FIGHT! Facts & Rankings: Strikeforce Houston

(King Mo lost his crown at Strikeforce: Houston. Check out Paul Thatcher’s best shots here.)

Strikeforce produced its first show in Houston and crowned two new champs – Rafael Cavalcante claimed King Mo’s crown and Jacare crawled off with the middleweight title vacated by Jake Shields. Below you’ll find full results, a recap of our FIGHT! Picks, and analysis of the impact last night’s fights had on our rankings.


Rafael Cavalcante def. Muhammed Lawal by TKO (strikes) at 1:14 of Round 3 to win the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Tim Kennedy by unanimous decision to claim the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.
K.J. Noons def. Jorge Gurgel by KO (punch) at 0:19 of Round 2.
Chad Griggs def. Bobby Lashley by TKO (strikes) at 5:00 of Round 2.
Daniel Cormier def. Jason Riley by submission (strikes) at 1:02 of Round 1.
Andre Galvao def. Jorge Patino by TKO (strikes) at 2:45 of Round 3.
Vinicius Magalhaes def. Rocky Long by unanimous decision.
Adam Schindler def. Keir Gooch by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:58 of Round 1.
Reynaldo Trujillo def. Jose Santibanez by TKO (strikes) at 0:28 of Round 1.
Chad Robichaux def. Humberto DeLeon by split decision.
Artenas Young def. Chad Cook by unanimous decision.

(K.J. Noons uncorks Jorge Gurgel. Check out Paul Thatcher’s best shots here.)


Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal stepped into the cage in Houston holding the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title and a top 10 position in FIGHT! Magazine’s MMA Rankings; he left the cage without either. Mo falls from #4 to #14 in our Light Heavyweight Rankings following his stoppage loss to new champ Rafael Cavalcante, who moves from #19 to #10.

Tim Kennedy and Ronaldo Souza fought a closely contested match to lay claim to Jake Shields’ recently vacated Strikeforce Middleweight Championship belt. Souza came out on top but only moved from #13 to #11 in our Middleweight Rankings while Kennedy held steady at #26. It would make sense for Strikeforce include Kennedy in its rumored Middleweight Tournament to see if he can’t earn a second crack at “Jacare.”

In a lightweight feature bout K.J. Noons extended his winning streak by stopping Jorge Gurgel early in the second round, but due to Gurgel’s low value, the victory only moved Noons from #56 to #53 in our Lightweight Rankings. Gurgel continues his slide, dropping from #99 to #104. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Gurgel return to the regional circuit in an effort to retool his game and give his fading career a shot in the arm.

While “Feijao”’s win was an upset, Chad Griggs’ stoppage win over Bobby Lashley put a serious crimp in Strikeforce’s plan to build the former wrestler into a heavyweight contender. Luckily for Scott Coker, losses are usually a good thing for developing fighters and in Griggs, they have a solid heavyweight with a marquee win on his resume. Lashley falls from #32 to #52 in our Heavyweight Rankings, while Griggs enters the rankings at #48. In other heavyweight action, Daniel Cormier climbs from #39 to #35 with a quick stoppage win over unranked Jason Riley.

All other fighters entered the night unranked and left the same way, the lone exception being Andre Galvao, who enters our Welterweight Rankings at #46 with a win over unranked MMA super-veteran Jorge Patino.

(Bobby Lashley slams Chad Griggs in a losing effort. Check out Paul Thatcher’s best shots here.)

FIGHT! Picks Recap

After two surprising outcomes we’re now 83-41 in 2010.

Muhammad Lawal (-575) vs. Rafael Cavalcante (+375)
FIGHT! Pick: Lawal Resulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

Ronaldo Souza (-275) vs. Tim Kennedy (+215)
FIGHT! Pick: Souza Resulting Outcome:  CORRECT

Noons (-205) vs. Gurgel (+165)
FIGHT! Pick: Noons Resulting Outcome:  CORRECT

Bobby Lashley vs. Chad Griggs / Daniel Cormier vs. Jason Riley>
FIGHT! Pick: Lashley / Cormier Resulting Outcome:  INCORRECT / Resulting Outcome:  CORRECT

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