Both are decided underdogs, but they do have quick strike ability on their side. Tatsuya Kawajiri, challenging for the Strikeforce lightweight belt, and Paul Daley, battling for the promotion’s welterweight crown, may have one path to pulling the upset and that’s heavy hands.
Kawajiri’s posted 11 knockouts during his career. A plus-200 underdog, he’ll need to do something special to derail Gilbert Melendez, a complete fighter who’s out-strategized everyone he’s faced recently in Strikeforce.
Frankly, the Japanese veteran probably has a better shot than Daley does against Nick Diaz. Yet because Daley is a more familiar face to many American fans, he’s actually fetching a slightly smaller underdog prize at plus-190.
Yahoo!’s lead MMA writer Kevin Iole makes his picks using the Las Vegas odds and surprised us by picking the longest dog on the board as a potential upset winner. Will any of the underdogs cash? If so, who’s your picks?
Strikeforce odds (Courtesy Lagasse’s Stadium Las Vegas):
Tatsuya Kawajiri (+200) vs. Gilbert Melendez (-250) – Lightweight
Lyle Beerbohm (+210) vs. Shinya Aoki (-270) – Lightweight
Keith Jardine (+325) vs. Gegard Mousasi (-450) -Light heavyweight