Photo courtesy of Esther Lin / Strikeforce

Strikeforce holds their first show of the year this Saturday night in Miami, Fla. at the BankAtlantic Center. The fights will air live on Showtime beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET. Pro MMA Now‘s ( own resident blogger, Tami Carswell is on the scene in Florida and will be reporting live with various coverage the rest of the week. seems to have the most comprehensive betting odds on the fights so here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Marius Zaromskis +200 vs. Nick Diaz -260
  • Marloes Coenen +325 vs. Cristiane Santos -525
  • Robbie Lawler +160 vs. Melvin Manhoef -200
  • Joe Riggs +250 vs. Jay Hieron -325
  • Herschel Walker -500 vs. Greg Nagy +300
  • Bobby Lashley -1500 vs. Wes Sims +700

As you can see, the biggest mismatch on paper is the Lashley vs. Sims fight. With those kind of odds, it would be fun to lay a bill on Sims just in case something miraculous happened. We all saw on TUF 10 how weak Sims’ takedown defense is, and chances are (cue Johnny Mathis’ 1957 #1 hit song) Lashley will put Sims right on his back and pound out a first round TKO. Having said that, Lashley could slip on a blood puddle that’s sitting on top of one of the shiny sponsor logos on the canvas, while at the same time catching a lucky punch from Sims, and get KO’d – but, chances are (cue Mathis) that’s not going to happen. Is the slight chance worth your money? You decide.

Much of the sports world will have their eyes on 47-year-old Herschel Walker Saturday night. Many will wonder just what in the hell the ex-football star thinks he is doing getting in the cage with these young studs – but, is Greg Nagy a young stud? Who knows? I sure don’t. Most of the MMA world has never heard of the guy. I thought Nagy was some pot-smoker who ran on the Independent ticket for U.S. President a few years ago – but no. Apparently, Nagy holds a 1-1 pro MMA record and is 1-0 in Muay Thai. Walker has a Tae Kwon Do background, so we will likely see a stand up battle. I would throw some money on Nagy for poops and chuckles – if it was monopoly money. Strikeforce likely picked Nagy for a reason, and you know what that reason is.

I’m really looking forward to Lawler vs. Manhoef. Odds-makers are giving the nod to Manhoef, and when the lines are this close, the dog can be appealing. Lawler won’t have to worry about a takedown coming, or getting into a wrestling match like he did in his last fight, against Jake Shields. Instead, he will be going toe-to-toe with  a knockout artist similar to himself in many respects. While true, the edge should go to Manhoef because he is the more technical striker, it is also true most of Manhoef’s career has been in a ring, not a cage, and if Lawler hits anyone, they can go to sleep. I’m very excited for this one. MMA fans could find worse ways to risk their money than by dropping a few bucks on Lawler.

Here are a few photos from Wednesday’s open workout for the media in Miami:

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