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: April 10, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2010 11:49 am
Time for the middleweight title fight: Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia.
Silva looks more confident than ever coming to the Octagon. Nothing fazes this guy. They keep showing Georges St. Pierre at cageside and teasing that he's interested in this fight. I guess they're setting up Silva vs. St-Pierre after all.
But first, Silva vs. Maia...
Round 1: Maia stalking forward cautiously as Silva waits for his opening. Silva with a side kick to the shin. Interesting. Silva with an outside leg kick that spins Maia around on his feet. Silva head fakes a strike and Maia leaps backward, covering half the distance of the Octagon.
Silva begins clowning, crouching down into a sprinter's starting position and sticking his chin out. Leg kick by Silva. And another. Maia doesn't want to move forward, but that's keeping him from throwing anything, too. Silva starts doing a side-to-side head shimmy, mocking Maia, then throws a short fist. Maia tries to pull guard and Silva escapes.
Silva hits Maia with a flying knee to the head, and Maia goes down. Silva won't go into Maia's guard, wisely. He starts kicking Maia in the hands, dangerously close to kicking him in the face while he's down. The referee stands Maia up. Silva still mocking Maia and toying with him. 10-9 Silva.
Round 2: Silva with a jab and some more mockery. Silva with an ouside leg kick that puts Maia down. Silva stuffs a takedown and throws a huge kick at Maia while he's down, just missing his head. (Which would be extremely illegal, if he connected.) Silva now mocking Maia again and the crowd cheers him for it. Silva standing with his hands on his hips, then at his waist. He punches the canvas, frustrated. Maia swings, Silva dodges.
Silva just following Maia around the cage and talking trash at him. Jab by Silva. The round ends. If I could deduct a point from Silva for being an idiot, I would. But I can't. 10-9 Silva.
Round 3: Teep kick by Silva. Maia's face is bleeding. Outside leg kick by Silva. Inside leg kick by Silva. Maia is taking these leg kicks but he's not giving much back, other than the occasional missed jab. At this point, if I'm Maia, I just shoot for takedowns or get knocked out trying. Maia misses a jab, Silva with a leg kick. He misses again, and Silva kicks his leg again, and then mocks him by doing some ugly-looking jig.
Silva will chop Maia down and Maia will stay there, but Silva lets him up. It's basically a public shaming at this point. 10-9 Silva.
Round 4: More of the same. Silva is not attacking, just dancing around and making fun of the fact that Maia can't do anything to stop him. Maia is trying, but he's way out of his league, demoralized, and unable to force anything. The crowd in Abu Dhabi is cheering for GSP, which says it all.
Maia gets frustrated and waves Silva on. Silva answers by waving him forward. The crowd cheers for Maia. The round ends. Screw it -- 10-9 Maia, because at least he was moving.
Round 5: Embarrassing lack of class from a guy who should be one of the UFC's embassadors. Maia is looking for takedowns. Silva dodges one attempt. Maia has one eye closed from swelling. Leg kick by Silva, and Maia erupts with fists and kicks. He goes down and keeps swinging from his knees. The crowd goes nuts cheering him on. Silva laughs at him.
Maia swings, Silva ducks. Silva with a spinning back kick. Silva is just walking in circles. Silva misses a jab as Maia clings to a leg for a takedown attempt. Silva slips out. Side kick to the shin by Silva, followed by more jogging in circles. Referee Dan Miragliotta stops the fight to tell Silva if he keeps running around he's going to deduct a point, and the crowd cheers him for it.
Silva finally stands in front of Maia, but there's very little time left. He dodges a few strikes, and the buzzer sounds. The crowd erupts in a large "Maia, Maia" chant.
Winner: Anderson Silva defeats Demian Maia via unanimous decision after five rounds to retain the UFC middleweight title.
Silva is still every bit as good as advertised, but his complete disrespect of his opponents -- in a sport where the fighters pride themselves in respecting martial arts -- is growing tiresome. He apologized (through the interpretation of Ed Soares) afterward, but I don't buy it. Not when it's happened for several consecutive fights.
Reports from Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports are that Dana White threw down the middleweight title belt and stormed off. White apparently also had words with Ed Soares during the fight and did not strap the belt onto Silva after his win.
Silva is still one of the best fighters in the world. But somehow, even in winning, he finds a way to turn himself into a disgrace. His behavior won't help the UFC win any new fans. His ability would. But in order for that to happen, he needs to start dismantling guys the way he did early in his reign.
If you want to prove your opponent is terrible, do it by destroying him. Then, shake his hand afterward for being honorable enough to step into the cage and give it his best shot. To mock a man for trying, and to be the bully that nobody can shut up, is not being a great representative for MMA.
And that is part of being a champion. You have to represent your sport, particularly when it's fighting to maintain credibility as critics look for any chance to write it off. Silva's got the fighting game down pat. But if he wants to mock someone for being subpar, he should start by going home, looking in the mirror, and thinking about what it means to be a champion of honor.
In going out of his way to point out how shameful Maia was, Silva shamed himself and the UFC. It sounds like Dana White might agree with me on that one.
Posted on: April 10, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2010 3:12 pm
It's time for the lightweight title bout pitting champion BJ Penn vs. challenger Frankie Edgar.
Penn is one of the top fighters in the world at any weight class. Let's see if Edgar can crack the code.
Round 1: Edgar with a leg kick, moving in and out very quickly to try and avoid the accuracy of Penn's strikes. Edgar whiffs on a few feeler jabs, then gets out again to avoid a counterstrike. Left jab by Penn connects. Both guys throwing strikes conservatively. Leg kick by Edgar. Edgar uses a punch to set up a single leg, but Penn stuffed the attempt and landed a few good punches in the process.
Edgar moves in quickly and still eats a fist combo before getting back out of range. Edgar with a combo of body punches into a quickly aborted takedown attempt. Edgar with another punch into a body lock, but Penn throws him off. End of the round, and I'd give it to Penn 10-9, but he's already got a mouse under his left eye.
Round 2: Edgar with another takedown attempt off a jab, but Penn stuffs it. Edgar moves in and immediately gets hit with three punches before retreating. Edgar's constant movement is a good thing, and an acknowledgement of Penn's precision striking. Punch in the gut by Penn.
Edgar with a body punch and he gets caught by two counterstrikes. Kick to the ribs by Edgar. Penn with a left, and Edgar lands a nice countering right-left combo. Leg kick by Edgar. Edgar takes down Penn with a single leg but doesn't go down with him, so Penn gets right back up and lands two uppercuts. That's another 10-9 round for Penn.
Round 3: Edgar with an uppercut. A jab by Edgar misses the mark. Edgar misses a looping right and Penn connects with a series of counters, including an uppercut. Penn with a left, as Edgar connects with a pair of body punches. Edgar with a nice left hook off a fake. Penn with a left hook. Edgar sets up a takedown attempt with a Superman punch, which grazes Penn, but he gets stuffed. Whenever Edgar gets stuffed on a takedown, he gets right out of dodge, which is smart. He doesn't hang around and eat fists the way Mark Munoz did against Kendall Grove.
Edgar ducks an overhand right and tries another takedown, but fails. Leg kick by Edgar at the end of the round. 10-9 Penn.
Round 4: Edgar still sticking and moving, but nothing much lands aside from Penn's counters. Penn throws an inside leg kick and Edgar connects with a countering fist to the ribs. Penn with a nice left hook. Edgar throws a head kick and Penn blocks it. Edgar lands a right hand and Penn connects with a counter. Edgar with a body punch. Edgar with a body shot, but the a left hook misses.
Penn with a solid jab. And another. Penn checks a leg kick. Edgar pushes forward and Penn throws him off, then tags him with another jab. Edgar ends the round with a nice left hook. 10-9 Penn.
Round 5: Edgar lands a combo and completes a takedown. Penn escapes relatively quickly to his feet. Leg kick by Penn. Jab by Penn. Penn tags Edgar with a right that takes him off balance for a split second. Both fighters trading jabs now. Nice right hook by Edgar connects. Penn misses a head kick.
Edgar tries for a single leg takedown and Penn shucks him off. Another takedown attempt it stuffed by Penn. Left hook by Edgar. Edgar with a left hook and leg kick combo, connecting on both and dodging Penn's counter. Nice. Penn dodges a straight right and connects with a counterpunch. Jab by Penn. Leg kick to the body by Edgar.Edgar with a body punch, Penn counters with an uppercut. Penn looks tired, but Edgar is in good shape.
Penn with a right hand and a knee to the body at the end of the round. 10-9 Edgar, so I would judge the fight for Penn, 49-46. We'll see what the real judges think.
Winner: Frankie Edgar defeats BJ Penn via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 49-46) after five rounds to win the UFC lightweight title.
Wow. That was something else. It was a very difficult fight to score -- depending almost entirely on whether you value accurate counterstriking more than frequently pushing the pace and pursuing offense -- but even though it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility to give the fight to Edgar, 50-45 seems looney.
On another note, that's probably the farthest my scoring has ever been off from the official fight result.
Posted on: April 10, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2010 2:23 pm
Matt Hughes (43-7-0) vs. Renzo Gracie (13-6-1, 1 NC) is up next at welterweight. This is a pair of legit MMA legends fighting each other for the very first time.
This is Renzo Gracie's first fight since an underwhelming DQ victory over Frank Shamrock at the first EliteXC show (remember those guys?) way back in February 2007. He is making his UFC debut at the age of 43.
Round 1: Hughes looking to stand with Gracie early. He whiffs on a body kick. Gracie looks very tentative. Hughes with a leg kick. Gracie with a left hook, but he still looks hesitant to follow up. Gracie with a nice one-two combo up the middle. Hughes reverses his back to the fence with a body lock. Gracie escapes before Hughes can work him over. Hughes moves in for another body lock and throws a knee to the ribs. Gracie breaks free again.
Hughes with a leg kick. Gracie with a boxing combo as Hughes retreats to dodge the strikes. Another leg kick by Hughes. And another. Hughes misses with a Superman punch. Teep kick by Gracie before the buzzer. 10-9 Hughes, but there wasn't much action to draw from in scoring the round.
Round 2: Hughes goes back to the leg kicks. Hughes misses with a left hook. Gracie misses with a pair of fists. Hughes body locks Gracie and tries to trip him to the canvas, but Gracie blocks it and tags Hughes on the jaw with a quick right hand on the break. Body punch and a jab by Gracie, and for the first time all show, the Abu Dhabi crowd seems to be booing a fight.
Gracie moves backwards and catches Hughes with a left. Hughes with a left-right combo that connects. Gracie misses with a looping right. Both guys look to be getting tired. They end the round exchanging one-off strikes and then quickly retreating. 10-9 Hughes.
Round 3: Outside leg kick by Hughes. Gracie misses a right, Hughes counters with a jab. Gracie with a jab, then he misses with a left hook. Body punch by Hughes. Nice straight right by Hughes, but he neglects to follow up. Neither guy looks interested in finishing the fight. Hughes with an uppercut and a body lock at the cage wall. Hughes with a series of nice uppercuts as they break, and the crowd finally gets into it. Gracie looks wobbly, but Hughes backs off anyway. Gracie with a jab. Hughes with a jab.
Outside leg kick by Hughes, and Gracie falls to the canvas. He's been trying to chop that tree down all fight. Hughes tries to let Gracie up, but in a funny moment, Gracie asks Hughes to help him up, and he does. Another leg kick and Gracie goes down again. When he gets up, Hughes keeps working those uppercuts. Hughes with a straight right that drops Gracie to the mat. Hughes backs off. Unbelievable. Gracie gets up and Hughes finally finishes him with strikes.
Winner: Matt Hughes defeats Renzo Gracie via TKO due to strikes at 4:40 of Round 3.
Posted on: April 10, 2010 1:32 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2010 1:47 pm
Up next is Terry Etim (14-2-0) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (13-4-0) at lightweight.
Etim is looking for his fifth straight win in the UFC. He finished his last three opponents in the second round. Dos Anjos has fought in the Octagon four times, winning three, with the only loss coming at the hands of Tyson Griffin.
Round 1: Outside leg kick by Etim. Dos Anjos is working from a southpaw stance. Right head kick by Etim is blocked. Dos Anjos with a double leg takedown, and Etim slaps on a guillotine choke on the way down. Etim's holding on to the choke, but Dos Anjos is patiently waiting for a chance to pull free. He's not in immediate danger. Etim also has a body triangle applied from the bottom. Dos Anjos slips free and passes to the side.
Referee Mark Goddard warns Dos Anjos for a strike to the spine, and then stands the fight up after a knee on the ground hits Etim in the spine, in the middle of his back. Dos Anjos is warned again and they resume the fight standing. That was an odd standup. Dos Anjos tries to heel trip Etim down and it backfires, with Etim landing on top. Dos Anjos tries to trap the leg from the bottom and Etim spins out of it. Etim working ground and pound from the top.
Dos Anjos throwing short punches from his back. Dos Anjos tries for a kneebar right before the buzzer and can't finish it. Close one, but I'll give it to Dos Anjos 10-9.
Round 2: They trade a variety of strikes for the first minute of the round, with Etim just missing on a Muay Thai knee. Etim throws a kick, and Dos Anjos catches the leg for a takedown. Dos Anjos has side control. Dos Anjos throws fists and works to achieve full mount. Etim takes half guard briefly, before Dos Anjos gets his leg free and tries for a choke.
Dos Anjos lands some stiff, short elbows to the forehead from side control. Dos Anjos takes full mount, but Etim uses a hip escape to get back to half guard. Dos Anjos works his way back into side control and then into the north-south position. Dos Anjos takes the left arm and cranks back on an armbar. Etim tries to turn out of it, but it's tight, and he is forces to tap out.
Winner: Rafael Dos Anjos defeats Terry Etim via submission to an armbar at 4:30 of Round 2.
Posted on: April 10, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2010 1:25 pm
We kick off the main card with a middleweight bout pitting Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove (11-6-0, 1 NC) vs. former All-American collegiate wrestler Mark Munoz (7-1-0).
Munoz is looking for his third UFC win in a row, after debuting in the promotion with a loss to Matt Hamill a year ago.
Round 1: Grove has an eight-inch reach advantage, which is par for the course for him. Munoz tries to get inside, but he's wary of the reach. He moves in and catches a knee to the ribs. Munoz goes for a takedown and Grove unsuccessfully tries to sprawl. Munoz lands a nice right hand to the face from above, then tags Grove three more times as he stands up.
Munoz shoots for another takedown and eats a basty-looking right uppercut that puts him on his backside for a couple of seconds. Munoz regroups and tries to finish the takedown as Grove hammers away from above. Munoz is still fighting for a takedown as Grove defends with his back to the fence. The referee separates them.
Munoz shoots again and Grove sprawls, then tries to roll into a choke. Munoz escapes. Munoz shoots again and Grove puts on a guillotine. Munoz struggles free and goes right back to Grove's legs. He just won't give up on those takedowns. Grove with another guillotine attempt, which he releases right before the buzzer to throw another punch. Munoz's gameplan is walking him directly into harm's way. 10-9 Grove.
Round 2: Munoz grazes Grove with a looping right hand and then moves closer for another takedown attempt... which earns him a stiff right uppercut and a knee to the body. Grove ends up with Munoz's back and tries for a choke. Munoz escapes to the top position. This is where he needs to be. Munoz tees off with heavy fists to the ribs, and a few to the head. Munoz stands and perfectly times a huge right hand to the face.
Knowing he just landed something big, Munoz goes Donkey Kong from the top, smashing Grove with numerous fists to the head until he turtles up and the referee stops the fight.
Give Munoz credit for sticking to that game plan, because even though it put him in serious danger early, it also allowed him to finish the fight once he got to the top position.
Winner: Mark Munoz defeats Kendall Grove via TKO due to strikes at 2:50 of Round 2.