Jordan Mein (above) has a style that matches up well with Evangelista ‘Cyborg” Santos. | Photo: Al Quintero
Evangelista Santos (18-14, 1-2 SF) vs. Jordan Mein (22-7, 0-0 SF)
The Matchup: Since falling short against Nick Diaz in his January title challenge, “Cyborg” hopes to make a meaningful statement in his Strikeforce return. Standing in his way is Mein, an experienced Canadian who has fought a string of Strikeforce and UFC veterans. Just 21, Mein possesses an impressive skill set, with thumping kicks, quick hands and the kind of upper-body strength needed to shuck off opponents trying to clinch. Given Santos’ aggressive style and considerable mileage against a veritable who’s who of the sport -- albeit usually on the losing end -- this figures to be an exciting fight while it lasts.
Santos is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but his style is essentially that of an aggressive berserker-type. His muay Thai is not always steeped in the classical verities of the art, as his charge-forward attacks often have him swinging wildly, though his leg kicks have proven powerful and effective.
The Pick: This is a nice piece of matchmaking to showcase a new face in Mein. He will pick apart Santos on the feet with strong counter hooks and body kicks, keep composed in the face of the Brazilian’s assaults and eventually wear him down, dropping the hammer to win by explosive knockout in the second round.
Jason Probst can be reached at [email protected] or twitter.com/jasonprobst.