Punch Drunk Preview: Strikeforce — Fedor vs. Werdum

Josh Thomson (16-3-0) vs. Pat Healy (23-15-0)

This could actually be a far better fight than some people might realize.

Thomson is coming off his first loss in more than three years, dropping a five-round decision to Gilbert Melendez in their lightweight title unification bout. It was the first time in fifteen months that “The Punk” had taken to the cage, and he acquitted himself quite well. He’s healthy and eager to get back into the title picture, so expect an energized Thomson coming out of the gates.

People may not know Pat Healy, but if you look at his resume, you see one tough S.O.B. who has secured wins over an impressive collection of competitors. Amongst his conquests are Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, Carlos Condit and two wins over emerging Canadian welterweight Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford.

I’d wonder why he’s dropping to lightweight after nearly forty fights at the 170-pound limit, but I would assume this is the only way “Bam Bam” is going to get on TV, so it makes sense to me. Don’t be fooled by the record – Healy has the skills to pull the upset.

Scott Smith (17-6-0, 1 NC) vs. Cung Le (6-1-0)

Oh, Cung Le…

The former middleweight champion and Sanshou karate star came back after nearly two-years away from the cage making mediocre movies to dominate the first 13 minutes of his homecoming fight against Scott Smith back in December. Twenty-five seconds later, the fight was over, and Le was the one looking up at the lights.

That’s why people love Scott Smith and also why this unnecessary rematch has been made. Strikeforce wants to try and catch lightning in a bottle and see if a second one-punch momentum shift will take place, and chances are it won’t. That’s not how it works.

Smith is as tough as they come and capable of winning every fight thanks to his morbidly obese hands – calling them “heavy” doesn’t quite cut it – and Le is a crowd-pleaser thanks to his unique offensive style, but the reality is that neither are really top-end contenders. It’s a solid fight, but without the same kind of finish as last time, it’s not all that interesting to me.