Miami, Florida is where it is set to go down. Herschel Walker will definitely be in attendance. At first glance you may think I am talking about that “Super” football game but you would be more wrong than Roy nelson in Vale Tudo shorts. I am talking about the best card of 2010 (So far anyway). Strikeforce and their CEO, Scott Coker, have put together the biggest fight card in this promotions history. It should be a night of great fights with style and attitude conflicts. Start training your eyes now because January 30th, 2010 will be a night you will not want to blink!
The co-main event features Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos defending her Featherweight title against Marloes Coenen. Cyborg is returning to the cage after her dismantling of the lovely Gina Carano. Cyborg had her most impressive showing to date when she crushed the aforementioned Carano on August 15th. Cyborg is a big, physically imposing 145 lb fighter. She has devastating stand-up with impressive Muay Thai kicks and knees. She is one who has never been afraid to stand and bang with anyone she has ever faced. Let’s face it, why should she with the way she has ravaged her opponents on the feet. She is very fast and explosive and according to her past opponents, very strong. She holds a record of 8-1 with 6 of those victories coming by way of (T)KO. The other two victories came in the form of decisions. Her lone defeat came early in her career, in 2005, when she lost via leg lock to Erica Paes. Submissions are Cristiane’s biggest weakness. Her ground game has been suspect throughout her career but no opponent to date has been able to expose that with the exception of Paes. Her adversary on the 30th however is a very dangerous submission fighter who may cause stylistic matchup problems for Cyborg.
Marloes Coenen is a very slick and dangerous ground fighter who hopes to shock the world by defeating the heavily favored Cyborg. Coenen has a slight height advantage over Cyborg and will have to drop weight to meet her at 145lbs. Coenen boasts a professional record of 17-3. Of those 17 victories, 12 have come by way of submission. She is very good on the ground and can seemingly transition seamlessly from one position to another in order to set up her submission attempts. She does have 3 wins via (T)KO but those all came against opponents who were outclassed and undersized. Her best opponent to date, and arguably her toughest fight, came against Cindy Dandois. That fight ended in a Unanimous decision loss for Coenen. Marloes’s bread and butter is on the ground but she has the heart of a true champion which is what she hopes to become. I am sure her team will have her game plan set to avoid early strikes, secure a takedown and work for submissions. Her stand-up game is definitely not her strong point and although she has the heart of a champion she will be best served to not stand and trade with Cyborg like she did against the always dangerous Yoko Takahashi.
Look for this fight to be a great test for Cristiane Santos and an even bigger test for Marloes Coenen. It is a classic example of “striker” versus “grappler.” Don’t blink or miss a moment of the action as these two set out to prove who is the best 145lb female fighter on the planet!
THE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING! This is a going to be a war between two of the flashiest fighters in MMA. The Strikeforce welterweight title is on line as Nick Diaz squares off against “The Whitemare” Marius Zaromskis. Just like the Santos and Coenen fight this set to be a battle of contrasting styles as it again pits “striker” versus “grappler” for the 170 lb strap. Both of these fighters have extremely flashy and crowd pleasing styles. On paper this should be a barn burner full of furious action.
Marius Zaromskis is the current Dream welterweight champion but is hardly a household name here in the states. His name and reputation is reserved for the hardcore MMA fans. He is hoping to change that on January 30th by knocking off the martial arts anti-hero Nick Diaz. Zaromskis is a hard hitting power puncher with a taste for the extravagant KO. He is known for his thunderous decapitating head kicks. In fact, his last three victories have all come by way of head kick. The Lithuanian Zaromskis is reminiscent of fellow European fighter Mirko Cro-Cop. Marius is yet to show off any kind of compelling ground game which could pose a problem against the always slick Diaz. Marius is known as a knockout artist and his record most certainly defends this reputation. He has a record of 13-3 with 10 of those wins coming by (T)KO. He has only 1 submission victory under his belt in his 16 fights. He has been knocked out himself twice which is primarily due to his take no prisoners stand-up style. He has a tendency to let it all hang out and swing for the fences which makes him a fan favorite wherever he fights but it also exposes holes for counterpunchers. For the most part Marius is untested by top-tier competition. His only notable win came against Ross Pointon, of “The Ultimate Fighter” fame, in 2007. He has twice lost to tough competitor Che Mills. No doubt Marius’ game plan is going to be to use his devastating kicks and knees to try to break down the taller and more experienced Diaz. It is safe to assume he hopes to end the fight with a big head kick perfectly placed over the patented outstretched lead hand of the younger Diaz brother. I am sure Nick would like to use his slick submission prowess to keep that from happening. They say that everyone has a puncher’s chance in any fight but Marius seemingly has a high-kicker’s chance in this one.
209!! 209!! 209!! This has become the war cry for the always confident and always brash Nick Diaz. There has never been a fighter more proud of his area code than the polarizing Nick Diaz. You either love him or hate him, there is no grey area. Nick is a slick fighter with an impressive ground game, constantly improving stand-up and a will to back up his trash talk. Nick is a legitimate Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt. He has used his long arms and legs along with his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu skills to beat some of the most elite fighters in the game. His most recent victory came against the very powerful and heavy handed Scott Smith. His fight against Smith could very possibly have been a perfect warm up for Zaromskis as their styles are very similar. Diaz was able to dispatch Smith with a smooth transition that was finished with a rear naked choke. Although the submission of Smith was one of his most impressive victories to date he has very good striking as well. He has a record of 20-7 with 11 of those wins via (T)KO. What could prove to be his biggest asset in this fight with Marius is his chin. Of Nick’s 7 losses, 5 of those have come in the form of decisions. He is a difficult fighter to finish thanks to his slick ground game, much improved boxing skills, and his tremendous reach and length. Nick’s resume of fighters he has faced reads as a who’s who in the constantly evolving world of MMA but Marius could prove to be his most dangerous task to this point. Nick is actually half as good as he thinks he is so that makes him a very dangerous opponent as well. This is going to be an absolute war for the ages. I would dare to guess that this will be fight of the night and a candidate for fight of the year if everything plays out the way it should.
January 30th, 2010 at 7:30pm EST., mark that date on your calendars. This is going to be an evening full of big time debuts, style match-ups and title fights. This is without a doubt the most anticipated card of the year. No matter who wins, these fights are sure to be exciting, well matched and end explosively! The only question for you is, who will win? Leave a comment and let us know what you think. Click here for the complete Strikeforce ‘Miami’ fight card
About the author: Chris “The Buzz-Saw”Bowman is a mixed martial arts competitor, school owner, and judge with over 15 years of combative experience.
He owns and operates Louisville Elite Combat in Louisville, KY. He is a black belt in the Japanese art of Bushi Jutsu Ryu and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org