SUNRISE, Fla. --
Sixteen months ago, Chou was a cog in a sputtering EliteXC machine that, for one reason or many, was on the verge of collapse. When he was last here in October 2008, CBS was set to air a card headlined by a joke of a fight -- but a ratings-grabber -- between
Saturday, inside the same arena where
Yet the lessons of EliteXC's failure, said Chou, who was hired by Strikeforce to help with matchmaking duties in the latter part of 2009, were not forgotten.
While there are obvious similarities between EliteXC and Strikeforce, particularly when it comes to television relationships with Showtime and CBS, the companies' philosophies and power structures are vastly different, he said. So too, the focus in the cage.
Yes, the professional fighting debut of 47-year-old Heisman Trophy winner
That distinction thankfully belongs to
When the two square off Saturday, Diaz would seem to benefit from height and reach advantages, though Zaromskis, a 29-year-old Lithuanian living and training out of London, has said he doesn't believe either will play a factor when it comes to determining the winner.
Ranked No. 8 by SI.com after a tremendous 2009 in which he captured Dream's welterweight grand prix, Zaromskis actually walks into the title fight an underdog -- and the lack of confidence by oddsmakers has some merit. While Zaromskis is an accurate, powerful striker, holes remain in his game that Diaz is ripe to exploit, particularly on the floor where the 26-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Stockton, Calif., excels.
Returning to welterweight after a mishmash of bouts between 160 and 180 pounds, Diaz should be at his physical best in a division that saw him do much of his best work after turning pro in 2001.
Attempting the first defense of her 145-pound Strikeforce women's title since stomping
Things get pretty basic when "Cyborg" steps in a cage: The 24-year-old Brazilian is hyper-aggressive, something most women simply can't handle. Over a five-round title fight the expectation is at some point she'll land a blow that severely cripples the opposition.
Coenen, however, is no pushover. While she doesn't possess the champion's muscular build or power, the 28-year-old grappling-savvy veteran has the right kind of attitude to hang in long enough to catch Santos in a mistake.
According to Coenen's trainer
There's not much mystery in a middleweight clash featuring guys nicknamed "Ruthless" and "No Mercy."
While Lawler, 27, certainly has the power and will to stop just about anyone in the world, the American's best bet is to find a takedown and work from the top. With only one submission win on his ledger, Lawler doesn't represent the kind of threat Manhoef (24-6-1) has faltered against in previous MMA bouts.
Not scheduled to air on the Showtime portion of the card, this welterweight bout with possible No. 1 contender implications is certainly worthy of a mention. Fans can watch it live at 9:05 p.m. ET on a live stream at EASportsMMA.com.