Justin Wilcox is heavily favored by Sherdog MMA Pick ’Em Players. | Photo: Dave Mandel
A whopping 89 percent of users in the Sherdog MMA Pick ’Em game have picked Justin Wilcox to defeat Caros Fodor in their preliminary lightweight showcase at Strikeforce “Melendez vs. Masvidal” on Saturday at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.
Wilcox (11-3, 1 NC, 5-1, 1 NC SF) has not fought since his career-best six-fight winning streak was snapped in his anticlimactic encounter with Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante in June. It ended in a no contest 31 seconds into the second round after in inadvertent eye poke from Cavalcante. Still, Wilcox has some momentum in his corner. The American Kickboxing Academy representative holds wins over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 quarterfinalist Shamar Bailey, former WEC lightweight champion Gabe Ruediger, Pride Fighting Championships veteran Daisuke Nakamura and four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Wilcox reminds many of former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, only with more zip on his punches and kicks.
A Matt Hume protégé, Fodor (6-1, 4-0 SF) will carry a four-fight winning streak into the bout. The 27-year-old last appeared at Strikeforce Challengers 16 in June, when he posted a unanimous decision over James Terry at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. Fodor has secured four of his six professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, three of them inside one round.
Other Sherdog MMA Pick ’Em trends for the Strikeforce prelims:
• A staggering 91 percent of players have picked Roger Bowling to defeat Jerron Peoples. Once a top welterweight prospect, Bowling has lost two of his last three fights. Both defeats came to Bobby Voelker;
• A majority of users (67 percent) favor the unbeaten Gabriel Salinas-Jones in his heavyweight matchup with International Fight League veteran Devin Cole. A durable big man with 29 professional bouts under his belt, Cole holds notable victories over Travis Wiuff, Mike Kyle and Shawn Jordan;
• By a wide 91 percent majority, users see Eddie Mendez as a clear favorite in his bout with fellow Strikeforce newcomer Fernando Gonzalez. Mendez cut his teeth inside the Respect in the Cage and Total Fighting Alliance promotions;
• On a streak of five consecutive wins, Chris Brown will enter his promotional debut against Herman Terrado as the man to beat, according to 77 percent of players. Brown has finished four of his six wins inside the first round.