Strikeforce Fight Card: Jorge Masvidal Vs. K.J. Noons

The first fight on the main card of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum is Jorge Masvidal vs. K.J. Noons. This is a lightweight fight, meaning 155lbs, and is believed to be an eliminator fight to see who faces Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez next. What's notable about both fighters is their ability or willingness to compete both at lightweight and welterweight, although a strong case can be made that neither's interests are best served at 170lbs.

What are their physical stats?

K.J. Noons: 5'11", 155lbs, most wins by TKO/KO.
Jorge Masvidal: 5'11", 155lbs, Most wins by TKO or decision.

How did they get here?

Noons isn't affiliated with an elite camp, but trains with a variety of teams and has a team of help dedicated to his performance. He is a very strong MMA boxer with an uncanny ability to quickly measure range, has a durable chin, competed in multiple weight classes and stands tall in the pocket. He holds notable wins over Nick Diaz, Yves Edwards and Conor Heun. He holds notable losses to Nick Diaz and Charles Bennett.

Masvidal trains with the elite American Top Team. As aforementioned, he's bounced around from weightclasses probably more than he needed to for career advancement, but posses strong striking skills, underrated offensive wrestling, durability and is an experienced veteran. He holds notable wins over Satoru Kitaoka, Ryan Schultz, and Yves Edwards. He has notable losses to Paul Daley, Toby Imada and Rodrigo Damm.

What are their ways to win?

Masvidal might even be the more complete kickboxer of the two, but a) Noons' easiest path to victory is standing, b) Noons is a far better MMA boxer and c) Noons is also a little more bloodthirsty. Whereas Masvidal has sometimes allowed outmatched opposition to linger. For Masvidal, this is about mixing up his offensive strategy, keeping Noons off balance and demonstrating the comprehensive breadth of his game.

For Noons, this is ability not only stuffing takedowns and using appropriate distancing, it's also about keeping his back off of the fence. Even if he can shake the takedown attempts from Masvidal over the course of a round, he must also keep his back off the fence and circle out as quickly as possible.

What's at stake?

While nothing is official, it's believed the winner of this bout will receive a title shot against Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Strikeforce is also looking at the winner of Justin Wilcox vs. Gesias Cavalcante as a potential contender for Melendez.

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