The second installment of Strikeforce action in 2012 takes place this Saturday in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (17-9) returns from a timely lay-off to take on one of the middleweight division’s rising new stars, Lumumba Sayers (5-2). “The Punk” Josh Thomson (18-4) is back from injury and will be greeted by KJ Noons (11-4) in his return. Midway through the main card, two dynamos of the sport meet as knockout artist “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-11-2) battles a fellow veteran in “Hitman” Kazuo Misaki (24-11-2). Bristol Marunde (12-6) makes his Strikeforce debut in the co-main event but has a steep mountain to climb in the form of submission ace, “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (14-3). The main event has been turning heads for some time and now it finally comes to fruition when “Takedown” Miesha Tate (12-2) puts her women’s welterweight title on the line against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (4-0). With all the action already placed on the main card, here’s a glance of what to look out for when the combatants take to the cage.
“OSP” Ovince St. Preux (9-4) has been on quite a roll lately. He’s fought a half-dozen times in the past 12 months, winning all six of those fights – four of which were under the Strikeforce banner. Three of those four Strikeforce match-ups took place in just the seven weeks between mid-November 2010 and early January 2011 when he defeated very tough competition in “The Juggernaut” Antwain Britt (12-5), “The Razor” Benji Radach (19-6,) and “Abongo” Ron Humphrey (6-2). All in all Ovince is a perfect (4-0) inside the Strikeforce cage.
Stuck at home tonight with no exciting plans? Think again!
Tonight at 11pm ET/PT, Strikeforce and Showtime MMA brings its fans Strikeforce Challengers 13 from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The electrifying evening of fights is headlined by Tyron Woodley (9-0) facing Team Quest standout Tarrec Saffiedine (9-1). This fight should be tremendously exciting as Tarrec Saffiedine utilizes a unique stand-up style that has resulted in a three fight win streak going into this bout. Woodley has looked phenomenal since debuting with Strikeforce. He’s a perfect nine wins against zero losses with six of those wins inside the Strikeforce cage. Woodley made Andre Galvao (5-2) look very ordinary in their October showdown in San Jose, California, even knocking him out only 1:48 into the first stanza. This will unquestionably be the biggest test for Tyron; in fact, it is well within reason to say that Tarec Saffiedine could pull the upset and get the win. Either way, the winner of this fight makes some noise in the welterweight division.
Hello, Icemigos. I hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant. I apologize for not enriching your life with a column last week but due to the holiday and the fact that nothing really happened in MMA, I decided to take a well-earned break. I trust that with the love and support of your family and friends and the knowledge that a new column would be coming your way via the magic of the interwebs, you were able to soldier on and get through that trying time. Well, rejoice, dear friends, because I’m back.
St. Louis was not only treated to a talent filled evening but to three stunning knockouts via the Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu card. “Hendo” Dan Henderson (26-8), “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6), and “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10) all walked away with a win by brutal knockout. In the main event, Henderson finished “Babalu” Renato Sobral (33-9) by ground-n-pound with vicious right hands, Lawler landed a heavy right hook and a right diving haymaker that put “The Law” Matt Lindland (22-8) to sleep, and Daley finished with his famous left hook over the fan favorite “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-8). “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (14-2) also walked away with a TKO win over kickboxer Mike Kyle (14-8) and Ovince St.Preux (9-4) took a Unanimous Decision victory against Benji Radach (19-6).
Josh Epps vs. J.W. Wright: Wright via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 1:29
Booker DeRousse vs. Coltin Cole: DeRousse via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 3:04
Thomas Aaron vs. Matt Ricehouse: Ricehouse via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Lee Brousseau vs. Mike Glenn: Glenn via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 2:00
Lucas Lopes vs. Cortez Coleman: Coleman via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 2:04
Patrick Cummins vs. Terrell Brown: Brown via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 2:44
Max Martyniouk vs. Justin Lawrence: Lawrence via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Fernando Bettega vs. Wayne Phillips: Bettega via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Benji Radach vs. Ovince St. Preux: St. Preux via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith: Daley via KO (Punch), Round 1, 2:09
Antonio Silva vs. Mike Kyle: Silva via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 2:49
Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Lindland: Lawler via KO (Punch), Round 1, 0:50
Dan Henderson vs. “Babalu” Renato Sobral: Henderson via KO (Punches), Round 1, 1:53
Josh Epps: 127.5lbs.
J.W. Wright: 130.5lbs.
Coltin Cole: 185.5lbs.
Thomas Aaron: 155.5lbs.
Matt Ricehouse: 156lbs.
Lee Brousseau: 204lbs.
Mike Glenn: 207.25lbs.
Lucas Lopes: 185lbs.
Cortez Coleman: 184.75lbs.
Patrick Cummins: 205.5lbs.
Terrell Brown: 208.25lbs.*
Max Martyniouk: 154.5lbs.
Justin Lawrence: 155.5lbs.
Fernando Bettega: 170.25lbs.
Wayne Phillips: 171lbs.
Benji Radach: 205.5lbs.
Ovince St. Preux: 205.5lbs.
Paul Daley: 169.75lbs.
Scott Smith: 170lbs.
Antonio Silva: 263lbs.
Mike Kyle: 219lbs.
Robbie Lawler: 186lbs.
Matt Lindland: 185.5lbs.
Dan Henderson: 204.5lbs.
“Babalu” Renato Sobral: 202lbs.
* Brown has approximately two hours to drop 2.25 pounds.
Returning to wow the MMA fans of St. Louis for a second time is ”Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7). The UFC veteran has descended the weight classes throughout his MMA career, starting at heavyweight and is not debuting his new lean 170lb. frame at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu this Saturday. Smith is making his debut in the promotion’s talent filled welterweight division against dangerous British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (22-10-2) in the UFC castaway’s Strikeforce debut. The fan favorite, Smith, also known by his fans as “The Comeback Kid” due to a handful of come-from-behind knockouts to his credit, is looking to put his heart, his iron will, and his hands of steel to use in a new division against a man whose back is against the cage when it comes to top competition. With the arsenal of strikes these two fighters bring to the cage it is a sure shot that only one man will be left standing in the end.
A tumultuous week for Strikeforce has finally come to an end…hopefully. The “Henderson vs. Babalu” event this Saturday was in serious jeopardy when over the past six days three of its bouts, including two from the main card, were scrapped due to fighter injuries. The promotion scrambled to find last-minute replacements to fulfill the ten-fight card Strikeforce promised its fans. Fill-ins “Semtex” Paul Daley (22-10-2) and “MAK” Mike Kyle (14-7-1) stepped up to the plate to take on “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7) and “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (13-2), respectively. Today it was announced that Strikeforce has filled its tenth and final slot with a match between “The Razor” Benji Radach (19-5) and Ovince St. Preux (8-4). The two fighters will meet in a welterweight match-up as the premier bout on the main card, which was originally intended for Herschel Walker (1-0) vs. Scott Carson (4-1).
When former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7) enters the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday to make his official weight for his battle with “Semtex” Paul Daley (22-10-2) at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu the next day, he will be in a new division once again. Smith began his career at heavyweight then gradually descended through the weight classes and will take on his first welterweight opponent in the British knockout artist.