Is Zaromskis ready?
Sixteen fights and five years into a steady career, Marius Zaromskis has made it very easy for amateur filmmakers to create a highlight reel. But of all that ridiculous footage, only Hayato Sakurai presented as a serious and accomplished problem. Against Nick Diaz, Zaromskis will be dealing with a new level of ability and someone far less likely to succumb to a reverse-somersault guard pass. This fight decides whether the stunt man is a novelty or something better.
Is the women’s division a two-trick premise?
Quickly: name the rightful number-one contender to the Strikeforce 145-pound female title following Saturday’s Santos/Marloes Coenen bout. Give up? It’s a silhouette with a question mark. Despite adding to the women’s industry with a pending 135-pound weight class, there’s a serious deficit of talent at the upper levels to keep Santos -- or anyone -- busy at the top.
The UFC once dismissed any thoughts of a female influx for that exact reason. No one is doing anything to prove them wrong.
Is Lawler a mixed martial artist or a 4-ounce boxer?
It could be misdirection, but Robbie Lawler is adamant that he plans to stand and trade with K-1 star Melvin Manhoef for Manhoef’s US debut Saturday. On the scale of bad ideas, this one might edge out licking an outlet. Manhoef is essentially Lawler with a quicker trigger finger: when he initiates a brawl, most opponents do not like the exchange rate. Lawler’s best chance is on the ground. Whether he goes there while still conscious is up to him.
Was signing Walker a good idea after all?
For details that should be obvious, there are few good reasons to host a 47-year-old making his combat sports debut: Herschel Walker, despite his impressive athletic resume, is not a fighter, and MMA is not skydiving. But in the media tour leading up to his fight against a nice shade of green in Greg Nagy, Walker has been a genial, good-natured ambassador for the sport. His presence has gotten Strikeforce exposure it would not otherwise have received -- on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” on “The Howard Stern Show” -- and it’s been proven difficult to chastise Walker for tackling ambitions he approaches with such respect.
When will Lashley become relevant?
Being entertained by Wes Sims is not quite the same as believing him, and no one will gasp audibly if Bobby Lashley runs through him. If he does, it would be the latest in a series of so-what performances by Lashley, who created (potentially unrealistic) expectations in MMA with his collegiate wrestling background and high profile from professional wrestling.
Heavyweights are on a notoriously steep learning curve: Cain Velasquez drew Cheick Kongo in his sixth pro fight; Brock Lesnar won the world title in four. Sims will be Lashley’s fifth trip to the cage. Some acceleration is in order.