Posted on: January 31, 2010 12:14 am
Edited on: January 31, 2010 12:37 am
Lightweights are up as David Zitnik (4-6) fights Michael Byrnes (0-2). This is the undercard fight that got bumped for time constraints earlier, so they could get Joe Riggs vs. Jay Hieron in before the Showtime telecast.
Props to Strikeforce for letting the fight happen rather than canceling, even if the building has largely emptied out at this point,
Round 1: Zitnik shoots for a takedown and Byrnes uses underhooks to defend. Zitnik accidentally low-blows Byrne, resulting in a brief stoppage. Both guys throwing wild looping punches but missing. Byrnes with a takedown. He can't capitalize, so he lets Zitnik up. Zitnik misses a jumping knee. Nice kick to the ribs by Zitnik. Zitnik with a right hand into a takedown attempt. Byrnes locks in a guillotine choke. Zitnik jumps upward to try to relieve some of the pressure. Byrnes holds on to it for a long time before Zitnik escapes. Zitnik with a body shot, Byrnes whiffs on a looping right. Superman punch by Byrnes misses the mark. He tries another, with the same result. End of the round. 10-9 Byrnes.
Round 2: Zitnik is trying high kicks, but Byrnes is blocking them. Both fighters are throwing hands now, with neither landing much. Byrnes tags Zitnik with a nice left. Zitnik answers with one of his own. Head kick by Zitnik gets blocked. Byrnes lands a left hook. Leg kick by Zitnik, followed by two more. Jumping knee by Byrne misses, while Zitnik lands a pair of fists for good measure. End of the round, and I have it 10-9 Zitnik, but it was close.
Round 3: They're swinging with ill intent. Zitnik gets a takedown. Byrnes has the leg trapped for half guard. Zitnik stands to try to swing down at Byrnes, but Byrnes escapes. The remaining audience members are loving this. It's a decent fight. Nice left hook-right uppercut combo by Byrnes finds the mark. Byrnes with a straight right, but misses the follow-up. Body shots by Byrnes as Zitnik swings for the head. Kick to the ribs by Byrnes. Byrnes gets the best of an exchange with a nice straight left. The rest of the round is mostly swing-and-miss by both men. 10-9 Byrnes, so I'd give the bout to Byrnes, 29-28. We'll see what the judges think.
Winner: Michael Byrnes def. David Zitnik via majority decision (29-29, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 11:49 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2010 12:04 am
The final bout of the night is for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title, as Nick Diaz fights Marius "Whitemare" Zaromskis. Five 5:00 rounds, since it's a title bout.
Round 1: Zaromskis comes out fast with a kick that misses and a pair of punches that connect. Diaz tees off on him with a few solid punches. Zaromskis with underhooks trying to defend against a Diaz takedown attempt. Diaz using knees to the thigh to try to complete the takedown against the fence. Diaz finally completes the single leg but Zaromskis is right back up. They exchange fists with both landing shots, but Zaromskis drops Diaz with a solid shot. Zaromskis pounds away trying to finish, but Diaz gets his wits back and regains his feet. Crowd is now cheering for Diaz. They play rock-em sock-em robots for a while, both of them landing unblocked punches. Diaz with a head kick. Another exchange from both sides, with Diaz now getting the better of Zaromskis. Diaz lands one final right hook that puts Zaromskis on his back, and the fight is over.
Winner: Nick Diaz def. Marius Zaromskis via TKO due to strikes at 4:38 of Round 1 to win the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 11:19 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2010 11:48 pm
The Strikeforce women's world lightweight championship (145 pounds) is on the line as Marloes Coenen challenges champ Cris "Cyborg" Santos.
Cyborg became the inaugural champion with her now-infamous crushing of Gina Carano last year. This title fight is scheduled for five 5:00 rounds.
Round 1: Coenen with a straight kick to the chest and Cyborg counters with a fist. Cyborg ties up Coenen's arms. They end up in a bodylock against the fence. Cyborg lands a fist on the separation, and Coenen ties up Cyborg's arms. Coenen with a takedown. Coenen lands a trio of solid punches to the face from the top. Cyborg now in top position. Cyborg throwing hands now from the top. Leg kicks by Cyborg, who lets Coenen up. Cyborg unloading now with fists. Inside leg kick by Cyborg. Cyborg landing some good shots. Coenen ties her arms up and forces her to the cage wall. Foot stomps by Coenen. Cyborg with knees to the body. They separate and Cyborg is now swinging for the fences. Coenen misses a punch. Cyborg connects on a counter. Spinning back kick by Cyborg ends the round. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 2: Both ladies showing facial damage. Cyborg moves in on Coenen with fists and Coenen goes down to her back, but lands a nice upkick as Cyborg approaches. Cyborg kicking the legs of a downed Coenen. Cyborg moves into Coenen's full guard. Cyborg fighting to get her trapped arm free for some ground and pound. Cyborg moves Coenen to the fence and stands, to throw hands down at her. She lets Coenen up. Left jab by Cyborg. Both fighters land straight jabs, Cyborg follows with a kick to the body. Coenen with a right cross, Cyborg with a counterstrike and a takedown attempt. Cyborg back in Coenen's guard. Coenen nearly traps her in an armbar, but Cyborg slips out. Cyborg throws hands down at Coenen from the standing position, then moves back into her guard. More ground and pound to end the round. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 3: Coenen with an outside leg kick, then a takedown attempt. Coenen puts Cyborg's back to the fence and tries to throw short strikes. They separate, and Cyborg starts winging looping fists and leg kicks at Coenen, rapid fire, like she did to Carano. There's a tie-up, and Cyborg winds up in Coenen's guard again. Coenen is doing significantly better against Cyborg than Carano did. But she's still behind. Cyborg hammers at Coenen with a series of rights, then lets her up. They exchange again with Cyborg getting the better of it, and she ends it on the ground with a series of punches for the TKO.
Winner: Cris Cyborg def. Marloes Coenen via TKO due to strikes at 3:40 of Round 3 to retain the Strikeforce women's lightweight title.
Cyborg leaves the arena on the shoulders of husband, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, smiling and waving to the crowd.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2010 11:11 pm
The pro MMA debut of NFL legend Herschel Walker is up next, as he takes on Greg Nagy (pronounced "Nudge") (1-1) at heavyweight.
Walker is 47 years old and still ripped. He's been loving the entire fight scene leading up to tonight. Let's see if nerves finally caught up to him, or if he's still relaxed. By the way -- win or lose, Walker says he is donating his entire fight purse to charity.
Round 1: Walker looks focused. Walker tags Nagy with a nice jab. Outside leg kick by Walker. And another. Walker is now doing a shimmy for the audience, which responds with a cheer. Nagy tries to shoot and Walker stuffs him, then spins to the back. He winds up with Nagy on his back, and with nearly full mount (one leg trapped), Walker unloads with a barrage of punches from the top. Nagy fighting to get full guard. Walker pins one of his heels almost behind his head, then punches him in the face. Nagy goes for a heel hook, but Walker escapes. Walker moves to the north-south position, then back to side control. Walker lands a couple short punches, but Nagy is too close. The crowd, wanting to help Herschel out, yells "elbows!" Incredible the support this guy has. The round ends with Walker trying to sneak in punches as Nagy defends them. 10-9 Walker.
Round 2: Both guys look fatigued. Walker misses a leg kick, then connects with a follow-up. Another big outside leg kick by Walker. Nagy ducks in for a leg and gets taken to the mat. Walker back in side control with Nagy turning away. Walker seems to run out of ideas once he gets the fight to this position, but he's a rookie. A 47-year-old rookie. Walker gets full mount, while the Gumby-like Nagy throws both heels back to his ears to try ... something. He manages to get to his knees, then to his feet. Walker has Nagy in a front facelock. The crowd coaches him. "Knee! Knee!" So he does it. Nagy working for a takedown but Walker's sprawl is too much. Walker flattens Nagy to his belly and tries a rear naked choke, but can't get it. Walker punching Nagy in the head now. Nagy looks totally spent, covering up. Nagy is on his back now with Walker throwing punches, but not enough to earn a stoppage. End of the round. 10-9 Walker.
Round 3: They lock up and per usual, Nagy crumples under Walker's strength. Walker works for full mount. Walker keeps trying to control Nagy's wrists, probably to keep him from blocking punches. Trouble is, by controlling Nagy's wrists, Walker can't throw punches anyway. Walker's had full mount for a long time now, but he's not throwing much. Walker throws a series of lefts at Nagy's face. With Nagy doing little aside from rolling around and covering up, referee Troy Waugh finally waves off the fight. Walker is now 1-0 in pro MMA. At age 47.
Winner: Herschel Walker def. Greg Nagy via TKO due to strikes at 2:17 of Round 3.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2010 10:44 pm
In what promises to be a fierce striking contest, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler takes on Melvin "No Mercy" Manhoef at middleweight.
Manhoef is breaking it down on his way to the cage. Nice dance number there.
Round 1: Both guys being ultra careful. High kick by Lawler is blocked. Both fighters throw leg kicks, essentially checking each other. Outside leg kick by Lawler. Manhoef corners Lawler and throws a few punches, one of them connecting well. Inside leg kick by Manhoef. Manhoef with a punch that seems to hurt Lawler, who is now covering up. Body kick and more punches by Manhoef. Lawler retreating and covering up. Manhoef with inside leg kicks that send Lawler's legs flying into the air. Lawler's in trouble. He ducks and throws a wild, blind haymaker and CONNECTS. Manhoef goes down, and a punch or two later, it's called off. Unbelievable, hail-mary comeback right there.
Winner: Robbie Lawler def. Melvin Manhoef via knockout at 3:33 of Round 1.
Lawler is limping pretty badly around the cage from the force of those leg kicks by Manhoef. That rivals (or beats) any comeback KO Scott Smith ever had. Lawler didn't appear to be looking when he threw the KO punch.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 10:17 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2010 10:26 pm
Here come the big boys: Former WWE (and current TNA) wrestling star Bobby Lashley (4-0) takes on UFC alum Wes Sims (22-12-1, 2 NC).
Sims looks quite significantly out of shape. This one should be short. Stay tuned.
Round 1: Sims clowns Lashley by teasing a pro wrestling test of strength to start. Lashley misses on a four-punch combo. Takedown, and Lashley is on top in Sims' guard smashing him in the face with short punches. No more joking around I guess. Sims maintains closed guard. Repeated big right hands from Lashley. Sims turns over to his knees. Lashley smashes him in the face a few more times and Sims flattens out to his belly. Referee Troy Waugh stops it.
Winner: Bobby Lashley def. Wes Sims via TKO due to strikes at 2:06 of Round 1.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 9:58 pm
The Showtime broadcast of tonight's show begins at 10 p.m. ET, so hang tight for the blog to resume at that time.
According to our press materials, Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims should be the opening fight of the broadcast. Incidentally, I heard a rumor that folks with DirecTV are getting a free Showtime preview this weekend.
By the way, Georges St. Pierre just strolled into the arena to lots of cheers. Mousasi happened to be right behind him. There's a couple of halfway decent fighters for you.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 9:13 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2010 9:38 pm
The best fight on the undercard -- better than a couple of the main card fights, in fact -- is up, as Jay "The Thoroughbred" Hieron battles Joe "Diesel" Riggs at welterweight.
Round 1: Hieron with a jab. Teep kick by Hieron. Riggs with a left hand that Hieron blocks. High kick by Riggs is blocked. Hieron with a kick to the body and a two-punch combo. Superman punch by Riggs grazes Hieron. Hieron whiffs on a left. He lunges in, but Riggs counters. Teep kick from Hieron misses. Hieron with a right hook, right uppercut and a spinning back kick to the body. Under a minute left. The crowd is booing the inactivity. Riggs with a flicking jab that misses. Hieron shoots and takes Riggs to the canvas. Hieron lands a couple of shots from Riggs' closed guard as the round ends. 10-9 Hieron.
Round 2: Both guys land some fists in an exchange. Riggs throws an overhand right, but Hieron ducks it and takes him down. Hieron punching the ribs from within Riggs' closed guard. Hieron throwing short strikes from guard while Riggs lands the occasional strike from the bottom, but very little activity here. Hieron hammers away at the ribs. Riggs tries some hammer fists from the bottom. Still very little action as the crowd gets vocal about it. Riggs finally makes it to his feet with about 12 seconds left, and gets hit with a knee to the body. 10-9 Hieron.
Round 3: Riggs smacks Hieron with a big right hook. On trying to follow up on the strike, he winds up back on the mat with Hieron on top. After some ground and pound, both guys are up and bloodied. Hieron smashes Riggs with a left hook that drops him, but he's not out. Hieron back in Riggs' guard again. Riggs is working a kimura from the bottom but he can't crank it far enough for an escape or submission. The round ends, and it's 10-9 Hieron. This should be a unanimous decision for him.
Winner: Jay Hieron def. Joe Riggs via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds.