Strikeforce Betting Odds Demonstrate Final Card Full of Mismatches

By Adam Martin

Strikeforce holds its final event this weekend, and although the card is going to be action-packed, it’s blatantly full of mismatches, and the betting odds show it.

Take the co-main event, for example. Strikeforce Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier is a -1700 favourite over journeyman Dion Staring, who is a +1000 underdog. That’s right, Cormier is favoured by the oddsmakers by 17-1 to win this fight. And you know what? It’s not that crazy, and, if anything, the line should be even higher, because this fight pits one of the top heavyweight mixed martial artists on the planet against somebody that most fans have never even heard of.

Then look at Josh Barnett, who takes on Nandor Guelmino in a featured attraction. Barnett, the former UFC heavyweight champion, lost to Cormier in the finals of the Grand Prix, but don’t let that loss fool you – he’s still one of the very best 265-pound fighters in the world, and he’s a -1500 favourite in this fight for a reason. Guelmino? No one’s ever heard of this cat, either. Yeah, he is huge and has muscles and a scary tattoo, but really? Really Strikeforce? You’re telling me that one of the top five heavyweights in the world is going to fight the same guy who once lost to the last guy Tim Sylvia beat?

These two mismatches are by far the worst offenders of the bunch, but the rest of the card is littered with them. Really, the question needs to be asked: why is the Oklahoma Athletic Commission even allowing these fights to take place?

Other mismatches – at least according to the betting odds – include Gegard Mousasi (-500) against Mike Kyle (+350), Tim Kennedy (-450) vs. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith (+300, and yes, that is his nickname), Pat Healy (-450) taking on Kurt Holobaugh (+300), and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-375) vs. Ed Herman (+275).

When it comes to sharp-minded individuals who know the sport, absolutely no one is picking any of these underdogs to come through, and that’s very telling.

I’m not sure what a win would do for any of the favourites involved, other than get them wins for their respective resumes before they cross over to the UFC. But what does that win do? It probably won’t affect their standing within the UFC ranks, because most of the underdogs on this card are unranked guys, so really, most of these fights are just pointless mismatches that will be fun, but not competitive.

The reason this card exists is to give the fans a night of violence by throwing a bunch of lambs to the slaughter, which is a fitting metaphor to coincide with Strikeforce’s death. Yes, this is MMA and there’s always the possibility of the upset, but don’t expect many this weekend, and instead expect to see a bunch of heavy favourites steamroll a bunch of big dogs.

Enjoy Strikeforce’s quirky matchmaking while you can, because this is the last time you’ll ever see it.

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