“Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” staff picks

Dan Henderson (left) faces off with champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante. Photo credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce

Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” is scheduled to take place Saturday, March 5, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The event features two title fights with Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante defending his Strikeforce light heavyweight title against Dan Henderson in the main event, and Marloes Coenen defending her women’s welterweight title against undefeated Liz Carmouche in the co-main event.

“Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” will air live on Showtime Saturday evening starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Join us here at ( for live results and play-by-play commentary of the entire event. Here are our predictions on the main card fights.

Dan Henderson (26-8) vs. Rafael Cavalcante (10-2)

ODDS: Dan Henderson -200 vs. Rafael Cavalcante +160

BRIAN FURBY: Dan Henderson.

DENNY HODGE: Dan Henderson.

JACK BRATCHER: Hendo is coming off the big first round knockout of Babalu, and “Feijao” is coming of his title fight win over “King Mo”. Jake Shields was able to control Hendo with his wrestling but Cavalcante doesn’t have that same type of game. No one has ever finished Hendo with strikes and Cavalcante won’t be the first. I see him trying to trade shots with Dan and eating one of his big rights. Hendo by Knockout.

JOHN BUHL: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.

KELVIN HUNT: Dan Henderson via TKO.

RICHARD MANN:At this point in his career, Henderson is only really looking for his big right hand. Cavalcante showed he could deal with a dangerous free-swinging slugger when he defeated Antwain Britt. “Feijao” is the more diverse striker on the feet, so I favor him. Plus, this fight is scheduled for five rounds, and Henderson does not have that kind of gas tank. Pick – Rafael Cavalcante.

Marloes Coenen (18-4) vs. Liz Carmouche (5-0)

ODDS: Marlos Coenen -500 vs. Liz Carmouche +300

BRIAN FURBY: Marloes Coenen.

DENNY HODGE: Marloes Coenen.

JACK BRATCHER: Marloes Coenen is just much too experienced for Liz Carmouche. Carmouche has power in her hands but Coenen is good enough on the feet to not take too much damage and Carmouche won’t have anything she hasn’t seen before. Coenen will get this to the ground one way or the other and do what she does best, submit her opponent.

JOHN BUHL: Marloes Coenen.

KELVIN HUNT: Marloes Coenen via submission.

RICHARD MANN: So far in her MMA career, Carmouche has shown natural athleticism. Picking up a win over Jan Finney in only her fourth professional fight is a big deal. However, the fight also showed that her overall game needs polish. In the fight, Carmouche was to score takedowns, but a more savvy grappler would have been able to defend or reverse the positions. On the feet, Carmouche is game, but not very technical. Coenen should be able to land strikes on the feet with ease. If it goes to the ground, Coenen’s slick grappling game will carry her to victory. Pick = Marloes Coenen.

Melvin Manhoef (24-8-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (12-3)

ODDS: Melvin Manhoef +240 vs. Tim Kennedy -300

BRIAN FURBY: Tim Kennedy.

DENNY HODGE: Tim Kennedy.

JACK BRATCHER: The fact that Kennedy was able to go the distance with Jacare is pretty darn impressive, he escaped some dangerous positions. He’s going to have a significant advantage on the ground with Manhoef. Look for Kennedy to put him on his back early and end it via submission.

JOHN BUHL: Tim Kennedy.

KELVIN HUNT: Tim Kennedy via submission.

RICHARD MANN: Some people just struggle to pick up the ground game. There is this idea among MMA fans that if a guy spends time working on his grappling, he will improve. This isn’t necessarily true. Kennedy should be able to get a takedown and a quick submission. He has worked hard to improve his wrestling, and he probably would not have had trouble getting Manhoef down before. Pick = Tim Kennedy.

Billy Evangelista (11-0, 1 NC) vs. Jorge Masvidal (20-6)

ODDS: Billy Evangelista EVEN vs. Jorge Masvidal -130

BRIAN FURBY: Jorge Masvidal.

DENNY HODGE: Jorge Masvidal.

JACK BRATCHER: This is a fairly close fight and Evangelista has his undefeated record to protect. This one will likely take place mostly on the feet and the better striker should get the win. It’s interesting to note Evangelista’s last six fights have ended via decision and some of them have been questionable. I’m going with Masvidal via TKO.

JOHN BUHL: Jorge Masvidal.

KELVIN HUNT: Jorge Masvidal via submission.

RICHARD MANN: On paper, Masvidal is on a higher level than Evangelista, and he should win. In a lot of ways, Masvidal is a better version of his opponent. If they end up brawling, Masvidal is more technical and hits with more power. However, Masvidal supports should be concerned. He has a tendency to sit back and let the fight come to him. Combine that with Evangelista’s uncanny ability to get judges to give him rounds that he didn’t win. This could easily turn into a replay of Masvidal’s fight with Luis Palomino. Pick = Jorge Masvidal.

NOTE: All fight odds provided by sponsor LinesMaker (

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