170 lbs: Jay Hieron vs. Joe Riggs
Odds: (-325 Hieron /+250 Riggs)
In a competitive Welterweight matchup, IFL veteran Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron will look to pick up his second straight Strikeforce win against UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs. Both men are experienced, well-rounded, and on sizable win streaks, so this fight should not only be competitive, but have implications on the top of Strikeforce’s welterweight division.
Jay Hieron, who trains in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture, made a name for himself in the now-defunct IFL after two unsuccessful UFC appearances. A well-rounded fighter with good, solid striking, effective submissions, and ever-improving wrestling, Hieron is a talented and experienced veteran who will give anyone in the world a fight.
Joe “Diesel” Riggs, a long-time UFC veteran who has had some ups and downs in his career, is nevertheless extremely well-rounded and dangerous. Like Hieron, he is fairly accomplished in every aspect of the fight game, and doesn’t have any real gaping holes.
Both of these guys have solid records, similar styles, and lots of experience, so this is a tough fight to call. Hieron has undeniably been more effective recently, but in my mind Riggs is a much bigger threat to finish the fight, both standing and on the ground. I expect their experience levels and well-rounded skillsets to cancel each other out for a lot of this fight, but Riggs’ strength advantage and more dangerous offense will earn him the slight edge.
Fight Prediction: Joe Riggs via unanimous decision.
(I like Riggs here for the underdog winner @ +250)
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