Posted on: May 15, 2010 11:46 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 3:15 pm
Alistair Overeem, Strikeforce heavyweight champion, has not fought for the promotion since November 2007, when he won the title.
He finally returns to defend the title against Brett "The Grim" Rogers, who earned some new fans in his hard-fought loss to Fedor Emelianenko last fall.
Round 1: They quickly engage but neither connects with anything solid. Overeem stalking Rogers. Straight punch by Rogers, Overeem answers with a leg kick. Overeem with more leg kicks. Rogers misses with a big left and clinches Overeem. Overeem "hulks out" of it, throwing Rogers to the mat.
Overeem follows him and starts grounding and pounding from the top. Overeem takes side control and throws some elbows from the top. Rogers scrambles up and almost lands in a guillotine choke, so he aborts the escape. Overeem holds Rogers in side control with his other side against the fence. Overeem with knees and elbows. He switches to fists, and Rogers eventually covers up. Overeem unloads with a ton of punches from the top, and referee
Big" John McCarthy stops the fight.
Winner: Alistair Overeem defeats Brett Rogers via TKO due to strikes at 3:40 of Round 1 to retain the Strikeforce heavyweight title.
Overeem says after the win that he wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko next, pointing out that Fedor's management turned down the chance to fight him on this show.
Overeem is the natural next opponent for Fedor, even more so than FabricioWerdum (who will fight Fedor in June). Partially because Emelianenko is treated like the champion even though he isn't, so it makes sense to give him the chance to make it official. Likewise, Overeem, in being the champion, should fight the best in his division, which is clearly Fedor.
Posted on: May 15, 2010 11:13 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 11:39 pm
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovski has lost his last two fights via KO or TKO in Round 1. He tries to bounce back here against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, who looks to rebound from his loss to Fabricio Werdum last November.
Round 1: Inside leg kick by Arlovski. Outside leg kick by Silva. Silva counters a leg kick with a right hand. Arlovski misses with a combo up the middle. Silva with another outside leg kick, then he grazes Arlovski with a jab. Arlovski with a double jab.
Silva connects with a left hook. Arlovski misses a left hook and ends up in close range, so Silva throws a four-punch combo. Arlovski takes a hard right hand and a pair of follow-up strikes without going down. Silva ties him up at the cage wall briefly, then they separate.
Silva with a flurry of fists, a few of them landing, and then he takes Arlovski down. Arlovski is seated against the cage wall with Silva holding on, but no real action happening. Arlovski gets to his feet at the end of the round. 10-9 Silva.
Round 2: Arlovski misses with a combo and eats a countering jab from Silva. Silva with an uppercut and right hook combo as Arlovski moves in. Silva unloads with a combo, tagging Arlovski good with a right hook, then clinching him at the cage wall. Arlovski reverses position on him and throws knees to Silva's thighs.
Both fighters lands some short uppercuts, but there isn't much happening so referee "Big" John McCarthy separates them. More light striking, more clinching, and one more separation by McCarthy. Arlovski with a head kick that Silva blocks. Inside leg kick by Arlovski. They trade jabs, then Arlovski whiffs on an overhand right. Silva misses a combo and they end up clinching again briefly.
Arlovski with more leg kicks before Silva ties him up again, running out the clock on the round. 10-9 Silva.
Round 3: Right hook by Silva. Silva with a leg kick into a boxing combo, into a tie-up at the fence. Both fighters trade knees to the thigh. McCarthy separates them. Arlovski throws combos and repeatedly eats a strong counterpunch up the middle from Silva. Silva with a Muay Thai clinch. Arlovski throws weak uppercuts from within the tie-up. McCarthy breaks it up. Silva misses a right cross.
Arlovski with leg kicks. Silva takes him down and ends up in full closed guard. Nothing much happens, and Arlovski makes it to his feet before the end of the round. With a few seconds remaining, Silva decides to shuck and jive, and clown Arlovski, daring him to punch him. You're A. Silva, but not THAT A. Silva. 10-9 Silva, so I have it 30-27 for "Bigfoot."
Winner: Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva defeats Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds.
Posted on: May 15, 2010 10:47 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 11:10 pm
DREAM fighter Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza looks for his second consecutive Strikeforce victory as he fights middleweight veteran Joey Villasenor.
Round 1: Souza uses an overhand right to set up a takedown attempt. He ties Villasenor up against the cage wall. Jacare finishes the takedown and ends up in half guard. Jacare throws some right hands down at Villasenor's head. He takes full mount and throws several more punches down at Villasenor.
Jacare lands a half dozen more punches and Villasenor walks up the cage to escape out the back door to his feet. Very nice escape while under fire. Villasenor throws some short strikes from the tie-up and Jacare takes him down again. Jacare lands many big strikes to Villasenor's face from above. Jacare backs off and Villasenor stands, eating a series of fists and knees for his trouble.
Jacare with another takedown. He applies a far-side kimura armbar from half guard, but Villasenor breaks free. Villasenor gets to his feet as the round ends. 10-9 Jacare by my score. Close to a 10-8.
Round 2: Villasenor works some leg kicks, but Jacare goes right back to the takedown. Villasenor escapes to his feet and throws some strikes. Jacare goes back to the leg as Villasenor scrambles to avoid the takedown, but he ends up on his back again with Jacare in half guard.
Jacare passes to side control and Villasenor immediately scrambles to his feet, eating one knee as he stands up. Leg kick by Villasenor. Left hook by Jacare, followed by a takedown. Jacare is in full guard this time and working much more slowly. He can't do much on the ground before Villasenor gets to his feet.
Jacare shoots again and Villasenor sprawls as time expires in the round. 10-9 Jacare, but the tables might be turning here. Jacare looks tired and Villasenor's hanging in there.
Round 3: Jacare is bleeding from the nose. Villasenor landing some punches. Jacare shoots for a takedown and can't get it. He's gassing out, and it's also affecting his striking. Villasenor looks fresh. Right hand by Villasenor. Jacare shoots and Villasenor stuffs it, then throws more strikes. Jacare with a nice straight right hand followed by a completed takedown.
Jacare works ground and pound from half guard. After a while the referee stands them up for inactivity, which is questionable. Villasenor with a missed head kick attempt into a flying knee, but Jacare takes him down again, and that's where the fight stays until the clock expires. 10-9 Villasenor, so I score the bout 29-28 for Jacare. Let's see what the judges think.
Winner: Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza defeats Joe Villasenor via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds.
Posted on: May 15, 2010 10:27 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 11:57 am
Up next is Roger Gracie vs. Kevin Randleman at light heavyweight.
Round 1: Gracie has a very substantial height advantage. Gracie works the jab, wisely, to hold Randleman at bay. Left hand by Gracie. Randleman with an inside leg kick the sends Gracie's leg flying into the air. Gracie with some light jabs. Randleman ducks in and eats a right hook.
Randleman gets inside for the tie-up and Gracie throws a knee to the body. Randleman forces Gracie to the cage wall and starts some dirty boxing. Gracie applies a guillotine choke well enough that Randleman decides he'd better scramble out of it, and they're back to standup. More jabs by Gracie. Randleman with a trio of punches, mostly blocked. The round ends, and I have it 10-9 Gracie, but it's close.
Round 2: Gracie with a series of jabs to maintain distance. Randleman gets inside and lands a pair of very hard body punches. Gracie answers with a flurry that makes Randleman retreat. Gracie ties him up with a plomb and lands a hard knee that puts Randleman on the canvas.
Gracie goes to the mat and moves to full mount as Randleman fights to clear the cobwebs. Gracie ends up taking Randleman's back. Gracie applies the figure four body lock and begins working for a rear naked choke. Randleman's in a really bad spot right now, because even if Gracie can't finish the choke, because that body lock is very tight.
Gracie finally completes the choke, and Randleman is forced to tap out.
Winner: Roger Gracie defeats Kevin Randleman via submission to a rear naked choke at 4:10 of Round 2.
Posted on: May 15, 2010 10:10 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 10:17 pm
Antwain Britt fights Rafael Feijao at light heavyweight to kick off the broadcast.
Round 1: Feijao fakes a right and lands a nice left hook. Britt lands a jab and then unloads with a flurry, all of which get blocked. Britt ties Feijao up and pushes him to the fence. Feijao reverses him and takes a Muay Thai plomb, throwing a few knees. Britt Blocks or dodges the majority of them.
Britt fires jabs up the middle and mixes in some shots to the body. Feijao ties him up. Feijao throws a knee to the side as Britt lands a pair of close-range uppercuts on the break. Feijao goes back to the Muay Thai plomb but switches to a standard body lock. Nothing much happening, so the referee breaks them up.
Feijao rushes at Britt and cracks him hard with a right hook. Britt is rocked. Feijao unloads with more fists to put Britt down for good.
Winner: Rafael Feijao defeats Antwain Britt via KO at 3:45 of Round 1.
Posted on: May 15, 2010 9:34 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 9:58 pm
We'll have a live blog of tonight's Strikeforce event in St. Louis beginning at roughly 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the main blog link for the latest updates and round-by-round details as the main card begins.
Here are the quickie undercard results from St. Louis:
The main card tonight consists of the following:
See you in a few for the start of the live blog.
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.