Strikeforce goes head-to-head with MFC
A good example why the world needs TiVos, or at least cable company-supplied FauxVos: Two MMA events go head-to-head on television tonight, with Maximum Fighting Championships airing at 10 p.m. ET on HDNet and Strikeforce's inaugural "Challengers" event beginning at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime.
Hard to believe, but neither card approaches Yamma levels of mediocrity. The bigger stories from each:
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MFC: Bobby Lashley's career ascent, Lofton-Eastman
The next Lesnar, or the next Sean O'Haire? Lashley, 2-0 in his MMA career after leaving the WWE, is a proficient wrestler with a great camp (American Top Team) behind him, but a decision victory over Jason Guida in March left fans a little deflated. He'll need a more violent victory against journeyman Mike Cook to get back on the radar.
On the undercard, MFC regular Aron Lofton will take on UFC alum Marvin "Beastman" Eastman. Both are known for quick business: Five of Lofton's six wins have come in under a minute, and Eastman commits to strikes the way MLBers swing for the fences in batting practice. Expect the bell, a flurry and an immediate swarm of physicians.
Strikeforce: Lightweights don't make weight, Tate-Kaufman
Billy Evangelista and Mike Aina, the headliners at 155 pounds, both missed weight Thursday by two-plus pounds each. At least they'll have plenty of energy for a scrap. Evangelista, 9-0, enters as the favorite, but Aina garnered attention with a competitive fight against Nick Diaz in 2007.
A hard hitter (Evangelista) versus a guy (Aina) who has never been finished: a good, combustible mix.
On the undercard, Strikeforce will help prepare for life after the Gina Carano-Cristiane Santos superfight -- which should happen someday -- by highlighting a bout between 135-pound prospects Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate.
Tate, who wrestled on an all-boys' team in high school, trains under submission artist Dennis Hallman. Kaufman prefers a stand-up fight, and she usually gets her way: The Canadian is 8-0 to date.