—MAIN CARD (on Showtime @ 10pm ET)—
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine: Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46), Round 5, 5:00
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring: Cormier via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 4:02
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino: Barnett via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 2:11
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi: Mousasi via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 4:09
Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza: Souza via Submission (Kimura), Round 1, 3:10
Friday night The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the fifth annual Fighters Only MMA Awards. The awards focused on the best the world of mixed martial arts had to offer during the entire 2012 calendar year, with the 21 categories honoring fighters, media organizations, apparel companies, technical equipment, and much more. The winners though were determined by fan votes. Check out the full list of 2012 World MMA Awards below, and tune in to Fox Sports Net on January 20 to catch the ceremony broadcast.
All good things must come to an end. In this case, the good thing is the Strikeforce promotion that has essentially served as a UFC feeder league, as well as a home for those high profile fighters on the Zuffa poo-poo list, since its inception. The California-based, Zuffa-owned promotion will lock its cage doors one last time Saturday night as “The Great” Nate Marquardt (32-10-2) defends his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship for the first and only time against dangerous submission fighter “Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (13-3). Co-headlining the event is Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier (10-0) who will face “The Soldier” Dion Staring (28-7). “The Warmaster” Josh Barnett (31-6) will make his first appearance since losing in the finals of the Grand Prix as he goes toe-to-toe with “The Hun” Nandor Guelmino (11-3-1) in the anchor bout, and “The Dream Catcher” Gegard Mousasi (32-3-2) will face the always dangerous “Mak” Mike Kyle (19-8-1). Opening duties for the main card fall squarely on the shoulders of “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (16-3) who looks to continue rebuilding his title dreams at the expense of “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-8).
The women once again took center stage in Strikeforce as “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (6-0) continued her rapid ascent to MMA super-stardom with yet another first-round Armbar submission. This time the victim was former champion Sarah Kaufman (15-2) and the bout took just 54 seconds. Also continuing on the path to greatness was blue chip journeyman Ovince St. Preux (12-5). “OSP” opened the main card in spectacular fashion with a third-round highlight reel KO of TJ Cook (12-5). Grappling specialist Lumumba Sayers (6-3) had the script flipped on him as “Lionheart” Anthony Smith (17-8) lured him into his guard for a first-round Triangle Choke win. “The Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (13-3) managed to out-work Roger Bowling (11-3) en route to a Unanimous Decision in the anchor bout and the co-main event saw “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (16-3) put hot prospect Derek Brunson (9-2) away in spectacular fashion with a solid right hand. It was a solid showing for the junior organization of the Zuffa family and made another strong impression for the ladies with Dana White. MMA Gospel is here to recap the action.
—MAIN CARD (on Showtime)—
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman: Rousey via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 0:54
Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson: Souza via KO (Punches), Round 1, 0:41
Roger Bowling vs. Tarec Saffiedine: Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith: Smith via Submission (Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:52
TJ Cook vs. Ovince St. Preux: St. Preux via KO (Punch), Round 3, 0:20