Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:49 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2010 11:53 pm
The third title bout of the night closes the show, as Dan Henderson (25-7-0) challenges Jake Shields (24-4-1) for the Strikeforce middleweight title.
Henderson is a former PRIDE double weight class champion and recent UFC star. This is his first fight for Strikeforce since he made the jump over. Shields is not only defending his belt, but his 13-fight win streak as well.
Round 1: Head kick by Shields is blocked. Henderson with a left hand that connects and a right that misses. Henderson throws another right hand that cracks Shields right on the temple, and Shields is down. Shields takes Henderson's leg before Henderson can follow up and Henderson is forced to defend a leglock rather than try to finish Shields on the ground. Henderson breaks free and they're standing again.
Leg kick by Shields. Henderson connects on another big right hand that makes Shields backpedal a few steps. Shields with some light boxing combos that aren't doing much. Shields fails to bait Henderson to the ground. Henderson hammers away with a series of big shots, and Shields is in big trouble. Shields tries for Henderson's leg and Henderson defends it, then lets Shields up.
Shields with a weak right jab. They tie up against the fence. Big John McCarthy breaks them up for inactivity. Shields with a leg kick and a jab. He's waking up a bit. Henderson misses a left hand and Shields shoots for a takedown. Henderson defends it well, reversing Shields' back to the fence and throwing knees to the body. They separate at the buzzer, exchanging fists. 10-9 Henderson.
Round 2: Shields with a jab. Shields shoots for a single leg and Henderson rolls through and tries for a crucifix. Henderson ends up taking Shields' back and nearly gets a rear naked choke before Shields scrambles free and ends up on top. Shields passes to side control and then full mount.
Shields throws a pair of fists into Henderson's face from the mount. Henderson tries to turn away without giving up his back. Shields hammers away at Henderson's face. Henderson's OK for the moment, but having trouble escaping. Henderson has never been knocked out in his long career. Henderson turns away and Shields keeps throwing punches. Henderson is wisely unwilling to give Shields his back, but without doing so, he's eating these punches. Hammer fists by Shields. End of the round, and that's an easy 10-9 for Shields.
Round 3: Shields with a series of jabs. Head kick by Shields is blocked. Shields with a takedown attempt. Henderson gutwreches him and rolls through it, so they're back on their feet. Outside leg kick by Shields. Henderson with a nice uppercut. Another takedown attempt by Shields. They scramble and Shields ends up in Henderson's guard. He passes to side control.
Shields trying for full mount again. Henderson defending the pass while Shields works short strikes to the body. Henderson takes half guard. Shields with a chin hook and tries for a guillotine choke, but Henderson slips out. Shields back to full mount. Henderson walks up the cage wall hoping to escape out the back door. Shields ends the round with a failed armbar attempt. 10-9 Shields.
Round 4: Henderson throws a kick. Shields with a takedown and Henderson scrambles out of it, landing a knee to the ribs on the break. Shields shoots again. They scramble on the mat. Henderson ends up on the bottom with Shields in a variation of a crucifix. Shields scrambles back to top position and side control.
Shields tries for full mount and Henderson avoids it, but Shields is working for an armbar from side control. Henderson gets half guard. Shields hammers at his face for a few seconds, then uses an armbar attempt to pass to full mount again. Shields with more ground and pound. Henderson turns and almost gives up his back, but Henderson goes to his back again. Shields smashes away with fists, but Henderson is just so hard to knock out. 10-9 Shields.
Round 5: Shields with some jabs, then another takedown attempt. He gets it, and works his way back into full mount. Shields throws some strikes then flirts with a side choke attempt before abandoning it for more ground and pound. Shields into side control, working for an armbar. He gives that up for full mount again. More fists from the top by Shields.
Henderson is stuck, because he knows giving up his back against a guy with Shields' jiu-jitsu is a recipe for being tapped out. Shields goes for a side choke, then tries to take Henderson's back. He doesn't get it, so he finishes the round with more strikes from full mount. 10-9 Shields, so I score the bout 49-46 for defending champion Shields. I'd be shocked if the judges have it otherwise.
Winner: Jake Shields defeats Dan Henderson via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 48-45) after five rounds to retain the Strikeforce middleweight title.
That was a dominant performance by Shields, who is now essentially a free agent despite holding a title in Strikeforce. This was the last fight of his contract,
And then things get really ugly. With Shields' entire posse surrounding him in the cage -- including Gilbert Melendez and the always-froggy Nick and Nate Diaz -- Jason "Mayhem" Miller gets into the cage, onto the microphone, and asks Shields for a rematch.
It's hard to tell who threw the first punch (people in the venue don't seem to know for sure, and on TV the first strikes were obscured first by a cut-away shot, and later by bodies in the line of sight). But Mayhem was shoved away by Melendez, then lunged forward. He (and seemingly dozens of others) ended up in a street fight, on national television, with the Diaz-Melendez-Shields crew.
UFC lightweight Nate Diaz could be seen on the replay soccer-kicking a downed man (presumably Mayhem, but it's hard to tell since he was already covered and being beaten by two or three other guys).
When people call MMA fighters a bunch of thugs, usually, they're wrong and misinformed. But as an MMA fan of about 15 years now, I have to say, what you saw in the cage at the end of this show was thuggery.
Mixed martial arts is supposed to be about respect and honor. I know a lot of the sport's critics have never bought that for a second, but it's true. When stuff like this happens, it becomes impossible to defend the sport.
And it's not the sport's fault, nor is that type of thing customary. This was a few idiots making an extremely poor judgment call, and rest assured they will be punished for it.
Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:01 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2010 10:41 pm
It's champion vs. champion as Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez (17-2-0) defends his title against visiting champion from Japan's DREAM organization, Shinya Aoki (23-4-0, 1 NC).
The key for Melendez here is to avoid submissions, which is easily the biggest weapon in Aoki's arsenal. That may affect Melendez's strategy in that he could avoid engaging in a wrestling match and try to keep it standing. Or if it does hit the mat, Melendez will have to be sure not to get too careless with ground and pound.
Round 1: Melendez with a punch to the gut as he tries to establish his range. Right hand by Melendez. Aoki throws a right kick and Melendez catches the leg to trip him down. Melendez lets him up, wisely. Aoki circles with his back to the cage as Melendez stalks him. Another punch to the guy by Melendez and Aoki accidentally jabs him in the eye for a brief stoppage.
Melendez throws a hard right and Aoki drops to his backside to dodge it, then grabs Melendez's arm and nearly gets an armbar out of it. Melendez slips out and they're back on their feet. Aoki is so dangerous with those submissions from out of nowhere. Aoki with a shot, Melendez sprawls and Aoki tries to pull him into guard. Melendez avoids it and kicks at Aoki's legs. Melendez cautiously goes to the mat and lands some ground and pound before they get back to standing.
Aoki with a left high kick, which gets blocked. Every time Melendez throws the left hand, Aoki throws a kick. The round ends, and I have it 10-9 Melendez. I might have it the other way around if Melendez hadn't escaped the armbar attempt so quickly.
Round 2: Melendez with a nice uppercut to the nose as Aoki ducks in to try a takedown. Aoki backs off. Aoki with a takedown shot, immediately sliding to his own back to try to bait Melendez into a submission. Melendez in Aoki's guard. He lands some fists from the top before Aoki ties up his wrists. Melendez shakes loose and lets Aoki up.
Melendez with a lunging straight right, which Aoki ducks. Body shot by Melendez. Melendez unloads with a flurry as Aoki puts his back to the cage. They separate, and Melendez moves in for another flurry. He's landing a few here and there, but Aoki is blocking plenty. He's also bleeing from the nose.
Aoki with another shot, then pulls guard again. Melendez throws a huge fist at his head and grazes him. Melendez backs off and then lets him up. Melendez avoids another takedown and then lands several nice fists from the top as the round ends. 10-9 Melendez.
Round 3: Aoki shoots in and Melendez sprawls, throwing an uppercut to the body for good measure. Aoki holds the leg and fights for the takedown. Melendez ends up on top of Aoki in his guard. Aoki is controlling Melendez's wrists. He lets go to land a right to the jaw and Melendez gives one back.
Melendez tries to let Aoki up but Aoki butt-scoots across the cage to try to force him to keep fighting. Melendez throws a lunging fist at Aoki on the ground, but in a weird moment, referee Mario Yamasaki breaks them up and resumes the fight standing. Looked like he was about to stand Aoki up right before the punch, so he just committed to it. Odd.
Aoki continues to fall on his back to lure Melendez into a ground fight. Melendez goes there and lands some punches. Melendez opens up and starts throwing major bombs at Aoki's face. Aoki weathers the storm and blocks some of them. There's a lull in the action so Yamasaki stands them up. Melendez with a jab and Aoki with a knee. End of the round, and I have Melendez winning 30-27 heading into the championship rounds.
Round 4: Melendez stalking Aoki. Nice uppercut by Melendez. Straight right to the body by Melendez. Aoki with a takedown shot. Melendez clinches him and lands a big knee to the ribs, then, backs up to force him to stand again. Very nice. Aoki's game plan is slipping away from him. Aoki does the butt-scoot across the cage again and Melendez nails him with a fist again, and Yamasaki -- again -- warns him and stands Aoki up. That's a totally legal strike right there, so I have no idea what the deal is.
Aoki shoots again and Melendez lands a big right to the jaw. Melendez on the ground looking to strike down at Aoki. The round ends. Clearly 10-9 Melendez.
Round 5: Melendez goes right back to the body shots. Aoki with a shot-into-backslide, and catches a finger in the eye. He's OK, so we're back in action. Aoki ducks a right hand from Melendez. Aoki manages to bait Melendez to the ground and begins pulling his leg up for a triangle choke attempt. Melendez puts Aoki's back to the cage wall to avoid it, and escapes.
Melendez back to his striking game. Aoki slips to the mat, but Melendez doesn't go with him this time, so he's back up. Aoki keeps trying to get things down, but Melendez is no longer accomodating him. Melendez unloads with a series of fists as the round comes to a finish, putting Aoki on his back involuntarily, for once. 10-9 Melendez, so I have it 50-45 for Melendez.
Winner: Gilbert Melendez defeats Shinya Aoki via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) after five rounds to retain the Strikeforce lightweight championship.
Posted on: April 17, 2010 9:09 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2010 9:50 pm
The Strikeforce light heavyweight title is up for grabs, as champion Gegard Mousasi (28-2-1) defends against Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (6-0-0).
Mousasi is on a 15-fight winning streak and is one of the most poised and impressive fighters in the sport right now.
King Mo is a former amateur wrestling standout that has had immediate success knocking guys out, so he's already a double threat. He figures to have a very bright future in MMA. It might be too early for a challenge like Mousasi, but a lot of people are picking King Mo for the upset tonight.
Round 1: Before the fight begins, the crowd is cheering for King Mo. Mousasi with a head kick, Mo checks it. Mo with an overhand right. Left hook by King Mo. Mo goes for a single leg and takes Mousasi down as Mousasi hammers away at his head. Mo working in Mousasi's guard. Mo looking for some ground and pound but Mousasi is defending well.
King Mo passes to side control. Mousasi is trying for an upkick to the jaw repeatedly as Mo stands to look for a big punch, but he's not connecting with it. King Mo throwing plenty of punches, some landing and some blocked. He mixes is some elbows and forearms. Mousasi is also puching upward, but King Mo is throwing the bigger shots.
Mousasi scrambles to his feet. King Mo shoots for a single leg and Mousasi hammers away with fists again. Mousasi with a head kick that gets mostly blocked. Mo looks exhausted already, but he goes back to a takedown and gets it. Mousasi escapes back to his feet. He misses a left, Mousasi connects with a weak counter. End of the round, and I have it 10-9 King Mo, but it's very close.
Round 2: Mo is definitely tired, but he's sticking with his wrestling gameplan anyway, despite that being one of the fastest ways to empty his gas tank. Mo with a takedown. Mousasi with plenty of hammer fists and other punches to the head from his back. Mo doesn't seem to know where to go once he gets Mousasi down. Mousasi throwing more upkicks as King Mo stands. Mo goes back to the mat with Mousasi, but Mousasi eventually scrambles to his feet.
Mo takes Mousasi to the mat one more time. From this point forward, if King Mo doesn't find success with something other than takedowns, it's just a matter of time before Mousasi puts him away. Mousasi escapes to his feet again. Mo with a weak-looking left uppercut. Mousasi with a countering uppercut.
Mo takes him down. Mousasi takes the arm but Mo slips away. Mousasi back to his feet, and he takes Mo's back from the standing position, but can't get the rear naked choke as time expires. 10-9 Mousasi. If this one lasts a full third round, I'll be shocked. Mo is totally gassed out.
Round 3: Kick to the ribs by Mousasi. Superman punch by King Mo grazes Mousasi, who connects with a counter. Mousasi misses with a left hook. They both connect with right hands and then tie up at the fence. Mo with a boxing combo that largely misses. Mo takes him down and lands in Mousasi's full guard.
Mo throws some weak strikes, but is basically trying to catch his breath right now. Mo briefly gets to side control and Mousasi turns to his side. King Mo finally starts connecting with a series of right uppercuts with Mousasi laying on his side. Mousasi gets back to butterfly guard. Mo starts landing a few more well-placed punches. He hammers away with uppercuts to the face.
Mousasi doesn't look terribly hurt, but regardless, Mo definitely connected a bunch of times there. End of the round, and i think King Mo stole that one late. 10-9 Mo, so I have it 29-28 Mousasi heading into the championship rounds.
Round 4: King Mo with a left hook, then a takedown. He still looks very tired, more so than Mousasi, but Mousasi isn't doing enough right now. If he's playing possum, he needs to be more active than this so he doesn't needlessly give away rounds.
Mousasi lands a big upkick. Mo with a series of strikes to the face, but he goes dormant long enough for referee "Big" John McCarthy to stand them up. King Mo goes back to the single leg takedown and puts Mousasi on his back. From this point forward, McCarthy is probably going to have less patience for inactivity on the ground. Mo lands a pair of fists from the top. Mousasi throws a few hammer fists from beneath. Right cross by King Mo. End of the round, and it's close, but 10-9 Mo.
Round 5: Mousasi whiffs on a right hook and gets taken down by King Mo. Mo stands up and eats two upkicks to the face for his trouble. Lesson learned, so he goes back into Mousasi's guard. Mo throwing short fists to the face.
Mousasi lands an upkick to the face while Mo's on his knees, which is illegal. McCarthy separates the fighters and warns Mousasi, then checks on Mo. He's OK, so McCarthy deducts one point from Mousasi for the upkick, and the fight resumes. That could be the nail in the coffin for Mousasi, if he doesn't finish Mo.
Mo picks up where he left off with a takedown. Mousasi with some nice punches from the bottom. Mo with a few shots of his own, but Mousasi is more active now. Mousasi is bleeding from the nose, and Mo's eye is almost swollen shut. Mousasi escapes to his feet and throws a few big shots that miss. Mo ties him up at the fence, Mousasi escapes. Mousasi moves in for the kill and gets taken down with a minute left.
Mo stands and looks for a downward strike, but he takes too long and McCarthy stands them up. Another Mo takedown with 10 seconds left brings the fight to a close. 10-9 Mo, so I score the fight 49-46 for King Mo. Let's see if the judges agree.
Make that 10-8 Mo for the final round... I forgot about the point deduction. So I score it 49-45 for King Mo.
Winner: Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal defeats Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45) after five rounds to win the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
Posted on: April 17, 2010 8:38 pm
Here are the results of the just-completed undercard bouts for CBS Strikeforce Saturday Night Fights, which goes live on the air at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
Spoiler alert: One of the fights below -- featuring Jason "Mayhem" Miller -- is scheduled to air tonight, possibly in highlight form. If you prefer not to have the finish of that fight spoiled, READ NO FURTHER and revisit this blog shortly after 9 p.m. ET for the live round-by-round analysis of the championship fights.
Undercard Results (will not air on TV with the expected exception of Miller vs. Stout):
Posted on: April 17, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2010 1:16 pm
Tonight, MMA returns to CBS with three big Strikeforce title bouts airing live from Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m. ET.
For those of you that can't be near a television -- or if you just want to add to your viewing experience -- I will be live-blogging the broadcast tonight starting shortly before 9 p.m. ET.
Here's an early look at the show's introduction to hold you over:
For a complete look at the full card, with quick stats on all of the fighters on the broadcast and expert picks, check out our CBSSports.com Head to Head preview .
See you tonight.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 10:51 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2009 11:39 pm
The feared and revered Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-1) fights undefeated KO artist Brett "The Grim" Rogers (10-0-0) in the main event.
Emelianenko is every bit the MMA master people say he is, but nobody is immune to a guy with Rogers' knockout power. One square shot to the jaw could topple the legend.
Round 1: "Big" John McCarthy is the referee. Rogers looks very anxious. They trade quick punches. Fedor is bleeding. Fedor tosses Rogers to the mat with a takedown and Rogers quickly gets to his feet and forces Fedor's back to the fence. Rogers with a short left hand to the temple. Fedor's nose is bleeding and he's breathing out of his mouth now. They're back in the center of the cage now. Fedor with a big left hand to Rogers and throws him to the mat with a single leg. Fedor is in Rogers' half guard now. Fedor tries for a kimura but Rogers fights out of it and takes top position, hammering away at Fedor from the top. Fedor goes for the arm again and Rogers fights out of it. Fedor now throwing fists from the top. He's back in Rogers' half guard and trying for an arm triangle choke from the top. Rogers gets full guard. Fedor is back to his feet. Fedor throws a big haymaker down at Rogers that misses. The round ends, and it's 10-9 Fedor. Rogers has already surpassed most predictions by simply lasting the full first round, let alone doing some damage.
Round 2: Fedor with a right, misses a left and tries for a takedown. Rogers lands a knee to the body. Fedor unloads with a barrage of fists with Rogers' back to the fence. Rogers blocks the majority of the strikes and ties Fedor's arms up. They separate and get to center cage again. Fedor puts a huge right hand on Roger's chin and drops him. One-punch knockout for Fedor Emelianenko as McCarthy steps in to stop the bout. Incredible.
Winner: Fedor Emelianenko defeats Brett Rogers via knockout at 1:48 of Round 2.
This was vintage Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor got hit with some big shots by a very powerful Brett Rogers. He got busted open. He was unloaded upon from the top, but in the end, Fedor still made it look so very easy.
One of the recurring themes of Emelianenko's fights is that there is always a moment or two -- however fleeting it may be -- where the man looks beatable. But he never loses. Many have threatened to beat him, but aside from that controversial stoppage many years ago, nobody has done it.
And if the volume of cheers for Fedor coming from the fans in attendance at the Sears Centre was any indication, we might have our answer to the question of whether a soft-spoken, introverted Russian fighter can break through as an attraction in the United States.
As I said in my preview for this show, Fedor doesn't have a ferocious look or a charismatic attitude to help him turn heads for promoters. What he does have -- and what we all saw in his win over Brett Rogers -- is a very legitimate claim to being the best heavyweight fighter in the world, and an exciting guy to watch in the ring or cage.
He will probably lose someday. It will be amazing to see how and when that happens, and who pulls it off. Until that day, it's enough just to watch the master ply his craft and keep the streak alive.
Welcome to America, big guy. See you again soon.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 10:04 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2009 10:47 pm
Jake Shields faces Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title in a five-rounder. Miller's entrance, per usual, will rule your face.
Shields is the favorite here, but Mayhem absolutely has the tools and the toughness to hang in a lengthy battle with him.
Round 1: The legendary "Big" John McCarthy is our referee. Miller is mugging and smirking even as the fight begins. Mayhem throws a pair of fists and Shields takes him down. Miller is on his backside against the cage, preventing Shields from improving the position on the takedown. Shields takes Miller's back and puts the hooks in. Shields with some ground and pound. Miller goes to his back and Shields takes full mount, throwing more strikes from the top. Miller bucks out of it and gets to his feet again. Shields with another takedown shot and they're right back against the fence again. Shields with fists to the side, while Miller just bides his time and preserves energy. Miller takes Shields' head in a guillotine, basically just to force Shields to escape and change position. McCarthy stands them up and -- surprise! -- Miller takes Shields down for a change, with a big slam. Shields scrambles to his feet. Miller throws him back down with a waistlock from behind. Miller works fists from the top with Shields on his knees. The round ends, and I'd call it 10-9 Shields, narrowly.
Round 2: Miller with a left hook. Shields is bleeding from the nose. Miller takes Shields down with a waistlock from behind and scrambles to keep back control, but Shields reverses it. Shields winds up in full mount and punches Miller in the head. Miller uses the cage for leverage to get to his knees. Shields has Miller's back and is trying for the rear naked choke with intermittent punches to the temple. Miller scrambles and Shields gets him into a banana split position, which is exactly what it sounds like. The scramble continues and Shields takes Miller's back again, and Miller scrambles to his knees before escaping to his feet. Miller throws a couple of bombs down at Shields from the standing position. Shields ties up Miller's leg for a heel hook attempt, which Miller stifles as the round ends. 10-9 Shields, but Miller is living up to his reputation as a guy who is very hard to finish.
Round 3: Miller with a one-two punch combo into a takedown. Shields scrambles to his feet and answers with his own takedown. Shields with side control into full mount. Miller fights back to half guard, but Shields lands some strikes and gets full mount again. Miller back to his knees, and he uses a monkey roll to reverse Shields. Miller back to his feet and catches Shields with a spinning back fist, which gets cheers from the crowd. McCarthy stops the action briefly due to some kind of wrist tape issue with Shields. He puts them back to over-under position to resume the bout. Miller escapes to his feet as Shields maintains a body lock. Shields with a single leg takedown. Miller fights to back control and works for a rear naked choke. Shields escapes, but Miller sinks it in really, really tight. The horn sounds to save Shields from getting choked out. 10-9 Miller that round, because Shields looked done. If not for the horn, he'd be history. Unbelievable.
Round 4: Shields with a takedown, and they're in the same position with Miller on his backside against the fence. The crowd is cheering loudly for Miller now. Miller can't get to his feet but Shields isn't doing much aside from holding Miller down. McCarthy stands them up. Miller with a pair of knees to the ribs that connect big, and Shields goes right back to the takedown. Shields with side control. Shields tries to pin Miller's arm with his leg to land some strikes. Shields takes full mount and tries for an arm triangle choke, which Miller spins out of. Shields has Miller's back. Miller scrambles and again uses the monkey roll, but Shields ends up in side control once again. New MMA viewers are getting a great look at some quality ground fighting tonight. End of the round, and it's 10-9 Shields, but not in a dominating way.
Round 5: They trade fists, with the only real shot that lands being a right by Shields. Shields ties Miller up again and lands some knees, then takes a waist lock from behind. Miller reverses but ends up back in Shields' full mount. Miller rolls out of it and ends up with Shields taking his back, throwing fists to the head. Shields is keeping back control with a body triangle and working for a rear naked choke. Miller reverses and gets to his feet. Shields ducks in for another takedown shot and Miller slaps on a guillotine choke, but Shields breaks free. Shields with fists from the top as Miller continues to scramble for position. Miller gets to his feet and throws a body kick at the end of the final round. 10-9 Shields, so I score the bout 49-46 Shields. We'll see what the judges came up with.
Winner: Jake Shields defeats Jason "Mayhem" Miller via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) after five rounds to win the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title.
Hard-fought battle by both guys, which was expected from the beginning. Nothing saps a fighter's energy more than a prolonged ground war like that one, but they both hung in there for the duration.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 9:43 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2009 9:57 pm
Gegard Mousasi fights Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at light heavyweight in the next bout. Mousasi has been on a major tear, and has been very impressive lately. Sokoudjou needs a KO here, or he'll probably lose.
Round 1: Mousasi and Sokoudjou square off. Sokoudjou with a combo, nothing majaor lands. Sokoudjou misses on a punch to the body. Mousasi with a head kick, blocked. Sokoudjou with an uppercut. Leg kick by Mousasi. Sokoudou fakes and throws a left, and Mousasi counters with a kick that errantly strikes the groin. Sokoudjou with a big outside leg kick and Mousasi shrugs it off. Mousasi with a fist combo. They trade leg kicks. Mousasi rushes in with fists and connects with a few, but Sokoudjou takes him down. Mousasi reverses to the top and starts throwing knees to the ribs from side control. Sokoudjou pops his hips and escapes from the bottom, then trips Mousasi to the canvas and attempts a guillotine choke. Mousasi breaks free. Mousasi tries a hip throw and Sokoudjou blocks it, winding up on top of Mousasi. Sokoudjou stands to try some strikes from above and eats two upkicks from Mousasi, who has won fights via KO this way. Mousasi leg trips Sokoudjou to reverse right as the round ends. Much better round from Sokoudjou than expected. 10-9 Sokoudjou.
Round 2: Mousasi closes the distance and they trade fists, then lock up near the fence. Mousasi with a knees to the ribs and thighs as he holds Sokoudjou's back to the cage. Mousasi breaks out with elbows and uppercuts to the jaw. Sokoudjou traps his arms to stop the flurry. Mousasi again tries to trip Sokoudjou to the mat and ends up with Sokoudjou on top in half guard. Mousasi rolls his hips and takes the arm, but Sokoudjou rolls free. Mousasi ends up on top working some ground and pound. Mousasi is landing big shots to the face and body, and Sokoudjou looks lost. Sokoudjou rolls to his side and covers his face with his hands as Mousasi keeps punching, earning the stoppage victory.
Winner: Gegard Mousasi defeats Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via TKO due to strikes at 3:43 of Round 2.
That's the 14th straight win from Mousasi. Sokoudjou's takedown defense looked strong, but once he gets to the canvas, he still seems green. Mousasi was too versatile for him.