Feedback to Strikeforce from San Jose
Best Fight : Melendez v Thomson
The show aired in most major European markets on Eurosport starting at
2.00am CET. I know you've complained about UFC killing the crowd noise
in the past but Eurosport take this to another level. You can
literally hear a pin drop between rounds and Eurosport didn’t carry
the US audio feed so we didn't hear any of the interviews.
A great show overall. Between Tuesday's Fuel show and last nights
Strikeforce we've seen some World Class striking. Things may have been
very different for UFC on Fox had they opened the first show with a
brawl the calibre of Pokrajac v Maldonado or Inocente v Zwicker.
Gilbert Melendez's voice burns my ears and his face burns my eyes. No
doubt he won the first two rounds but he was breathing open mouthed at
the end of the second after that near Frye v Takiyama level exchange.
It's the first time I've seen Melendez more gassed than his opponent.
The third and fourth rounds were Thomsons but he had paid the price
for being far too passive in the fifth. Had he pushed on I think he
would have took it but you can't really complain about the decision.
Very surprised Cormier v Barnett went five rounds. Barnett is one
tough bastard but as expected Cormier was far to quick. It will be
interesting to see how Cormier fares in the UFC. Cormier makes up for
his lack of his height with his wrestling and heavy hands. I don't
think he'd have too any problems with Dos Santos. UFC still need more
depth at HW. I'm not sure where this leaves Barnett.
M B Mehdi, Middlesbrough, England
Thumbs up. Entertaining fights.
Best fight: Amoussou vs. Rickels
Worst fight: nothing was bad
Sub: Holota by default
Mark Holota caught Abe Wagner in a quick sorta flukey looking heel hook to take the HW opener. Holota needs to lose some weight.
In a womens 115 fight, Jessica Aguilar took a debatable 29-28 UD over Megumi Fujii. Interesting was the apparent burial of Zoila Whatsis-Gurgel, who AFAIK is still Bellator champion at the weight by virtue of worse than debatable decisions over both. Fujii was the aggressor throughout while Aguilar landed the cleaner shots on the first two rounds, but the ground was all Fujii.
In the FotN by a mile, Karl Amoussou took a VERY debatable 29-28 SD over David Rickels. Amoussou, looking much improved in Bellator but still a frontrunner, dominated the opening round but then as usual gassed and I thought Rickels won the 2nd, and he certainly won the 3rd. Action from bell to bell.
In the main, Miquel Falco put a three round beating on Andreas Spong to take the MW tourney and movie into the vacant title fight vs. Shlemenko. Spong is going to be sore for a long time.
STRIKEFORCE WGP FINAL
Thumbs up. In spite of Zuffa's halfassing the league, many of the cards are still viable. (However, Mauro's commentary continues to degenerate. Cormier has NOT 'taken to MMA like a moth to the flame'. Not that hard to comprehend what happens to a moth when it takes to a flame, eh, Einstein? And spare us the 'Mamma Mia' cheap ethnic catchphrase crap. Maybe he should grow a big moustache and show up wearing a pizza baker's hat and apron and singing 'whassa matta you, got a no respect'.) (And stop having Miletich read the graphics, he sucks at it.)
Best fight: Inocente vs. Zwicker (Melendez-Thomson was good, but too technically inept for guys at that supposed level)
Worst fight: nothing was really bad here either
KO: Spang (default but impressive on merit, weekend wasn't a total loss for the family)
Sub: Feijao (ditto)
Quinn Mulhern and Yuri Villefort opened with a 3 round grappling clinic. Mulhern's superior cardio gave him the SD.
Gian Villante had a brilliant first round but inexplicably stopped doing the things that were working and allowed the musclebound and predictable Derrick Mehman to go the distance and even finish the fight in advantage position. He couldn't miss if he closed his eyes and the other guy couldn't hit him, and he should have finished or won much bigger. Obviously getting the Manufactured Star Push as the commentary ignores all of this. I thought a boxing card had broken out. One judge somehow gives Mehman a round.
Guto Inocente and Virgil Zwicker put on one of those fights where both guys got equally tired from one beating the other up. Inocente looks to have top shelf striking skills and some BJJ too. Zwicker is just tough and a true Team Quest guy (cheats whenever possible). Both like to break out the high tech stuff. I don't know how Zwicker survived. He got hit with everything plus the kitchen sink. Inocente works on his cardio and we have a guy in the Anderson Silva mold here.
JZ Cavalcante looked like he had finally gotten his shit together in the 1st, but faded badly and the much bigger and better conditioned Isaac Vallie-Flagg (what the HELL kind of name is that) was able to obviously impose his will over the last two rounds and take a very strange SD. Very good undercard.
On the top card, late sub Chris Spang dropped NaShon Burrell quickly with that same double left hook big brother Andreas KOed Brian Rogers with in Bellator and proceeded to batter him with knees and elbows from Thai clinch till he crumbled and the ref very belatedly stepped in. Shoulda been stopped much sooner. Rosenthal should know better. Burrell after the stop was insisting he was on his feet---thing was he was STILL flat on his back. Evened the count for the Spong family for the weekend.
Feijao did the same for the Cavalcantes for the night by avenging his loss 3 years ago to Mike Kyle in no uncertain terms, dropping him with a knee, pounding and then finishing him with a jump Guillotine in 33 seconds. Evened it up for the Blackzilians for the night, too. Feijao will now fight Mousasi for the vacant LHW title.
Josh Thomson, having no business getting a title shot at this point, proceeded to nearly win it from the overhyped Gil Melendez, losing a 29-28 SD. I had the fight a draw. It was a fun back and forth scrap but club fight technical level, not title fight. The one thing it should have accomplished is to put a stop to this bullshit about Melendez being the best LW in the world. Bendo, Edgar, Chandler and Alvarez would eat him for breakfast.
In the main. Daniel Cormier was just too quick and too strong for Josh Barnett, beating him to the punch all night and slamming the bigger man almost at will to take a onesided UD and win the Grand Prix in a fight that saw both guys in career best shape and going the 5 easily (not a small compliment for heavyweights). The question now is what can they possibly do with Cormier in Strikeforce? There's nobody for him to fight. The scary thing is he could probably make 205. He's the New Fedor.
Just wanted to give my thoughts on the Strikeforce event on Showtime. Wow, that was a great card! In my opinion one of the best Strikeforce events, and I've seen just about all of them. It was just as good as any UFC PPV event, I really enjoyed watching this show. I hope Zuffa plans on keeping Strikeforce alive, since tonight was a perfect example of showcasing great fights for the fans, and getting new fighters ready for UFC someday, and allowing MMA veterans to showcase abilities outside of UFC. Needless to say, big thumbs up for show, and I encourage any fight fan to catch the replay wherever they can find it. Anyway, just a few quick notes on the card. I thought it was going to be a quick night since two of the main card fights ended so quickly, but then the main event and co-main event more then made up for it.
Spang VS Burell - Excellent stoppage by Josh Rosenthall as Burrell was knocked out on his feet, but showed heart not wanting to stop, sometimes the ref will get a bad rap for letting fights going to long, but Josh is an excellent ref. If only he and Herb Dean could ref every fight in MMA.
Rafeal Feijao VS Mike Kyle - This was brutal, Rafeal came out like a beast looking to avenge his loss and really took it to Mike Kyle, there was just no stopping Rafeal.
Melendez VS Thompson - Excellent 5 round war, but I was really surprised about the decision. I knew it was going to be close, but I thought Thompson should have won, even though I think Gilbert is a fantastic fighter, but Josh was the better man tonight I thought, would love to see a 4th fight between these two.
Barnett VS Cormier - Now this was a fight, Barnett was just getting tossed around like a rag doll for 5 rounds, and looked like he lost a fight with a chain saw when it was over. Daniel Cormier is the real deal with a bright future, I cannot believe he only has 10 fights and he is this good having not been in the sport for very long. I thought it would be a quick first round knock out with the winner being whoever landed the first punch. Barnett was in a total war tonight just looking to survive. Really great win by Daniel, he really deserves everything that he has fought for. It was just a great night of fights and very entertaining, and I did not have to feel the sting of paying 60 bucks for a PPV!
Best Match Gilbert Melendez vs Josh Thompson
Worst Match Chris Spang vs Nah Shon Burell
Thompson vs Melendez was awesome but hopefully this puts to bed any talk of Gilbert being the best lightweight in the world. I really really hope Josh Barnett gets a shot in the UFC hes top top level and only 2 or 3 guys in the world beat him, speaking of which holy cow is Cormier a beast there is a lot of heavyweights in the UFC scared right now at the prospect of facing him screw the plus one fight lets get him in the UFC now.
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