We’re now only a day away from Strikeforce’s “Challengers 17” event. In the main event, Roger Bowling faces Bobby Voelker for the third and final time in what has been a very under-rated series of fights. The co-main event will also be an interesting match-up, as top female fighters Liz Carmouche and Sarah Kaufman battle it out to see who stays near the top of the heap in Strikeforce’s Women’s Welterweight division. As is customary, here is my official “picks and predictions” post (covering who I think will win and why), now featuring Strikeforce “Challengers 17”.

Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker: As much as I’ve enjoyed seeing Roger Bowling fight, I just think that Voelker has his number. The first fight ended in a “technical decision”, so it wasn’t without some controversy. However, the rematch ended with Voelker emphatically beating Bowling by TKO. Bowling has fought since then, though, while Voelker has sat on the sidelines. This is going to be a very tough fight for both men, but I have a gut feeling that Bobby Voelker will win by Unanimous Decision.

Devin Cole vs. Shawn Jordan: I have no idea who Shawn Jordan is, so I can only base this prediction on his record and what I know of Devin Cole. Shawn Jordan is 10-2, but both losses have been by KO. That’s a pretty big bullseye for someone like Devin Cole, who has a majority (ten of eighteen) of his wins by KO. I think Cole’s recent losing streak and the fact that Cole has had no time whatsoever to train for Jordan specifically will allow Jordan to keep it competitive for a round or so. But eventually, I think Cole will land a solid punch and win by KO in either Round 2 or 3.

Joe Cason vs. Ovince St. Preux: This is also a fight that I can only judge based on internet research and my first-hand experience of the fighter I’m more familiar with. Towards the end of his “three fights in three months” stint, I could tell that all those fights were wearing OSP down. His cardio wasn’t as good, and he wasn’t able to finish. Still, the man fought three times in three months. I’ve got nothing negative to say about Ovince St. Preux, and I think this he’s definitely going to win this one in dramatic fashion. Ovince St. Preux wins by TKO in Round 1.

Liz Carmouche vs. Sarah Kaufman: I just can’t shake the feeling that Sarah Kaufman had one good win as a champion but ultimately fizzled as a top-division Strikeforce fighter. Kaufman is a good fighter, but she’s just not that entertaining. She’s finished a lot of people outside the Strikeforce cage but only one person in it, which leads me to believe that she can look amazing against relatively weak competition while faltering against Strikeforce-caliber females. Meanwhile, Liz Carmouche has looked amazing, period, and likely would have gold around her waist right now if not for getting caught in a desperation submission. I’m pretty confident that Liz Carmouche will win by Unanimous Decision, or possibly a TKO in Round 2.

Ronald Stallings vs. Adlan Amagov: Both men will be making their Strikeforce debuts against each other, and they’re both within shouting distance of each other’s records. I’ve never seen either of these two fight, so the best I can do is an educated guess. Amagov has only ever lost in his professional debut and has TKO’d his last two opponents, but Stallings seems to be a pretty tough guy, so I think Amagov will win by Unanimous Decision.

And that’s what I think, fans and friends.

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