In a move that may conquer the entire 18-34 male demographic in
America, Strikeforce will promote its latest event from the Playboy
Mansion this Saturday. Even better, they'll be streaming on Yahoo!
starting at 9 p.m. PST/12 a.m. EST.
Personally, I'm just glad someone has decided to combine my love of
Playboy's witty articles and MMA's sporting atmosphere. OK fine, I
just wanna watch some modern day bionic women cheer on a bunch of
dudes trying to beat up the first thing that moves. Is that so
For all of you who believe the Beastie Boys and are willing to
fight for your right to party, read on and get ready to discover
who is a contender for best afro in MMA and learn the secret
unbreakable hold that will surely destroy the world. MMAnalysis,
the impending apocalypse and Hugh Hefner envy … it's all here
Best known for his time in the Shooto middleweight division,
Tetsuji Kato(Pictures) (18-7) was the Japanese
equivalent of the Cleveland Browns as he failed to capture the
middleweight (167-lb.) title despite being a perennial contender. A
departure from Shooto saw diminishing returns for Kato who soon
moved down to the lightweight division.
Contrary to what Joe Rogan will tell you, shedding weight is not
like a trip to Odinsaker. For Kato, his journey through the
lightweight division has been more like Chad Johnson's recent visit
to the Dawg pound. Hopefully, the prospect of fighting in front of
Hugh Hefner's genetically engineered Barbie doll army will right
Knocking careers off course has been a specialty for Melendez,
12-0, since his days in the Shooto lightweight (143-lb.) division.
A quick rise to the top of the division was stalled by then
Franca Nogueira(Pictures), who avoided top contenders like
Ernest Hemingway avoided AA meetings.
The opportunity to compete in his native California was all
Melendez needed to leave Shooto and sign up as the face of
Strikeforce's lightweight division. In his most notable stateside
bout, Melendez managed to outlast the perpetual motion machine
known as Clayton Guida in a classic five round scrap to win the
Strikeforce 155-pound title.
A return to Japan under the PRIDE Bushido banner saw Melendez
cement his status as one of the sport's best pound-for-pound
fighters with a come from behind decision win over former Shooto
welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri(Pictures). A different challenge awaits
Melendez against the always-savvy Kato.
More of a straightforward top control grappler, Kato's best hope
for success lies in avoiding Melendez's constantly improving
striking and forcing him to work off his back. Corralling Melendez
isn't likely given his superior wrestling and knack for forcing a
frenetic pace that would make John Woo proud.
Even if Kato can manage a takedown against "El Niño," he has never
been a great finisher and it would be difficult to imagine Kato
smothering Melendez's offense long enough to steal a decision.
Instead, look for Melendez to bully Kato in the clinch and
overwhelm his Japanese counterpart on the ground with a steady
stream of elbows and punches from the guard.
The punishment will take its toll on both Kato's face and his
ability to defend himself prompting a stoppage late in the second
round. Having established himself as a force in MMA, the only thing
left for Melendez to do is avoid the barber and challenge Shooto
star Mamoru Yamaguchi(Pictures) for title of best afro in