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 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 10:04 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: June 7, 2009 12:05 am
Edited on: June 7, 2009 1:10 am
The main event is up next, as Robbie Lawler fights Jake Shields at a catchweight of 182 pounds.
Round 1: Shields with kicks, Lawler's throwing leather, and Shields goes for a single leg takedown. Lawler stuffs it and punches to the body as they break. Shields went low for another takedown and almost ate a big knee. Shields with a body kick. And another. Shields looks like a guy who just realized he can't take his opponent down and is trying to come up with plan B. And he does it: Lawler throws punches, Shields grabs him, takes a standing guillotine, throws his legs around Lawler and taps him out quickly.
Winner: Jake Shields defeats Robbie Lawler via submission to a guillotine choke at 2:02 of Round 1.
Lawler tried to stand and power his way out the back door to escape the choke, but it was too tight, and he only made his situation worse by doing that.
Shields says he'll take whatever they give him for his next fight, but he mentions Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le as the one specific fight he'd want to take. Really, Shields' win over Lawler puts the Strikeforce middleweight and welterweight scenes in an interesting position.
Cung Le has the middleweight belt, but he hasn't fought in over a year and his loyalties seem divided between MMA and movies. Clearly, Shields wants Le because it would be a title shot against a main-event opponent, but there could be another motivator at work here: Nick Diaz.
Shields and Diaz are friends and training partners, and a lot of times, that means they won't fight each other unless it's totally unavoidable. It remains to be seen whether Shields would fight Diaz under the right circumstances, but it's safe to assume they'd both like to avoid it if at all possible.
What's trickier is the fact that Shields and Diaz -- who (aside from Diaz's stint as a 160-pound "lightweight" in EliteXC) are typically welterweights, a division for which Strikeforce doesn't currently have a champion -- both won their fights on Saturday against middleweight opponents, at a catch weight much closer to the middleweight threshold than the welterweight limit. Which means that not only are they arguably the two best welterweights in Strikeforce right now, but they also belong in the conversation among the best middleweights.
By mentioning a possible title fight with Cung Le, Shields is basically putting himself in the middleweight title picture. Which could be because there's no welterweight title belt right now. Or it could be that he understands Le is the highest-profile opponent he can get. Or maybe he realizes that a return to welterweight means an inevitable clash with Diaz.
One thing's for sure: Lawler and Scott Smith have just been written out of the title picture in their own weight class by a pair of 170-pounders, and it's now much harder to map out the future match-making path of Strikeforce. If the goal of these catchweight fights was to create more options down the road, then they succeeded.
Posted on: February 6, 2009 4:28 pm
Showtime announced on Thursday that the first Strikeforce event to air on the premium cable network as part of the new deal would be on April 11, emanating from San Jose, Calif.
Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:03 pm
Strikeforce announced on Thursday that it has acquired the rights to select assets of Pro Elite, the parent company of EliteXC. From the official Strikeforce press release:
LOS ANGELES, CA. -- In a transaction signaling the dawn of a new era in the world's fastest growing sport, world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) organization Strikeforce, has acquired certain fighter contracts from ProElite, Inc, the parent company of former Strikeforce co-promoter, Elite Xtreme Combat (EliteXC). Strikeforce also acquired other specific assets of ProElite, including a library of EliteXC events, which were distributed live on either CBS or Showtime Networks. "This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters," said Scott Coker, Founder and CEO of Strikeforce. "Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months."
LOS ANGELES, CA. -- In a transaction signaling the dawn of a new era in the world's fastest growing sport, world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) organization Strikeforce, has acquired certain fighter contracts from ProElite, Inc, the parent company of former Strikeforce co-promoter, Elite Xtreme Combat (EliteXC).
Strikeforce also acquired other specific assets of ProElite, including a library of EliteXC events, which were distributed live on either CBS or Showtime Networks.
"This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters," said Scott Coker, Founder and CEO of Strikeforce. "Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months."
Posted on: October 4, 2008 10:25 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 10:48 pm
The EliteXC welterweight title is up for grabs now as Jake Shields defends against Paul Daley.
Round 1: They stand for a bit without much success, then Shields takes Daley to the mat. Shields take full mount and locks his ankles to tie up Daley's legs, then tries some ground and pound. Daley is covering up well but can't escape. Shields switches to side control. Back to full mount again and Shields throws a few fists. Daley is just getting toyed with here. Shields tries for an armbar and Daley uses the opening to get out of harm's way. Daley's in Shields' guard now and throwing elbows to the head as the round ends. 10-9 Shields.
Round 2: Daley throws some hard combos and misses. Shields drops in for a takedown and Daley throws a knee. Shields keeps trying for a takedown and Daley stuffs him. Shields finally muscles Daley to the canvas. Shields instantly assumes full mount. Shields isn't finding many openings. He finally finds an arm and cranks it back, forcing Daley to tap out.
Winner: Jake Shields defeats Paul Daley via submission to an armbar at 3:40 of Round 2.
Posted on: October 3, 2008 6:55 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2008 9:14 pm
The weigh-ins for CBS Saturday Night Fights took place Friday afternoon, and as weigh-ins go, this one was pretty eventful. Some highlights:
-- Gina Carano initially weighed in for her 140-pound bout with Kelly Kobold at 142.75 pounds -- which, due to the one-pound allowance, is actually 1.75 pounds over the limit. She was white as a ghost, walking very slowly and completely straight-faced. I would compare it to how someone looks when they are in the middle of a serious case of the flu. Clearly, Carano is still having issues getting down to 140, and it's getting to the point where you have to wonder if it's safe for her to continue cutting that much for a fight. At the very least, her method of cutting needs to be reevaluated.
This is where it gets a little bizarre. Rather than try to go cut more weight, Carano -- for the first time I can recall -- opted to weigh in again with no clothes on. Several officials shielded her from onlookers with a large towels. She removed her clothing, stepped back on the scale... and came in at 142.50 this time. Clearly upset and not feeling well, there was a few seconds of discussion on the stage, before Carano stepped onto the scale a third time. Although she didn't appear to remove any further clothing (she was already nude, as far as anyone knew), she came in at 141.0 on the third attempt. There was definitely plenty of confusion among the press and other onlookers in the room, who couldn't figure out what happened in that 10-20 seconds between weigh-in attempts that caused a 1.5 pound difference in Carano. I did not see anything personally, and I think very few people did. One theory kicked around on my side of the room was that some of the clothing Carano removed may have been sitting on the scale during the second attempt, causing the second failure, but I wasn't in a position to see her feet, so I can't confirm that.
It was definitely a curious scene. I'll try to get an official answer about what happened between the second and third nude weigh-ins that made such a difference, but a lot of people were scratching their heads after that one.
-- After Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice weighed in, a wild pull-apart shoving match took place. Before the fighters did the customary staredown photo op, Kimbo turned to walk away. Shamrock got angry and yelled at Kimbo for turning his back. Kimbo didn't respond, so Shamrock shoved him -- hard -- in the back. Both camps immediately jumped into the fray, with EliteXC's Jared Shaw and Jeremy Lappen in the middle, trying to regain order. Kimbo's people seemed legitimately upset and were yelling at officials about Shamrock's behavior. The curtain backdrop in the weigh-in stage was rocking back and forth in the melee, to the point that Andrei Arlovski -- who had weighed in moments earlier -- peeked out from behind the curtain, trying to see what the commotion was.
-- This one will get the rumor mill going in a hurry: "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" himself, Tito Ortiz, was in the house and openly mingling with the fighters and other officials. He was wearing an Affliction shirt, but no word on whether that bears any significance. Keep in mind that Affliction's deal with EliteXC is what got Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson onto this CBS show, and with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions now working with Affliction, the group might now have the financial backing to sign a guy like Ortiz. Especially if Ortiz has come down to earth a little on his asking price. Keep in mind, few in the history of MMA have been better self-promoters than Tito Ortiz, and Ortiz clearly understands the value of being seen on a CBS broadcast. Hmm....
No word on how Tito's presence affected Shamrock, who was beaten by Ortiz three times, all by TKO, in the UFC.
-- Also in attendance: Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Roan Carneiro, Bas Rutten, and current cast member of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 8 (and CBSSports.com blogger!), Tom Lawlor.
-- Pro wrestling fans from years past will be happy to know that former WWE star The Warlord is currently working as part of Kimbo Slice's entourage. It's not clear how many people in attendance made that connection, but I do know Tom Lawlor was very excited, and actually seemed to startle the big man by yelling out "WARLORD!" as he walked past.
-- The only fighter to miss weight was Nicolae "Curry" Sinicio. Jorge Boechat agreed to accept the bout anyway, so it did not affect the card.
Official weigh-in results: