Strikeforce held another incredible event at the Pearl at the Palms, in Las Vegas. The fight card was headlined by Jorge "JG" Gurgel vs Joe Duarte.
Below are results of the main card from Strikeforce:
Pat Healy vs. Eric Wisely
Veterans Pat Healy and Eric Wisely waged an active three-round war, most of it spent on the mat with Healy on top but Wisely working hard. After fifteen minutes, judges gave the lightweight bout to Healy 30-27 twice and 29-28 once.
Early in the first, Healy caught one of Wisely’s kicks and used it to trip his opponent. With Healy in his guard, Wisely used the cage to quickly spin away and reach for an armbar. Healy spun out and postured up, and the two returned to their feet. A double-leg from Healy put them back on the ground, where Healy answered Wisely’s kneebar attempt with several big punches from the top, particularly in the last minute.
The second and third rounds followed in the same manner, as Healy worked his ground and pound while Wisely did work with upkicks, triangles and armbar attempts. In the second, Healy worked his way into side control and seemed to wound Wisely, but as Healy ran out of gas, the action returned to Wisely’s guard.
Healy’s win brought him to 27-15; Wisely fell to 17-6.
“It wasn’t my best performance. I’ve been on ice for a year and a half. I got through this one healthy so I’m eager to take more fights and continue towards the title.”
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah D’Alelio
Undefeated featherweight Ronda Rousey – an Olympic bronze medalist in judo – entered the ring touted as the new face of women’s MMA, having never seen a fight that lasted longer than a minute. Her Strikeforce debut was no exception, though it netted controversy as well as a W.
Rousey pressed D’Alelio against the cage, tripped her, and secured her signature armbar. D’Alelio’s overextended elbow and pained utterance prompted Steve Mazagatti to halt the bout 25 seconds in, though D’Alelio protested the stoppage and the crowd echoed displeasure. Rousey, who retired from her judo career at age 21, is now 3-0 as a pro; D’Alelio 4-2.
“I’m happy with the win but I wish it would have ended less controversially. I had the armbar in tight, I thought that I heard her say ‘tap’ so I looked towards the referee and he stepped in and stopped the fight.”
Roy Jones vs. Derrick Mehmen
Florida’s Blackzilian family faced off against the same state’s American Top Team as the former’s Roy Jones battled Derrick Mehmen in the first bout of the night. Though both fighters were born in Waterloo, Iowa and went on to train in the Sunshine State, their styles in the cage in Las Vegas could not have been more different as Mehmen’s wrestling stifled Jones’ Muay Thai over three bloody rounds.
The six-foot-four light heavyweights started on their feet, trading combinations that had Jones smiling and nodding. Jones answered Mehmen’s first takedown attempt with knees – flying, to the body, and from the clinch and dropped him on one occasion. After a minute forty, JUCO All-American wrestler Mehmen had had enough and slammed Jones down to the mat, where he spent the rest of the round in Mehmen’s guard.
To start round two, Mehmen immediately went for the takedown, and Jones worked with more urgency – but little effect – to return to his feet. The stalemate on the ground was briefly stopped due to an open cut over Mehmen’s eye, but back in position, little changed other than Mehmen landing some ground and pound with Jones pressed against he cage.
Still, both men came out game for round three. Jones stuffed Mehmen’s first takedown attempt, then followed him around the cage, targeting the opening cut above the eye. But in going for a guillotine, Jones returned the twosome to the mat, where it was back to an in-guard stalemate for Mehmen. As the round wore down, Mehmen even took Jones’ back, briefly threatening a rear-naked-choke all that only solidified his unanimous decision victory.
Judges’ scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Mehmen, who is now 12-3; Jones falls to 7-2 .
Prelim Fights listed below:
Gian Villante vs. Keith Berry
Long Islander Gian Villante rose to 8-3 with a unanimous if one-note victory over the now 11-8 Keith Berry.
Berry, who has two six-second KOs to his name, came out with just that gameplan, forgoing a touch of gloves for a flurry of blows. Villante – a former football player – put Berry on his back 11 seconds in and the light heavyweights stayed there the rest of the round. Berry worked for a couple of armbars and elbows from the bottom, but the bulk of the damage was done by Villante, who landed numerous short elbows and huge rights to the head and body from guard – one in particular with 1:20 left seemed to have Berry in trouble.
In round two, the men traded furious rights, lefts and knees for a full minute before Villante plowed Berry back to the mat. This time there was less action from the top – Berry neutralized Villante’s attempts to posture up or move into side mount; Villante squashed Berry’s tries to slip away. A standup with a minute left drew huge cheers from the crowd, only to be followed by boos a minute later as Villante immediately returned the action to the mat.
Round three was a virtual repeat, though Berry seemed more cautious and Villante pressed the action until his requisite takedown 34 seconds in. This time Villante pushed his prey against the cage, where he was able to exercise more control, if not exert damage.
All three judges scored the bout 30-27 for Villante.
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Lukasz Les
Strikeforce sophomore Nah-Shon “The Rock N Rolla” Burrell put on a show in his second-round TKO of Polish MMA star Lukasz Les.
Welterweight Les came out to confuse, quickly going for a single-leg attempt, a guillotine attempt and a rear-naked attempt on the mat. Burrell tossed him off and, his balance calibrated, managed to stay on his feet over the next several of Les’ takedown attempts. Taking the center of the cage, Burrell whiffed enough hard blows that Les began leaving more space between the two.
Soon Burrell found his range, landing a powerful left hook to Les’ neck, and after that the round was all Burrell. The Philadelphian stalked his opponent around the cage, punishing him with combinations and dropping Les twice. Each time, Les stayed alive by diving for one of Burrell’s legs, but Burrell slipped out, forcing Les to return to his feet. In the final knockdown of the round, Burrell allowed his increasingly-wobbly opponent to get up yet again, just to throw a flying knee at the bell for emphasis.
In round two, Les reached desperately into his bag of tricks and came out with more single-legs, which had him literally chasing Burrell’s lower half around the cage. Burrell continued his flurry of strikes, felling Les, who had to be forced back to his feet by ref Steve Mazzagatti.
Les’ hands were down as he stood, and Burrell – who finally broke a sweat in this round – staggered him with leg kicks, then knocked him back down to the mat. Mazzagatti had seen enough, and stopped the bout at 2:09 of the second round.
Burrell’s record rises to 7-1 (2-0 in Strikeforce), while Les is 7-3.
Mike Bronzoulis vs. Chad Leonhardt
Mike Bronzoulis got his first Strikeforce win in two outings with a third-round TKO over Chad Leonhardt.
Round one of classic grappler vs. wrestler saw wrestler Chad Leonhardt land impressive striking combos and striker Mike “The Greek” Bronzoulis score with solid wrestling. Through the round, both men tested one another with punches and kicks, with Leonhardt’s hook-uppercut-knee combinations finding a home more often. The welterweights struggled against the cage as Bronzoulis worked for a takedown, eventually prompting a return to the center of the cage. In the next exchange, Bronzoulis got his way with a dramatic slam and ended the round on the ground with Leonhardt working for a triangle.
Round two saw more grappling from both men, as the welterweights struggled for takedowns and landed a few throughout the stanza. Leonhardt’s combinations came less quickly and more wild, while Bronzoulis was able to bully Leonhardt against the fence. The last minute was the most dynamic, as Bronzoulis threw a body blow followed by a left and a knee that sent Leonhardt to the mat. Leonhardt managed to trip Bronzoulis on the way down, and a struggle ensued. Bronzoulis was in dominant position and scoring with blows, but he grabbed the cage for leverage, prompting a stand-up from referee Herb Dean as the clock wound down.
Leonhardt came out more aggressively for round three, with both men landing a few punches. But Bronzoulis’ leg kicks added up, and Leonhardt buckled after a low kick. “The Greek” pounced with ground and pound and after Leonhardt seemingly verbally submitted, Dean waved the bout 1:30 in.
The win was Bronzoulis’ 13th in pro MMA with 3 losses and 1 draw; Leonhardt left the cage 11-3.
Sterling Ford vs. Milton Vieira
The night’s first fight ended in under a round as the founder of the anaconda choke used exactly that move to put his opponent to sleep at 4:49 of the first round. Milton Vieira, a protégé of Carlson Gracie with PRIDE and Shooto experience, got the best of both the standup and the ground in his opening lightweight match against Sterling Ford.
Vieira came out the aggressor, landing hard leg kicks and throwing wild punches. The turning point came midway through the round, as “Miltinho” mixed up low and head kicks, then lobbed a flying knee that he turned into a standing guillotine. After a standoff in that position, the bout went to the ground.
Ford – also a ground specialist – survived the prolonged choke attempt, but wound up with Viera in his butterfly guard. Vieira leapt to side control, cranked his signature choke and Ford went to sleep, prompting referee Chris Tognoni to call the bout.
The seasoned Vierira improves his record to 13-7-1 with the win; Ford – fighting for Strikeforce at The Palms for the second time in under a month – falls to 13-5.
Reported by: Strikeforce -Laura Gilbert