Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley both have something different to prove when they collide tonight (July 30, 2011) at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson," which will air on the Showtime premium cable network, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Daley undoubtedly holds the experience edge with his appearance later this evening, bringing his career total to an even 40 professional fights. "Semtex" has mixed it up with the best in the business during that time such as Nick Diaz, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields and Martin Kampmann, among others.
However, the dangerous British brawler has been unable to win the "big" one. In fact, the heavy-handed striker -- when he isn't missing weigh on the scales -- is getting "exposed" by more well-rounded opponents.
That's an albatross that has hung from Daley's neck seemingly forever. And until he can demonstrate that he is capable of avoiding takedowns, getting to his feet if he finds himself on his back and avoiding submissions, it likely won't go away anytime soon.
He can change that tonight.
Woodley, meanwhile, has competed just eight times since his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in 2009. And aside from a unanimous decision win over Tarec Saffiedine, "T-Wood" has for the most part been the focus of a prospect-building effort on behalf of the San Jose, Calif.,-based promotion.
The two-time All American wrestler from the University of Missouri has been able to leverage his dynamic skills to dictate the pace of his fights. He has also been able to add submissions to his strong wrestling base to finish more than half his fights via tapout.
Up until this point in his career, Woodley has done everything he's supposed to do with the exception of toppling a "name" fighter, a stepping stone, who can propel him into the next echelon of the welterweight division.
He, too, can change that tonight.
Daley and Woodley both have something different to prove when they collide tonight: "Semtex" needs show that he can handle a very talented takedown specialist, while "T-Wood" needs to establish that he has the ability to compete at a higher level against a formidable foe.
We've got to see it to believe it.