hear the distant sound of bagpipes? I think we might bear witness to the end of yet another great career when Dan Henderson marches into the Nationwide Arena on Saturday night in Columbus and gets finished.

Yeah, I went there.

Now before you throw your arms up in exasperation and fire off another angry Email, just remember there was a time when the idea of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira getting knocked out, or Fedor Emelianenko getting submitted, earned you a TUF-noob label from the morons at Mt. Pompous in the major MMA forums.

Yet here we are in 2011 and in case you haven't figured it out by now, there is no such thing as invulnerability in mixed martial arts. That goes for chins as well as careers. Anyone can get knocked out and when you put a 40-year-old veteran with 13 years of abuse into the cage with a younger, powerful striker, you get the Nostradumbass upset pick of the week.

That doesn't mean Hendo can't win this fight, because he can. "Feijao" has been known to drop his hands when he shouldn't and you don't get this far in your career without having a few tricks up your sleeve like "Hollywood" does. But let's face it. Henderson isn't just old school, he's old.

Yet I still think it's a close fight.

He's 4-1 over his last five fights including his "return" over Renato Sobral last December but I don't want to get too crazy over that win because "Babalu" hasn't been relevant in five years -- and is the same guy that got knocked clean out by Jason Lambert.

Henderson was completely worked over by Jake Shields in Nashville, but I'm one of the people who believe the weight cut is to blame based on what he accomplished in the first round. I think Henderson has lost a step, but he can still grind and bang with the best of them.

So, what can we expect?

How about fireworks? I can't believe the people who are so quick to dismiss Cavalcante based on the Mike Kyle fight from 2009. It was an ugly loss, yes, but the Brazilian was coming off an extended layoff due to injury and "MAK" is a monstrous light heavyweight.

He also showed great resilience in his fight against Muhammed Lawal when he took the belt. While I realize "King Mo" isn't as "Dangerous" as Dan, it's still a fair comparison.

"Feijao" is going to have his hands full in the early rounds but sooner or later someone's tank is going to empty. Like I said earlier, when you have two guys that punch hard and swing for the fences, I have to take the younger, stronger fighter.

Henderson has been good for his entire career. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Cavalcante retains with a shocking finish. In fact, I can already hear Mauro screaming on air.

Betting lines (as of March 4):

Cavalcante: +165 ((Bet Now))

Henderson: -210 ((Bet Now))

Prediction: Cavalcante via technical knockout

135 lbs.: Marloes "Rumina" Coenen vs. Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche (5-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: This was almost an upset pick for me as well, as Liz Carmouche is the real deal. And how can you not like someone who trains out of "Team Hurricane Awesome?" While I think the "Girl-Rilla" gives Coenen problems early on, I have to take "Rumina" simply for the experience factor.

Plus I'm hoping to get her number at some point down the road and don't want to have to explain why I picked against her.

Anyway, Carmouche made the most of her 2010 fight campaign by stringing together five consecutive wins to kick off her mixed martial arts career. She's powerful, compact and I think she rocks Coenen early.

But like we've seen in the not-too-distant past, that could also lead to her undoing.

13 of Coenen's 18 wins have come by way of submission and she's a very technical fighter. It took three rounds for "Cyborg" Santos to finish her and she rebounded nicely with a painful armbar submission to steal the strap from then-undefeated Sarah Kaufman.

Look for Carmouche to have the champ in trouble early, only to make a rookie mistake and get trapped in a fight-ending armbar somewhere late in the opening frame.

Betting lines (as of March 4):

Coenen: -400 ((Bet Now))

Carmouche: +300 ((Bet Now))

Prediction: Coenen via submission

185 lbs.: Tim Kennedy vs. "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef

Nostradumbass predicts: Sometimes when I wait for Melvin Manhoef to knock someone out inside the cage I feel like Ralphie waiting for his Red Ryder BB Gun. It just ain't coming. Then again, if Tim Kennedy is going for the knockout like he told us last month, there may be hope yet. Keep in mind that Manhoef also said he'd be looking for the takedown.

Welcome to bizarro world, mixed martial arts edition.

I find it hard to believe a fighter of Kennedy's intelligence is going to stand and trade against a fighter with Manhoef's striking credentials. He gets exposed regularly inside the cage for his ignorance of the ground game, but just take a few minutes to watch his K-1 highlight reel if you need convincing.

I realize Robbie Lawler put him down last year in Miami, but he also celebrated his victory in a wheelchair thanks to the Dutchman's devastating leg kicks.

Kennedy is a well-rounded and well-balanced fighter. To waste time on the feet would be a grave tactical error and the last thing he wants is back-to-back losses after failing to upend "Jacare" Souza last August.

Anything but a first or second round submission win for the Army Ranger would be a complete shock to me and I predict this is the last we'll see of "No Mercy" inside the Strikeforce cage.

Betting lines (as of March 4):

Kennedy: -300 ((Bet Now))

Manhoef: +220 ((Bet Now))

Prediction: Kennedy via submission

155 lbs.: Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal vs. Billy Evangelista

Nostradumbass predicts: As with a lot of Strikeforce fights, this stellar lightweight match-up is probably going to steal the show and if nothing else, add a new face to the promotion's paper-thin 155-pound division.

It also proves if the undefeated Billy Evangelista is for real.

He'll have his toughest test to date against Masvidal. After moving up a weight class to go three rounds against Paul Daley in Shark Fights, "Gamebred" is back at 155 where he belongs. The American Top Team (ATT) standout isn't new to the Strikeforce cage, having smashed Matt Lee at the Playboy mansion back in 2007 before outpointing Ryan Healy "At the Dome" the following year.

Aside from his stints in Bodog and Sengoku, fans probably remember him best for being on the wrong end of Toby Imada's inverted triangle choke at Bellator 5 in back 2009.

He's well rounded, has a good chin and is a solid test for anyone in this division.

And that's exactly what Evangelista needs after running through everyone Strikeforce had to offer, including the reckless but crowd-pleasing Jorge Gurgel in November 2009. Beating an accomplished veteran like Masvidal should vault him into the upper echelon.

Which shouldn't be too hard since it only consists of two or three fighters. And if it gets us out of another Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson fight then I'm all for it.

As far as a prediction, this one should be razor close with Masvidal getting the better of the stand-up, but I think Evangelista steals it in the last round with takedowns.

Betting lines (as of March 4):

Masvidal: -145 ((Bet Now))

Evangelista: +115 ((Bet Now))

Prediction: Evangelista via split decision

That's a wrap, folks.

Remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of Strikeforce: "Feijao vs. Henderson."

What do you think? Now it's your turn ... let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tomorrow night's event.

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