Caros Fodor (top) is at his best on the floor. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The Strikeforce Challengers series was designed as a vehicle for building hot prospects into stars. Strikeforce “Challengers 16” is lined up nicely to do just that on Saturday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., as the two feature bouts seem likely to produce winners that will make the jump to higher-profile events.
Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later. With competitive matches plentiful in the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions, Strikeforce can utilize new talent in both weight classes.
Here is a closer look at Strikeforce Challengers 16, with previews and picks.
James Terry (10-2, 5-1 SF) vs. Caros Fodor (8-2, 3-0 SF)
The Matchup: This is a good battle of talented 155-pounders, both of whom showed a nice dose of guts in winning at Strikeforce Challengers 15 in April. Fodor simply refused to lose a grueling, three-round battle against David Douglas, in a fight where both guys hit rough spots and essentially vied for the initiative the entire fight.
Fodor may have the technical advantage on the ground here, as he excels at incrementally pressuring opponents and making them work, even when no strikes are being exchanged. That’s the mark of a strong jiu-jitsu man. Terry, however, has a lot of similarities to his mentor, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, with quick feet, solid footwork and explosive strikes. He will really have to pick his spots and mix in high and low to keep Fodor guessing, as the Matt Hume protégé will be pressed to close the distance and get the clinch in order to stymie Terry’s potent attack at range.
What Fodor does with the takedowns he gets determines if he wins this one. He will have to be busy grinding to improve position, striking enough to delay a standup and making an impression on the judges.
The Pick: Restarts and rounds give Terry a fresh chance to land something big, and the striker’s advantage is just enough here; Terry by close decision in a hard-fought bout.
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