Profile: Also known as “Jacare” or “Alligator” in Portuguese, Ronaldo Souza (16-3-1) is a legend in the annals of BJJ history. After a quick start to his career in Brazil, where he went 7-1, Jacare made the transition to the international stage when Dream came calling. In the Japanese promotion, he went 3-1-1 and was an upkick from Gegard Mousasi away from winning the Dream Middleweight Grand Prix. Following Dream in 2009, the 32-year-old made Strikeforce his new home, and proceeded to capture the vacant middleweight title in a close battle with Tim Kennedy. Jacare would go on to defend his title against Robbie Lawler before eventually losing it current champion Luke Rockhold. He has rebounded from losing the title by winning two straight, including his first career knockout against Derek Brunson.
Strikeforce Middleweight Contender Ed Herman (+265)
Profile: Runner-up to Kendall Grove (20-8-1) in Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter, Ed Herman (20-8-1, 1 NC) has seen a decent run in the UFC, going 7-6-1 during his five-year stay in the Octagon. Most recently, the 32-year-old was on a three-fight winning streak that ended at UFC 150 with a unanimous decision thrashing to the hands of Jake Shields. Fortunately for Herman, Shields tested positive for banned substances and the fight was ruled a No-Contest. Herman is willing to fight anytime and anywhere, proven again by his eagerness to take a short notice fight with Souza. He isn’t worried about losing in the final Strikeforce show, as he believes a win over the former champ Souza can do big things for his career. And even he loses, Herman knows it was on short notice and out of a favor for the UFC.
Opening Strikeforce Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Souza a big -365 favorite (bet $365 to win $100) while Herman opened as a +265 underdog (bet $100 to win $265) according to the MMA odds. While it appears to be a mismatch on paper, this figures to be one of the more intriguing bouts on the main card because Souza will at least be taking on a former UFC fighter. Herman could also use a victory here to prove he still belongs in the organization, although taking this fight on short notice should not work against him. Souza could make some noise in the UFC as a middleweight title contender after Strikeforce folds, and he has an excellent opportunity to showcase his skills here and continue to make a name for himself. He will likely be one of the most marketable fighters that makes the transition into the UFC and would love nothing more than to go out with a bang in the promotion that helped make him into a star.