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Frank Shamrock breaks down Saturday’s Strikeforce main card

Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock

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For a battle between two mixed-martial-arts legends, the Sun-Times turned to another legend, Frank Shamrock, to break down Saturday’s Strikeforce main card.

Shamrock, who headlined Strikeforce’s first ever MMA card in California in 2006, will be behind the microphone tonight analyzing the action on Showtime. The broadcast begins at 9 p.m.

Shamrock is excited about the quality of the card: “It’s one of the best cards we’ve ever had,” he said. Here are his thoughts on the main-card fights:

Catchweight (225 pounds): Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson

I think this one is about who can control the clinch position. I would give the advantage to Dan Henderson and his Olympic wrestling career. Whoever controls the clinch will be able to control the striking game. I think the striking and submission advantage goes to Fedor. But the ground-and-pound and wrestling [aspects] certainly goes to Dan Henderson. Prediction: Henderson by decision.

Strikeforce women’s welterweight title: Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate

The wrestling advantage goes to Miesha Tate, but the striking and submission goes to Marloes Coenen. I think this fight will be a classic ‘who can keep it up or who can get it down.’ Prediction: Coenen by TKO, late in the fight

Middleweights: Robbie Lawler vs. Tim Kennedy

On this one it really comes down to Lawler’s standup and his ability to keep it standing and looking for a knockout. And Tim Kennedy’s striking through takedown ability and dominant positioning. Prediction: Kennedy by submission, late in fight. Bu I think this is one of those ‘flip a coin’ fights.

Welterweights: Paul Daley vs. Tyron Woodley

This is the same with Daley having the advantage in striking – especially standup striking — and Tyron having much more wrestling experience, will depend on getting it to the ground. I would give the edge in this one to Woodley. Daley’s ground game is sort of suspect and his takedown ability is OK, when no one’s clutching at him. I think Tyron’s going to punch at him and go right for the takedown. Prediction: pick ’em

Scott Smith vs. Tarec Saffiedine

I don’t really have a winner picked on this one. Scott Smith has the obvious ability to to stand up and bang and take shots. He has quite a bit more experience. But Saffiedine has proved good with the angles and good with the all-around striking, same with Scott Smith. But I think this is a “flip a coin,” too. I think Saffiedine is supposed to win. But you can never count Smith out —when he’s falling down he can knock you out. His abilities are uncanny and his desire to win is always there. Saffiedine has worked his way up from the Challengers Series to earn his way to the big show and Scott’s always been in the mix. So I don’t know about this one. Prediction: pick ’em

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