Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Preview & Predictions

Alexis Davis (9-4) vs. Julie Kedzie (16-8)

This is a fight that shows Strikeforce is making a commitment to women’s MMA beyond just the big name stars. Both are experienced females competing in the 135 pound division, easily the deepest set on the other side of the gender divide.

Kendzie comes in riding a four-fight winning streak, and she’s faced a who’s who of female fighters over her seven years in the sport. A member of Greg Jackson’s team in Albuquerque, the knock against Kedzie is similar to that of pseudo-teammate Sarah Kaufman; 10 of Kedzie’s 16 career wins have come by way of decision.

Ontario native Alexis Davis has also been in the cage with some of the top names in the sport. She’s alternated wins and losses dating back to November 2009, a run of seven fights, and hasn’t been in the cage since beating Tonya Evinger for a second time last winter.

Neither of these women are going to challenge the winner of tomorrow’s co-main event for the title, but they’re solid additions to the ranks, and every division needs those, regardless of gender.

Eduardo Pamplona (15-2) vs. Tyler Stinson (20-7)

I love fights like this, bouts where simply looking at their records tells you absolutely nothing. That may sound weird to some people, but I like a good fight where you have to do some digging to find out what you’re in store for.

Though Pamplona has the lesser experience of the two on paper, the Black House team member is ten years the senior of Stinson. He had his first fight in 2002 and has been in the cage with veterans like Jorge “Macaco” Patino, Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons, Daniel Acacio and Robbie Lawler.

Lawler was the last man to defeat Pamplona, doing so back in February 2007. The Brazilian has run off ten straight wins since then, including a first round TKO of Jerron Peoples in his Strikeforce debut a little over a month ago. Stinson has racked up 27 fights in a little more than five years as a pro.

He’s beaten all the opponents he’s faced that you’re never heard of and added a couple wins over guys you know. But for the most part, proven opposition gives him trouble, as he’s lost to Bellator regulars Steve Carl, Anthony Lapsley and Dan Hornbuckle. To his credit, Stinson is a finisher; 18 of his 20 wins have come inside the distance.

At 25, this might be a watershed moment for Stinson. A win here gets him over the veteran yips, but a loss makes the pressure to push through against a proven competitor even greater the next time out. For Pamplona, it’s a shot at success in a high profile organization for the first time in his long career.

Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (15-4-1) vs. Bobby Green (15-4)

Ask and you shall receive.

After an accidental eye poke caused an early end to his fight with Justin Wilcox back in June, Cavalcante pleaded for a speedy return to the cage. While he gets his wish, he also got a late opponent change for his troubles. Originally slated to face Lyle Beerbohm, the recently signed King of the Cage champ will step in with Cavalcante instead.

Green has been extremely active to this point in his career, as Saturday’s bout will be his twentieth fight in three-and-a-half years in the cage. He’s had moderate success and sports a couple of recognizable names as conquests — TUF 12 alum Sevak Magakian and Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett — but dropped his only other fight on the bigger stage, losing to Dan Lauzon on the second Affliction card, Day of Reckoning.

Cavalcante needs a win here if he has any hopes of resurrecting his once promising career. Injuries and a lack of opportunities have slowed him over the last three years, and he’s been very inconsistent in the cage. He’s just 1-3 with two no contests in his last five fights, and another poor showing here could be the end of the line.

“JZ” was tentative in the opening round of his fight with Wilcox and unable to match his tempo and power. Neither of those things should be a problem here against Green; Cavalcante’s experience and sense of urgency should bring him out of the gates quickly.

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