Strikeforce presented another Showtime sports event with welterweight champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) taking on Chute Boxe fighter “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-14) in the main event in one of two title fights this past Saturday night. Before these two took to the cage at the “Shark Tank” of the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose, California, big names such as Roger Gracie (4-0) of the renowned Gracie family came to not only remain undefeated, but to prove his family is still as much of an influence in MMA with not only instructing Jiu-Jitsu but fighting as well. Herschel Walker (2-0) hoped to master another battlefield when he traded out the gridiron for six sides of steel, and elite middleweights “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (13-2) and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7) met for the middleweight championship.
Hola, icemigos. Okay enough with the small talk, let’s get the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg card wrap-up… well, wrapped up.
Roger Gracie apparently doesn’t need no steenking sponsors as he may be the first fighter I’ve ever seen with plain black shorts with not so much as the brand name of said shorts visible. Maybe Spinal Tap sponsored his shorts. ‘How much more black can these shorts be? The answer is none… none more black’. Gracie was able to get in the inside, trip Trevor Prangley and turn it into a Jiu-Jitsu match which was bad news for the veteran Prangley. Gracie was able to wrestle his way to full mount and Prangley did a good job of pushing off the cage to try and spin out and stand up but Gracie stayed stuck to him got his back and a body triangle and the inevitable Rear Naked Choke came soon after.
Strikeforce returned to Showtime last night with its “Diaz vs. Cyborg” card, broadcasting live from its headquarters city of San Jose, California at the HP Pavilion for an explosive evening of fights. Up for grabs were both the welterweight and middleweight titles, as well as Roger Gracie of the highly regarded Gracie family (4-0) attempting to stay undefeated in a clash with Muay Thai kickboxer Trevor Prangley (22-7) and crossover superstar Herschel Walker (2-0) taking on Scott Carson (4-2). The crowd was primed and ready to go crazy, and with the event that included exciting finishes and all-out-wars, Strikeforce surely did not disappoint with its latest effort. Here’s how the fights turned out.
—MAIN CARD (on Showtime)—
“Diablo” Nick Diaz vs. “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos: Diaz via Submission (Armbar), Round 2, 4:50*
“Jacare” Ronaldo Souza vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler: Souza via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 3, 2:00**
Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson: Walker via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:13
Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley: Gracie via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 4:19
—PRELIMS (on Sherdog.com)—
Nate Moore vs. Nathan Coy: Moore via KO (Punches), Round 2, 0:25
Bobby Stack vs. Isaiah Hill: Hill via Submission (Triangle Choke), Round 1, 1:02
Ron Keslar vs. Eric Lawson: Keslar via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 1:57
Germaine De Randamie vs. Stephanie Webber: De Randamie via Knockout (Knee), Round 1, 4:25
James Terry vs. Lucas Gamaza: Terry via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:26
Jenna Castillo vs. Charlene Gellner: Castillo via TKO (Strikes), Round 2, 3:57
Niko Jackson vs. Ricky Jackson: Ricky Jackson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Sam Bracamonte vs. Armin Safiari: Safiari via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
* “Diablo” Nate Diaz retains the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship belt
** “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza retains the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship belt
Tomorrow night, Strikeforce returns to its birthplace in the “Shark Tank” at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California with its latest effort in Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg. The promotion has brought to bear some of the biggest names on its roster for the card, including middleweight king “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (12-2), former UFC standout “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6), NFL tail back turned Strikeforce heavyweight Herschel Walker (1-0), WEC veteran Scott Carson (4-1), submission grappling phenom Roger Gracie (3-0), and Shark Fights light heavyweight champ Trevor Prangley (22-6-1). However, the main event honors fall solely on the shoulders of welterweight title holder “El Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) and his challenger, the Chute Boxe fighter “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-13). The bout promises to be a fast paced and violent affair with Santos being the perfect example of the well known Chute Boxe brutality and Diaz being an incredibly aggressive member of the vaunted Cesar Gracie team.
On Saturday night, Strikeforce returns to San Jose, California with its much anticipated Diaz vs. Cyborg card, putting two belts up for grabs. Welterweight Champion and Strikeforce golden boy “Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) takes on the dangerous Brazilian slugger “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-13) who seems to have found his place at 170lbs. after his brutal KO win over DREAM Welterweight Champion “The Whitemare” Marius Zaromskis (13-4) last June. Also on the main card, former NFL great Herschel Walker (1-0) makes his return to the cage against WEC veteran Scott Carson (4-1), as does undefeated Roger Gracie (3-0) against UFC washout Trevor Prangley (22-6-1). The middleweight title is also on the line as current champion “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (12-2) the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace takes on the American brawler “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6) in an old school style clash that is sure to have the fans on their feet. Lawler comes in off a vicious highlight reel knockout of “The Law” Matt Lindland (22-8) in early December and looks to string together two wins for the first time since 2007. The champ “Jacare” looks to use his ground game to put away the brawler and continue his undefeated streak under the Strikeforce banner.
Strikeforce returns to San Jose, California’s “Shark Tank” at the HP Pavillion this Saturday night with two title fights and a host of other exciting match-ups. Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) will defend his belt against the Chute Boxe wrecking machine “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-13) and the middleweight title is also up for grabs as Team Black House fighter and current 185lbs. champ “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (12-2) squares off with dangerous striker “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6). Before the two belts are put on the line, former NFL and NCAA elite running back Herschel Walker (1-0) will face WEC veteran Scott Carson (4-1) in the next leg of his journey to prove to the world that he is not just a freakish athlete, but a legitimate threat in the Strikeforce cage. Also on the card, undefeated light heavyweight Roger Gracie (3-0) goes against seasoned veteran and UFC washout Trevor Prangley (22-6-1) in a bout where each man has their own personal motivation to win. Gracie fights to reestablish his family as the elite name in MMA and will go through anyone he has to to do it. Prangley fights simply to regain a little of the respect and glory he once tasted in the UFC by taking out one of the most feared blue chip prospects outside of the UFC.
This Saturday at the “Shark Tank” HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, Strikeforce presents two title fights with its Diaz vs. Cyborg card. The main event will feature current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) taking on “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-13) for the 170lbs. title along with the co-main event showcasing the classic striker vs. grappler match-up with Jiu-Jitsu ace “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (12-2) defending his middleweight belt against slugger “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6). The crowd will also be treated to Roger Gracie’s (3-0) return to the Strikeforce cage, fighting Lion’s Den graduate Trevor Prangley (22-6-1), as well as the highly anticipated return of 48-year-old former NFL star and current American Kickboxing Academy fighter Herschel Walker (1-0) taking on Scott Carson (4-1) in just his second appearance not only in the Strikeforce promotion, but in the cage. Let’s take a closer look at this fight.
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).
Looks like Strikeforce’s December 4 “Henderson vs. Babalu” card might be making a comeback after all.
What promised to be the organization’s biggest event of the year was nearly reduced to shambles just last week after three of its biggest fan-drawing bouts, two of which were on the main card, were forcibly scrapped due to fighter injuries. The event’s deterioration began last Wednesday when 48-year-old former NFL great Herschel Walker (1-0) withdrew from his match against one-time WEC veteran Scott Carson (4-1) after sustaining a deep cut under his left eye during training. Then, that same day, welterweight Jesse Finney (6-1) dropped out of his main card fight with UFC veteran “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7), also due to an eye injury, for which he required immediate surgery. Just three days later one of the card’s biggest draws – “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (26-21) – also helped lighten the card’s load by pulling out of his fight with former Elite XC Heavyweight Champion “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (13-2) after suffering an elbow injury. Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu suddenly was reduced in size by one-third, and the change in line-up left the promotion scrambling to find comparable replacements on short notice. But all is not lost.
Strikeforce has been plagued by problems leading into what should be their true breakthrough card on December 4. Aside from the mishandling of PR resources, lack of marketing, and the long period of inactivity that typically affects the Strikeforce main promotion, the December 4 card headlined by “Hendo” Dan Henderson (25-8) and “Babalu” Renato Sobral (33-9) has been plagued by fighter injuries. As is par for the course, Strikeforce faces heavy counter-programming from the untouchable media juggernaut that is the UFC. This time, it’s in the form of the finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12, a card which carries an entire season’s worth of hype as well as the first appearance of bantamweights (135lbs.) and featherweights (145lbs.) in the UFC. Strikeforce was set to counter the UFC, at least amongst the extremely hardcore fans and the extremely casual fans, with a card featuring not only the majority of Strikeforce’s big name fighters, but also the casual fan ratings magnet former NFL Pro-bowler and SEC college football great Herschel Walker (1-0). Then it all began to fall apart.