Strikeforce

Strikeforce

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FIGHT!’s Danny Acosta caught up with UFC President Dana White at the grand opening of the UFC Gym in Concord, Calif. White talked about the company’s plans to revolutionize the fitness industry and got in a dig on one of his competitors.

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The Strikeforce heavyweight knows he is the underdog going into his title fight with Alistair Overeem, but that doesn’t bother him one bit. Shot and edited by Rick Lee.

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(Beerbohm weighs in at a previous Strikeforce event.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Go here for a detailed explanation of how FIGHT!’s rankings work.

On Fri., Feb. 18, Strikeforce Challengers 14 went down in the Austin, Tex. area, as did one of Strikeforce’s few lightweight prospects, Lyle Beerbohm. UFC, WEC, IFL, and MFC veteran Pat Healy leapt from #75 to #30 in the Lightweight Rankings following his decision win over the formerly unbeaten Beerbohm, who falls from #24 to #73 with the loss.

Former WEC Welterweight Championship contender Carlo Prater has struggled of late but he pulled out a catchweight win over welterweight Bryan Travers. Prater moves from #175 to #107 in our lightweight poll while Travers falls from #100 to #165 in the Welterweight Rankings.

Also at Welterweight, unranked Ryan Larson defeated Erik Apple; Apple falls from #135 to #182 at 170.

Ryan Couture notched his second win in two professional fights (this time over unranked Lee Higgins) and will enter our Lightweight Rankings after his third bout. David Douglas defeated Nick Gonzalez in another catchweight bout; Douglas drops from #106 to #108 in the Lightweight Rankings, while Gonzalez sits tight at #99 in the Featherweight Rankings with the loss.

In the only other ranked bout of the evening, Ousmane Diagne moved from #204 to #167 in the Lightweight Rankings with his win over unranked Aaron Franco. No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.

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(Loiseau weighs in before his bout with Mario Miranda.)

Farther west, in Lemoore, Calif., 22 fighters threw down in the square cage at Tachi Palace Fights 8: All or Nothing. Two belts were up for grabs and both changed hands. Read on for full analysis of how the results effected our rankings.

In the main event, UFC veteran David Loiseau picked up the TPF Middleweight Championship belt with a cut stoppage win over IFL vet and Lemoore regular Leopoldo Serao. Loiseau climbs from #136 to #91 in the Middleweight Rankings with the win, while Serao falls from #71 to #120 with the loss.

In the co-main event, Darrell Montague took the TPF Flyweight Championship from Ulysses Gomez with a unanimous decision win. In what was likely a top contender bout, WEC veteran Ian McCall defeated the man many considered to be the best flyweight in the world, Jussier Da Silva. The fight highlighted the problems with subjective rankings and opinion polls – while Da Silva was undefeated and held a signature non-title win over former Shooto Flyweight Champion Shinichi Kojima, he was beaten soundly by an unheralded fighter who went 1-2 while fighting as a Bantamweight in the WEC. When FIGHT! publishes its official Flyweight Rankings later this year, all four fighters will likely figure in the top 10, and fighters below 135 pounds can be assessed objectively.

John Gunderson‘s plan for making a return to the UFC hit a snag on Friday when he was felled by Dominique Robinson. Robinson climbs from #128 to #72 in the Lightweight Rankings while “Guns” falls from #117 to #177. In another lightweight battle, this one contested between two UFC veterans, Fabricio Camoes knocked out Steve Lopez with a head kick. Camoes moves from #57 to #46 in the poll, while Lopez enters the rankings at #154 following the loss.

Edgar Garcia climbs from #103 to #86 in the Welterweight Rankings with a win over unranked Mike Moreno. No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.

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FIGHT! Magazine headed to Legends gym in Hollywood, Calif. yesterday for Strikeforce: Nashville media day. As usual, “King Mo” was on fire, putting Gegard Mousasi’s world-class reputation on blast…

When we asked Mousasi about it, he was confused more than he was angered by the comments…

Visit FIGHT!’s YouTube channel to watch the rest of our interviews from the Strikeforce: Nashville media day, including Scott Coker, Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, and Gil Melendez.

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FIGHT!’s Danny Acosta talks with Marloes Coenen about her upcoming title fight with Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. Coenen will challenge Santos for the Strikeforce Women’s 145-pound Championship on Jan. 30 at Strikeforce: Miami. Shot and edited by Rick Lee.

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(Jay Hieron cracked Joe Rigg’s jaw but not our top 10.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad of subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system. After each major card we recap who moved up and who moved down in (and sometimes out of) our rankings. Strikeforce: Miami featured several fighters who hang out near the top of our rankings as well as several unranked athletes – let’s see how it all shook out. You can check out our full rankings here.

Newly minted Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nate Diaz has bounced between 155 and 185 pounds but since his teammates hold the titles at the bottom and top of his weight spectrum we have assigned him permanently to our welterweight rankings. A top-10 middleweight, Diaz’s record and strength of competition puts him at #3 in FIGHT!’s welterweight rankings. Diaz’s victim, Marius Zaromskis dropped from #9 to #18 with his TKO loss.

Robbie Lawler and Melvin Manhoef almost swapped spots – Lawler jumped from #36 to #12 while Manhoef drops from #13 to #36. Jay Hieron won a unanimous decision over Joe Riggs but it didn’t help or hurt either much; Hieron is stuck at #11 while Riggs dropped just one spot from #41 to #42. Bobby Lashley notched his third qualifying fight in Miami and entered our heavyweight rankings at #31.

FIGHT! Fans: What do you think?

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Got an MMA question? Send it to Peptalk@ProMMARadio.com and take your shot at winning a very cool FIGHT! T-shirt! And yes, you can send in as many questions as you want and can enter every week.

I think it was a great night for Strikeforce on CBS. King Mo is a star and got a breakout win, Melendez beat Aoki and Henderson will be back at 205 where he belongs. The brawl at the end doesn’t bother me that much. It’s not that uncommon in sports for that kind of stuff to happen. Are you seeing the Strikeforce glass as half full or half empty?

Andre

I like to think that I’m a positive guy, but I see the Strikeforce on CBS glass as half empty. The biggest issue is that the ratings were down significantly from the prior broadcast and did about half the numbers of the shows it was competing against on NBC and ABC. At the end of the day, CBS will define the success of that event by one thing, ratings. By that standard, there is no argument that the show was successful. It wasn’t.

I agree that King Mo is a star in the making and that Henderson can make the move to 205, a weight that he’s told me he is much more comfortable at. That said, Hendo was Strikeforce’s big free agent signing and we can’t pretend that him losing his first fight in the promotion is a non-event at any weight. But losing to Jake Shields at 185 is a disaster for the simple reason that Shields is soon to be a free agent. Strikeforce President Scott Coker says they have an option for one more fight with Jake, but there appears to be a time frame involved that could set Jake free as soon as June. If Jake stays with Strikeforce, the Hendo loss isn’t that big of a deal because it made Jake’s star grow larger and if you still have that guy in your stable to promote and make money with, that’s a positive. On the other hand, if Jake packs up that larger star and takes it to the UFC, Strikeforce loses both ways. When it comes to the post-fight melee, I don’t think it’s a huge problem for mixed martial arts as a sport. A bad day for the sport for sure, but nothing that will seriously affect the UFC and the sport as a whole. The reality is that as the UFC goes so goes the sport of MMA. However, it’s terrible for Strikeforce. The UFC and Canadian promotion MFC have already talked about how amateurish it was and distanced themselves from it. But, most importantly, it cannot help the CBS/Strikeforce relationship going forward. Poor ratings, finishing 45 minutes late and a post-fight brawl can’t make CBS happy.

I’m shocked that Jake Shields dominated Hendo. I’m a big fan of Dan from the Pride days but I have to give it up to Shields. Does he get on your pound for pound list after that performance?

Samuel

He definitely makes my P4P list after the Hendo win. I had Gegard and Hendo on the list before Saturday, don’t have them there now. I’d have him 7th, behind Anderson Silva, GSP, Fedor, BJ, Aldo and Machida. Winning titles at both Welterweight and Middleweight when he can make 170 pretty easily is impressive, especially with a dominant performance over someone at Dan Henderson’s level. Shields is on a 14-fight win streak and has taken out the likes of Yushin Okami, Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler, Mayhem Miller and Carlos Condit is impressive to say the least. He hasn’t lost in five years and four months. Until he does, I think he’s safely on the P4P list.

I’m anxious for Shields to go to the UFC and mix it up in the Welterweight division. Do you think he’ll go to the big leagues and how many fights do you think he should win to get a shot at GSP? Any opponents come to mind for him that would be a good debut?

Wendy

The smart money says that Shields will be UFC bound as soon as he becomes available. There were rumors that he was less than thrilled with the way he was, or more appropriately wasn’t, promoted coming into the Nashville event. The focus was almost completely on Dan Henderson, despite the fact that Jake was the defending champion. While a 60/40 split in Hendo’s direction might have been in line with their respective legacies, this seemed more like 90/10. Nothing spells exit like a champion who feels disrespected as his contract is coming to a close. More importantly, Dana White has already said that he will be interested in Shields when he becomes available. The UFC has to be desperate for new, legit opponents for GSP and Shields perfectly fits that bill.

As for a fight with GSP, I don’t think Shields should fight anyone before getting a title shot. Why take the risk that a completely marketable, legitimate challenger loses a fight or has a lackluster performance? There’s no need for it. Shields beat Daley who will probably get a shot if he beats Koscheck and he just soundly beat the former number one contender to fight Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title. It would be a huge mistake to risk the GSP fight. Three of the top four contenders in the division have already fought and been dominated by GSP and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see one of those rematches over a Shields/GSP showdown. As I stated in my post-fight piece here on FIGHT! on Saturday night, I would make TUF 12 Team GSP vs. Team Shields. Rumors are that Jake gets free of his contract very close in time to when they’d start filming that season. It sets up a perfect way to introduce Jake to the UFC audience and promote the fight. And my guess is that unlike Seasons 10 and 11, we’ll actually see the coaches fight at the conclusion of the season this time.

Larry Pepe is the host of Pro MMA Radio. Follow him on Twitter @LarryPepe.

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(Photo by Keith Mills.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.

Full results from the pro fights at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II can be found here.

After a strong 2009, Strikeforce is just a few cards away from closing out a disappointing 2010 filled with ‘WTF’ matchmaking and wasted opportunities (see: Strikeforce Challengers). While entertaining, Diaz vs. Noons II pitted an elite welterweight against middle-of-the-pack lightweight for Strikeforce’s 170-pound strap. Noons proved, though, that he matched up well with Diaz, pushing the champ en route to a unanimous decision loss. Nick Diaz came into the fight ranked #6 in FIGHT!’s Welterweight Rankings and remained there afterwards. KJ Noons came into the fight ranked #55 in our Lightweight Rankings and stayed put after the fight was in the books – he will be reassigned to Welterweight if he continues to fight at 170#, but given Strikeforce’s recent matchmaking it wouldn’t be surprising for him to get a shot at the lightweight title in the near future.

Speaking of Strikeforce’s Lightweight division, Josh Thomson’s win over Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante put him in line for a rubber match with Gilbert Melendez. Thomson, who leading up to the fight criticized MMA pundits for ranking WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson higher than Cavalcante, came into the bout ranked #30 in FIGHT!’s Lightweight Rankings. The win vaulted Thomson to #13, while Cavalcante fell from #16 to #36 with the loss. Thomson will be disappointed to learned that Henderson, #6 in the division, is still ranked above both of them.

In other welterweight action. Tyron Woodley jumped into the top 25 with his first round stoppage victory over Andre Galvao. Woodley jumped from #49 to #22 following the win, while Galvao slips from #44 to #82. In pro undercard action, James Terry moves from #98 to #81 with his decision win over unranked David Marshall, and Josh McDonald entered our Welterweight Rankings at #69 after his win over unranked Ron Keslar.

No other ranked fighters appeared on the card – FIGHT! is currently gathering data in order to publish rankings in five women’s weight classes in early 2011.

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(“He tore through the heavyweight division, then ALMOST shocked the world…”)

Rumored Bouts

MMAWeekly’s Damon Martin reports that Mark Munoz will face Yushin Okami and James Irvin will take on Igor Pokrajac at UFC on Versus II.

MMAJunkie reports that Jacob Volkmann and Paul Kelly will meet on the undercard at UFC 116. Also according to Junkie, She-Cyborg will fight the always-tough TBD on Strikeforce’s June 26 co-promotion with M-1 Global.

Bellator Announces Two More Bantamweight Tourney Entrants

The Chicago-based, tournament-format Bellator Fighting Championships announced the addition of two more bantamweights to its season-three tourney. Danny Tims fought his way in with a win at last week’s BFC show in Kansas City and he is joined by EliteXC veteran Mark Oshiro and Ulysses Gomez. According to the press release, Oshiro (12-2, 3-0 EliteXC) a civilian electrician working on submarines in the Pearl Harbor ship yard in Hawaii. Gomez (6-1), says Bellator, is the younger brother of Herculez Gomez, a professional soccer player in MLS and the Mexican Primera Division.

“That Was A Large Serving”

Today on “The Jim Rome Show,” Van Smack talked about Lyoto Machida’s recent comments to Ariel Helwani about Dana White’s criticism of the judges decision at UFC 104. I agree with Rome that telling White how to run his business is a good way to piss him off (no pun intended), but if I were D-Dub, I’d be happy that Machida was showing a little bit more life than his stoic samurai warrior routine. Rome also referenced MMAFanhouse’s interview with Lyoto Machida’s father, Yoshizo, in which he downs a cup of his own urine. There are several things that trouble me about this video and none of the have to do with the actual drinking of wang water.

First, I know your son is a UFC baller now but Yoshizo, a Silver Star shirt and long hair? You’re the dude we can count on to roll into the arena looking like you just walked out of feudal Japan. It’s part of the Machida mystique. Come correct. Second, did you just drop trou in the corner and fill a cup like your probation officer is jamming you up? I know Canada is rustic but do they not have men’s rooms in your hotel? Third, who is in charge of labeling over at Zuffa? You couldn’t drop a printed sign on that shipping crate? Who got loose with the Rustoleum?

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(“Ah, we make fight for good time, yes?”)

FIGHT! Magazine is onsite at the Sears Centre and the first fight is about to start. The arena is mostly empty and we’re about to get going with the first fight.

Christian Uflacker vs. Jonatas Novaes (Lightweight bout)

Round One: Uflacker with a double leg and in half guard. Novaes controls his opponents arms. Uflacker postures up, Novaes bucks but can’t escape. Novaes finally gets up, Uflacker on his back. Novaes tries to fall back into a hell hook but lets go and the position we spent the first minute in has been reverse. Both guys attempting to strike but he ref stands them up. Uflacker goes for a takedown, Novaes stuffs it for a second but ends up on his back. Likely 10-9 Uflacker.

Round Two: Leg kick Novaes, then a takedown. Novaes in guard. He stands and punches and falls back into guard. Novaes stands again and kicks Uflackers ass a bit. Uflacker stands, Novaes lands the leg kick-takedown combo again. Uflacker ends up on top, though. Uflacker with punches, Novaes works high guard for a triangle but gets nothing. Body shots from the bottom, Novaes. Uflacker gets crucifix and loses it. Novaes had this round and lost it. 10-9 Uflacker.

Round Three: Leg kick Novaes. Uflacker shoots the double leg and gets it. Novaes is working on bottom and kicks Uflacker in the head. Uflacker is on his back holding his gourd. He gets up then thinks better of it. Uflacker chooses to continue, Novaes isn’t DQ’d but loses points. Uflacker scores a takedown and controls from the top. Novaes active on bottom but he needs a submission or knockout to take the fight at this point. The ref stands them up. Uflacker stuffs a takedown, clinches, changes levels and takes Novaes down. Both guys punching a bit. 10-7 Uflacker if they deducted points from Novaes for the kicks to the head.

Christian Uflacker wins by unanimous decision, 29-26, 30-35, 30-25.

Louis Taylor vs. Nate Moore (Middleweight bout)

Round One: Circle, circle, circle. Moore pursues with punches, Taylor shoots the takedown, Moore stuffs it. Punches from the clinch. Taylor lands two on the way out. Moore against the cage again. Moore eats a knee to the pills but doesn’t even flinch. Taylor gets a talking to and the ref restarts the fight. Moore gets a takedown and lands in half-guard. Side control. The former Purdue wrestler is working but gets reversed. He tries to stand but Taylor keeps him down. Moore stands, takes Taylor down and gets his back. Taylor stands but Moore drags him back down. Taylor stands again but Moore stays on his back. The round ends, likely 10-9 for Moore, takedowns and control.

Round Two: Combination Moore, Taylor covers. Combination Moore, Taylor clinches, drives forward with knees, one of which finds Moore’s balls again. One point deduction. Moore moves forward with punches after the restart and scores a takedown. Moore works for position, mixing in strikes from Taylor’s back. Moore flattens Taylor out and throws punches. Taylor’s doin’ nothin’. Ref stoppage. Nate Moore wins by TKO at 3:29 of round two.

John Kolosci vs. Shamar Bailey (Welterweight bout)

Kolosci is rocking a sweet Scott Ian goatee.

Round One: Bailey charges in for the double leg. Kolosci in butterfly. Kolosci stands long enough to get taken down again. Bailey in half guard. Kolosci stands, Bailey gets a guillotine, Kolosci reverses the position. After a scramble Kolosci ends up on top. Bailey controls arm and escapes. Overhand and takedown, Bailey. In side control. Bailey pulls Kolosci away from the cage, gets mount, then half-guard. Kolosci gets up, throws knees from the clinch. Dirty boxing from Kolosci, wings a punch, Bailey ducks, shoots, scores another takedown. 10-9 Bailey.

Round Two: Another shot of Bailey’s to start the second frame. Kolosci stands and works a guillotine but Bailey is not giving it up. Kolosci tries his own takedown but Bailey shucks him and lands in side. Bailey is too athletic. He gets crucifix but Kolosci gets out and gets up. Bailey keeps the pressure up. Inadvertent knee to the face by Bailey, they stand up and restart. Baily charges again, they clinch against the cage to finish the round. 10-9 Bailey.

Round Three: Missed kick Kolosci. Bailey works a takedown. Bailey in guard. Bailey stands up and Kolosci kicks him off. Single leg takeown Bailey. Side control. Dude is too explosive for Kolosci but Kolosci keeps getting up. Knee to thigh Kolosci, takedown Bailey. Half guard. Bailey finishes the round in control. Not a barnburner but Bailey was dominant throughout. 10-9 Bailey.

Unanimous decision for Shamar Bailey, 29-27.

Jeff Curran vs. Dustin Neace (Feathercatchweight?)

The Big Frog gets a big round of applause from the hometown crowd.

Round One: Low kick/side kick from Curran. Big left hook Curran and another low kick. Neace’s spinning back kick misses. He charges with a knee and Curran cliches and grabs a leg. On one leg, Neace hops and knees Curran’s body. Curran delivers a knee to Neace’s liver and it’s game over. Neace stays on his feet but he’s done. Curran wins by verbal submisson, 1:39 of round one.

Marloes Coenen vs. Roxanne Modafferi (women’s bout)

Roxanne Modafferi, a resident of Tokyo, comes out through the columns of flame to some insane J-pop. Marloes Coenen comes out and plays the stern ass-beater to Modafferi’s hyperactive junior high schooler.

Round One: Strong teep from Coenen, punches, Thai plum, knee, Modafferi takedown and in guard. Coenen gets an arm and that’s it. Marloes Coenen serves Modafferi by armbar at 1:05 of round one. She looks strong on the feet, too. Should be a good one with Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.

Mark Miller vs. Deray Davis (Welterweight bout) Scratched? Postponed? A figment of our collective imagination? Now we wait for the CBS card.

Antonio Silva vs. Fabricio Werdum (Heavyweight bout)

Round One: They feel each other out for maybe 15 seconds before boo birds come out. Head kick and a miss by Werdum. Lead uppercut Werdum, Silva counters and drops him, raining down punches form the top. Werdum weathers it and Silva lets him up. Leg kick Werdum. Werdum tries to clinmch but Silva throws hands. Werdum gets a clinch but Silva pushes him back then throws him off, forcing Werdum to stand with him. Jab/inside leg kick from Silva. Stiff jab from Werdum into the clinch. Silva with his back against the cage. Silva pummels out and throws hands. Center of the cage. Werdum kick, they exchange hard punches. Werdum throws a kick and Silva watches it fly by his face. Low kicks. Clinch against the cage. Werdum goes down from an elbow, Silva lets him up, the round ends to thunderous applause. 10-9 Silva.

Round Two: Silva catches Werdum in an exchange and Werdum goes down. Silva tries to strike standing and then steps into a lazy mount and gets reversed. Werdum on top but Silva escapes. Inside leg kicks Werdum. Clinch against the cage and the ref seperates and restarts them. Inside leg kick Werdum. Clinch against the cage again. Werdum goes for a single leg, Silva tries to fall into a guillotine but Werdum slips out and lands in half guard. Werdum passes to side, Silva escapes, Werdum rolls and tries a leg lock. 10-9 Werdum.

Round Three: Low kick Silva. Low kick Werdum. Knee from Silva when Werdum tries to clinch. Clinch against the cage, knee to thigh from Werdum. They seperate. Inside leg kick Werdum, takedowm Werdum. Werdum has Silva’s back, throwing punches. Silva stands, they clinch against. – where else? – the cage. Silva landing punches, stuffs a takedown. Silva steps out of a takedown but eats a knee. Werdum working a leg but eats a punch from Silva. Short uppercut silva. Knee to body from Werdum wobbles Silva, he turtles up on the ground, rolls over, Werdum in guard. Werdum dropping punches. Attempts to pass buy Silva regains half-guard. The round ends and it looks like Werdum pulled this one out with persistant pressure. 10-9 Werdum.

Unanimous decision for Fabricio Werdum, 29-28.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (Light heavyweight bout)

Round One: Quick jab Mousasi. High kick Mousasi, blocked And again. Sokoudjou is a few inches short with everything. They clash, Mousasi eats a punch and delivers an inside leg kick/nut slap. Inside leg kick Sokoudjou, set it up with punches. Sokou goes for the takedown, doesn’t get it. Body kick Mousasi. Throw Sokou, gets reverse, Mousasi in side control. Sokou escapes and hits a beautiful trip as Mousasi scrambles. Knees to the head by Sokou. Another takedown by Sokou, lands in half-guard. Sokou stands, Mousasi tries upkicks and then takes Sokou down using his feet. Sokou is showing UP. 10-9 Sokou.

Round Two: Clinch against the cage. Knee to body Mousasi. And again. Knee to thigh Mousasi. Mousasi starts throwing hands in the pocket and Sokou covers and counters. The crowd swells. Sokou tries a trip, Mousasi reverses, the slide down together, Sokou ends up in half-guard (This edition of Saturday Night Fights brought to you by Half-Guard – Half-Guard, low risk, low reward!) Mousasi goes for a kimura, they roll, Sokou escapes. Mousasi on top throwing punches until Sokou turtles up and the ref stops it. Mousasi by TKO (ref stoppage) at 3:43 of round two.

Jake Shields vs. Jason Miller (Middleweight championship bout)

Mayhem enters the arena through a gaggle of geishas. They ditch the umbrellas and shimmy while he dances down the ramp. The announcer calls Jake Shields a, “world-renowned cage master,” which sounds pretty fucking awesome. Miller is world-renowned slap boxing master, so it sets up as a classic cage vs. slap, style vs. style fight. Big John McCarthy gets a huge response.

Round one: Mayhem throws hands and gets taken down for his trouble. Shields gets his back with hooks. Miller gets to his back, Shields in mount. Miller escapes and stands. Shields goes for another takedown and gets it. Punches to Miller’s body. Shields going high-low with punches. Miller gets up, picks Shields up and slams him. Mayhem in guard. He stands and throws, Shields gets up and works a takedown but gets stuffed. Mayhem turns the tables on the wrestler, picking Shields up for a little suplex at the end of the round. Close, but I think Shields took it with persistant takedowns and control. 10-9 Shields.

Round two: Punch exchange. Looks like Shields is bleeding. Miller takes him down, Shields reverses and takes Mayhem’s back. Shields to full mount. Miller escapes momentarily but Shields takes his back again. Mayhem spins around and around and Shields stays on him like stink on shit. They end up some weird stalemate with Mayhem spread eagled on top of Shields. Now Mayhem is on his back against the cage. Shields gets an rear naked choke but Mayhem defends. Scramble and Mayhem is on his feet then on top. I’d say 10-9 for Shields again based on control.

Round three: Takedown Shields, in guard, then side control, then mount, then back. Mayhem rolls and is in guard. On the feet, spinning backfist Mayhem. In the clinch. BJM stops them to retape Mayhem’s glove. Restart – Mayhem knee, takedown Shields. Mayhem with his back against the cage, the crowd starts to boo. Miller gets up, Shields stays on him and gets a single leg. Mayhem is out, on Shields’ back. He’s got hooks, working an RNC. He has it and Shields is literally saved by the bell. Wow. 10-9 Shields.

Round four: Did they just restart with Shields on top against the fence? Might as well have. The crowd chants for Mayhem. BJM stops them and stands them up. The crowd roars. Punches and a knee from Mayhem. Yay! Takedown Shields. Aw. Shields has mount again. Mayhem turns, Shields has his back. Mayhem scrambles and gets out. Shields stays on him. Mayhem is scrambling out of bad spots but Shields is regaining dominant position and staying there. 10-9 Shields.

Round Five: Shields has Mayhem in the clinch, delivering knees to his skull. Down, then back up, Shields is never letting go if he can help it. Back down, Shields in mount then on Mayhem’s back. Mayhem out then back down. They’re up and striking in the final ten second. Looked to me like a clean sweep for Shields. 10-9 Shields.

Jake Shields is the Strikeforce middleweight champion by unanimous decision and the crowd is booing? Judges scored it 48-47, 49-46.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers (heavyweight bout)

“The Grimm” gets booed walking out. Tacky and unnecessary but fans will do what they do. The arena goes dark and the crowd starts buzzing. Jimmy Lennon announces Fedor and the place goes wild. CBS and Strikeforce and M-1 Global and Rockstar Energy and WAMMA and CSI: Stary Oskol present the main event of the evening.

Round One: Each fighter stalks, finding his distance. Rogers bloodies Fedor’s nose with a jab. Fedor takes Rogers down but Rogers stands and gets underhooks against the cage. Short punches from Rogers. Knees to thighs Rogers. They seperate, BIG HOOK Fedor, takedown Fedor. Fedor in half-guard. Fedor elbow to thigh. Fedor goes for a kimura but gets reversed. Rogers on top doing damage, Fedor gets an armbar bur Rogers escapes. Fedor is bleeding badly. Fedor on top, gets a head and arm choke but Rogers muscles out. Fedor in guard. Fedor stands and dives in with a right. 10-9 Fedor.

Round Two: Stalking. Fedor in the clinch. Fedor is laying hands on Rogers like Benny Hinn. Rogers steps away and charges, back in the clinch. The seperate and Fedor lunges in with a right and knocks Rogers out. He follows with a few punches and BJM stops it. Fedor by KO, 1:48 of round two.

That’s all, folks. Fedor’s mystique is intact and we’re off to the presser. Check back with Fightmagazine.com tomorrow for exclusive content from Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers.

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