It may not be a card with any future champions, but Strikeforce did a great job of matchmaking for tomorrow night's slate at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Keep in mind, matchmaker Rich Chou also had the challenge of dealing with a depleted roster after the CBS brawl in Nashville and the injury to Bobby Lashley.
The television kicks off with a bang as Conor Huen bang heads with K.J. Noons. The jury is still out on Noons (7-1). He's got above average standup and an upset with over Nick Diaz in 2007 but has he really been focused on his MMA. He was less than stellar in a win back in March over Andre Amade in Japan. Heun (8-3) will bring out the best in Noons by standing right in front of him. Heun's fight against Jorge Gurgel was one of the top five fights I witnessed all of 2009.
Tim Kennedy, a legit prospect at middleweight, tries to make the next step against rough, tough veteran Trevor Prangley. Kennedy (11-2) has been able to overpower his opponents at 185. If he can outmuscle Prangley (22-5-1), a former JUCO champion wrestler, that'll say a lot.
There's nothing tricky about the fight between Marius Zaromskis and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Santos (17-13) is purely a stiker and so is Zaromskis (13-4). Both have defensive deficiencies and it'll be interesting to see how Santos deals with the cut from middleweight to welterweight.
The main event is a chance for Robbie Lawler (19-5) to repair his image. Although it's not at an ideal weight for him, Renato "Babalu" Sobral (35-8) agreed to 195 pounds but wouldn't go down to middleweight, where Lawler is most comfortable. Lawler had trouble in his last two fights. He needed a hail mary punch to save his legs from utter destruction against Melvin Manhoef and he was also submitted by true welterweight Jake Shields in just over two minutes.
Robbie Lawler (195) v. Renato Sobral (193.5)
Evangelista Santos (171) vs. Marius Zaramoskis (169.5)
Tim Kennedy (185.5) vs. Trevor Prangley (185.5)
Conor Heun (159.5) vs. K.J. Noons (159.5)