| | What's Next For The Winners And Losers Of Strikeforce "Diaz vs. Cyborg"? ** SPOILER*
Article Posted: January 30th, 2011 | By: Oliver Saenz | Comments: 0 | Comment Now
Itís that time once again, fans and friends. Another major MMA event has come and gone, leaving fans with a great night of fights and leaving the MMA community at large wondering ďwhatís next?Ē As is traditional, Iíll present my own answer to that very question in the form of the latest entry into my ďWhatís Next for the Winners and LosersĒ series, featuring the recent Strikeforce ďDiaz vs. CyborgĒ event. Letís get right to it.
Next for Roger Gracie: Gracie isnít ready for top-tier competition just yet, but he might be before 2011 is through. Gracie ran through a pretty talented veteran in the form of Trevor Prangley, I think Gracie should now take on a Light Heavyweight that, like himself, is a fast-rising relative newcomer that is on a good win-streak. In that regard, Ovince St. Preux fits the bill quite nicely. I think this would be an excellent test for both men and would truly test how multidimensional both men are. Even if itís not OSP, I think big things are in store for Roger Gracie in 2011.
Next for Herschel Walker: Walker will fight at least one more time, you donít completely run through two opponents just to call it quits no matter how old you are. Furthermore, Walkerís competitive nature will get the better of him once again: heís had a taste, he wants more, and heíll be back. For Walkerís third fight, Strikeforce may finally give him a somewhat-credible opponent. Iím a fan of the man and even I can admit that his name value has got him on Strikeforce shows, not the quality of the opposition heís faced. In 2011, Walker will continue to be an interesting double-edged sword: many MMA diehards will still consider him a joke, but those willing to give him a chance will take what heís done in stride and warm up to the idea of Walker being a great ambassador for the sport.
Next for Robbie Lawler: Lawler will bounce back from this as he so often has bounced back from other deflating losses. Strikeforce knows what they have in Robbie Lawler: an entertaining striker thatís not afraid to engage and enters the cage with the sole intention of either finishing or being finished. Even though he may never reach the top of anyoneís rankings, Lawler is an effective tool in Strikeforceís arsenal and I see Strikeforce letting Lawler fight as many times as he wants to in 2011. Look for Lawlerís next fight to be against another heavy-handed striker, though, thatís usually where he shines brightest and thatís the kind of fight Strikeforce will use to help rebuild his reputation following his deflating loss to Ronaldo Souza.
Next for Ronaldo Souza: With this victory over Lawler, Souza is now a reigning and defending champion. ďJacareĒ proved that he can swim and not sink when Strikeforce throws their best Middleweights at him, so expect Souza to continue to be matched up in interesting fights against worthwhile competition. Maybe even a high-profile Light Heavyweight will drop down to challenge Souza. No matter who he faces next, look for Souza to continue to build his credibility with exciting fights which will one day help transform him into a real Strikeforce star.
Next for Evangelista Santos: I really hate to say this, but I think itís my obligation to say what I mean and mean what I say. Santos never deserved a shot at the championship in the first place, and heíll continue to plod along at or around the middle of the division for the foreseeable future. Santos is a good fighter overall and can look dominating at times, but heís simply not at a high enough level to ever pose a serious threat to a top-ranked opponent. Itís all downhill from here for Evangelista Santos in 2011.
Next for Nick Diaz: Most likely itíll be Paul Daley, which should be an amazing match-up so long as it stays standing. Itíll certainly be an incredibly short one if Diaz is able to take Daley to the ground. As Iíve so often been saying, Nick Diaz once again proved heís one of the best Welterweights in the world. His reign as champion wonít be ending anytime soon, and look for 2011 to be The Year of Diaz. Itís Nickís time now, and all Strikeforce welterweights need to know that the King isnít going anywhere anytime soon.