The latest Strikeforce show produced plenty of drama and exciting fights. Embracing the recent Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce, announcers Gus Johnson, Mauro Ranallo and Frank Shamrock talked about the UFC in a positive light throughout the broadcast.
In an interview with Ranallo, Scott Coker, president of Strikeforce noted that Zuffa was helping with production and most of all publicity. He stated that we could be seeing superfights between the promotions in 8 months to a year, keep your fingers crossed.
In what was the most entertaining round of MMA action this year, the main event saw Nick Diaz and Paul Daley standing toe to toe, throwing punches in bunches. Diaz seemed to find his range early and often, going for body blows in addition to his stinging jab.
Diaz didn't have it easy though, as Daley found his mark with a big time left hook, sending the Stockton bad boy to the canvas. Daley next fired what seemed like an illegal soccer kick, however the blow landed to the shoulder and not the head. Diaz made his way to his feet, shaking loose the cobwebs.
Diaz would push Daley to the fence and unload, going head body head like the movie the Fighter. Diaz fired a hook and uppercut and the Britsh fighter got wobbly, stumbling to the canvas face first. Diaz followed with a couple more blows, getting the TKO win and retaining his belt.
(Diaz post victory)
The lightweight title fight was not nearly as back and forth, as Gilbert Melendez ran roughshot over Japanese powerhouse Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez seemed to land everything he threw, from punches to power knee strikes. After a failed takedown attempt, Melendez got top position and rained down a flurry of elbows and punches to stop the action at 3:14 of the very first round.
(Melendez post victory)
In yet another horrible effort at judging in MMA, Gegard Mousasi got hosed in fighting to a draw with Keith Jardine. In the first round, Mousasi got the better of the stand-up battle, while Jardine got a couple takedowns. During one, Mousasi grazed Jardine with an illegal upkick, one point was taken away from Mousasi.
The second and third rounds saw Jardine get worked over from strikes. The third round was a clear 10-8 round in my book for Mousasi. When you land nearly all your strikes, have your opponent retreating, nearly finish your opponent with a submission, and get a takedown, you win the round 10-8. If an MMA judge isn't going to award 10-8 rounds they should be released.
In the first televised bout, Shinya Aoki picked up his first win on American soil with a dominant display over Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm. With Beerbohm looking for the clinch, Aoki obliged, earning a trip takedown. With Beerbohm sensing danger, he got to his knees, but Aoki earned back control. Aoki looked to sink a rear naked choke, but Beerbohm wouldn't let him get sink it. So Aoki cranked the neck to the right eventually drawing the tapout.
Nick Diaz def Paul Daley via TKO (strikes) R1, 4:57
Gilbert Melendez def Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (strikes) - R1, 3:14
Gegard Mousasi and Keith Jardine - maj draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Shinya Aoki def Lyle Beerbohm via sub (neck crank) R1, 1:32
Robert Peralta def Hiroyuki Takaya via split dec
Virgil Swicker def Brett Albee via TKO (strikes) R1, 1:46
Joe Duarte def Saad Awad via sub (armbar) R2, 2:45
Herman Terrado def A.J. Matthews via TKO (punches) R1, 4:16
Rolando Perez def Edgar Cardenas via unanimous dec
Casey Ryan def Paul Song via sub (triangle) R1, 1:39