Here’s a look at four matchups announced in the last week pitting UFC veterans against Strikeforce fighters.
Vote as to whether you like the matchups…
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler, UFC 157
I’ll just straight out say I detest the upcoming matchup between welterweights Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler at UFC 157, which will be Lawler’s return to the UFC after a mediocre run in Strikeforce. Let’s start with the fact this will be Lawler’s first fight at 170 in years. He’s a big middleweight and has even fought at 195 pounds as recently as two years ago. So for him to make the weight at this point of his career is going to be difficult, and even if he does make 170 pounds successfully, it’s likely Lawler is going to gas after the first round, meaning we’re not likely to see him at his finest.
But the real reason I hate this fight so much is because it’s not a fight that will be exciting, in my opinion. Obviously Koscheck knows how heavy handed Lawler is, so we all know he’ll be going for the takedowns as soon as possible, meaning we’re likely to see a wrestling match here reminiscent of Koscheck vs. Paul Daley back at UFC 113. I understand the UFC needed to give Lawler a big name in his return fight because he has a huge contract, but I don’t believe this is a fight that will allow him to show his full potential to the fans and show that he does belong back in the big show. I just see this being a very boring fight and don’t think it will be very enjoyable. Seems like a pretty clear cut Koscheck unanimous decision win.
What do you think of the Koscheck-Lawler matchup?
Ronaldo (Jacare) Souza vs. Ed Herman, Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine
The only UFC fighter going to Strikeforce, Ed Herman makes his return to the cage against Ronaldo (Jacare) Souza in a featured attraction on the Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine card. Herman, as well as Frank Mir, were the only UFC fighters who accepted the “demotion” to fight in Strikeforce, but due to Mir’s injury Herman will be the only UFC fighter to actually go through it, meaning he’ll be making history of sorts on Jan. 12 when he takes on the highly-ranked Souza.
Herman is the perfect opponent for Souza to open up the next chapter of his career with, because we all know the top-10 middleweight will be a part of the UFC’s roster shortly and Herman is a veteran of the Octagon who will be a much stiffer test for Souza than his last two opponents (Bristol Marunde and Derek Brunson) have been. Both Herman and Souza are BJJ black belts, meaning this fight has the potential to be a high-level grappling match, but both men also have knockout power in their hands so don’t be surprised if this one stays standing instead.
Either way, great fight, great matchmaking, and kudos to Herman for doing the UFC a favour here.
What do you think of the Souza-Herman matchup?
Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelker, UFC 158
Patrick Cote will be making his welterweight debut when he takes on incoming Strikeforce fighter Bobby Voelker at UFC 158 in Montreal. Cote was originally set to rematch Alessio Sakara, but after a health problem to Sakara forced him off the card, Voelker steps in in his place.
This should be a fun fight. Both Cote and Voelker can stand and bang, meaning this is likely to be an exciting contest. Cote is a great stepping stone for a solid prospect like Voelker to test his skills against, and with Cote’s back against the wall in this one and in desperate need of a win, I think you can expect both guys to really bring it in this fight, meaning the Canadian fans can expect even more fireworks from what is shaping up to be a tremendous card at UFC 158.
What do you think of the Cote-Voelker matchup?
Caros Fodor vs. Sam Stout, UFC 157
Canadian Sam Stout looks to get back in the win column when he fights Caros Fodor in the former Strikeforce fighter’s first UFC fight. Both Stout and Fodor have heavy hands and love to throw down, meaning fans can look forward to seeing both men stand in the centre of the Octagon and duke it out in what could very well be the “Fight of the Night” at UFC 157.
Fodor is coming off a loss to Pat Healy in his last outing while Stout was recently defeated by John Makdessi at UFC 154. Both men definitely need to pick up a win in this fight because with the incoming Strikeforce fighters there’s going to be way more competition in the division and both guys — with another loss — could be at risk of being lost in the mix of everything, meaning this is a huge fight for both guys at this point in their careers.
What do you think of the Fodor-Stout matchup?
Adam Martin has blogged for theScore.com and is a regular contributor to Sportsnet.ca’s MMA section. Follow him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.