Five Fights To Make After Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson


New light heavyweight champion

Fight potential fights to make after “Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson”

Dan Henderson vs. King Mo Lawal: Yeah, Lawal lost his last fight against departed champion Rafael Cavalcante, but so what? Strikeforce isn’t exactly heavy in the light heavyweight ranks. Gegard Mousasi is already tied up with Mike Kyle, and Roger Gracie isn’t quite ready for such a big step up in competition. Lawal says he’s competing on the Dallas card this June; might as well match him up with the new champion.

Marloes Coenen vs. Meisha Tate: This is the fight that was supposed to happen before Tate pulled out with a knee injury, so it makes perfect sense to go ahead and book it. Coenen’s fantastic come-from-behind victory over unheralded challenger Liz Carmouche shows that she’s got the goods to withstand the pressure that somebody like Tate can bring into the cage. Carmouche outstruck Coenen 238-42 in the first three rounds, and Coenen still survived. That’s a tough woman. And let’s be real for a second, shall we? There aren’t any other challengers available for Coenen to face, so Tate gets the title shot by default.

Tim Kennedy vs. Robbie Lawler: Kennedy’s submission win over Melvin Manhoef was nearly academic. You knew going into the fight that if Kennedy got the fight to the ground, the hapless Manhoef wouldn’t have a great chance of surviving very long. Sure enough, Kennedy survived a sick leg kick from Manhoef in the first round to secure the takedown, take the striker’s back and get the rear-naked choke for the win. After the fight, Kennedy called out Robbie Lawler. I like the idea of pairing these two up. Lawler is still primarily a striker at this point, but he’ll offer far more defense on the ground than Manhoef did. It’s a fresh fight and one of very few that actually makes sense for Kennedy, and if he wins the fight, you can give him a shot at Dan Henderson.

Jorge Masvidal vs. Josh Thomson: Masvidal dominated the much-hyped Billy Evangelista for the entirety of their fight. Strikeforce was obviously angling for an eventual Evangelista bout against Gilbert Melendez prior to the bout, but Masvidal put an end to that little pipe dream. Masvidal isn’t ready for Melendez, but you might as well match him up with someone who is nearing contention, and Thomson fits that bill perfectly.

Jorge Gurgel vs. Pat Healy: I wasn’t sure if we’d ever see Gurgel utilize his jiu-jitsu again. His 44-second submission of Billy Vaughn extends Gurgel’s Strikeforce career by at least one fight, and Healy is a good fight for him. Both fighters are long-time veterans of the sport, and Healy’s win over Lyle Beerbohm last month reinvigorated his career, at least for the short term. The majority of Healy’s wins have come by submission, and a nice jiu-jitsu match with Gurgel might just hit the spot as a featured undercard bout for an upcoming Strikeforce event.

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