STRIKEFORCE FINAL SHOW
Thumbs slightly up. Several horrible mismatches but several star-momentum performances to launch guys into UFC and no really boring fights, even with the high wrestling content and no KOs.
Best fight: KJ vs. Ryan C (except the deicision)
Worst fight: I guess Barnett vs. Nandor Whozis for the mismatch and the guy putting HIMSELF into Josh's arm tri
Roger Gracie got pounded early but came back and scored the night's first arm tri over Smith #1. I guess his boxing did look a little better once he let his hands go. Still not seeing a whole lotta upside for him in UFC or even elsewhere in MMA.
Poor little Holobaugh not only gave up so much experience to Pat Healy, but at least one full weight division of natural size. At that he was impressive in losing, showing very good striking and constant ground aggression, even from his back. At least Healy never got that unearned, undeserved title shot. Again, not seeing much upside to him either vs. that 155-lb. Murderers' Row in UFC. Holobaugh at a proper weight division... maybe.
Tim Kennedy wore down Smith #2 before tapping him in the 3rd with a Guillotine. Too bad Tim doesn't fight like that in big fights. He'll have to in UFC.
KJ and Ryan put on a really good scrap. KJ seemed to have resolved some of his style issues from recent fights and was back to using his boxing well, and Ryan showed great heart, mobility and conditioning, but the SD in his favor was pretty bad. I thought KJ clearly won at least the last two rounds and you could have called a 10-8 for the 2nd. Not sure how Ryan survived that one eating that many from a puncher like KJ. Again not seeing much upside for either guy at 155 in UFC, and I suspect both will get the call.
Jacare kicked off the top card destroying Ed Herman, outstriking him before taking him down hard twice and finishing with a Kimura. Herman was in good form himself so it was even more impressive. Plenty of momentum for Jacare going into UFC as Herman is still an on-roster UFC fighter and one who is rarely overwhelmed to that degree even against the top guys. Wonder if Jacare is considering going in at 205---he looked huge at this 194 catchweight, and I doubt he and Anderson would fight if he got in title contention.
Mousasi also had a breakthrough performance, walking right through Mike Kyle, taking him down with authority and setting up the RNC with G&P. This was IMO the only competitive fight on paper on the card, and it turned out not competitive at all. Mousasi plans to drop to 185 in UFC which is probably the right idea. Both he and Jacare showed a lot of improvement in their wrestling.
The HW fights were a joke. They could have had Barnett or Cormier fight both opponents at the same time. Like I said Josh's guy actually put himself into an arm tri when Josh had him mounted and Cormier's guy made it into the 2nd which there was really no excuse for on Cormier's part. Too bad nobody in AKA knows any subs. He said he's fighting Mir first at HW (which was supposed to be this fight) and then dropping to LHW. Josh may or may not end up in UFC but if he doesn't it's not because of a lack of ability or marketability.
Marquardt seemed to have regressed from the Nate who beat Woodley to the Nate who lost to Sonnen. He was just badly inept here, neglecting basics like checking a low kick when the guy was tuning his thigh into hamburger, and couldn't do anything at all with Saffadine and never made any adjustment or got any flow going at all. How one judge gave him two rounds is a mystery. One was stretching it IMO. Dana has every excuse now to stick by what he said years ago about Nate never fighting in UFC again and it's hard to argue or care after this performance. Excellent performance by Tarec and at least he'll be something a little different in the boring-grinder-dominated WW division and his TD defense might make for some interesting fights (although Woodley took him down pretty easily).
Not the most dramatic finish for the promotion.
(btw late BUT the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 7 show was off the chart.)
Just wanted to provide some feedback on the final Strikeforce show, I gave the show a solid thumbs up, but instead of reviewing the fights, just wanted to offer some final thoughts on Strikeforce. I'm a huge Strikeforce fan, and sad to see the promotion fade away. I still think Dana White should keep Strikeforce alive, and utilize the promotion as a development system for fighters looking to get into UFC. If it's one thing I always hear Dana White say over and over again is that they need more fighters, they are always looking for more fighters. Well Strikeforce was and still is the answer. They should keep the promotion alive in the area in which it was born in the bay area, and utilize it as a platform for up and coming fighters looking for the fights and the experience they need to someday make it to UFC. I've never been disappointed by a Strikeforce event, I've seen just about every show on television and attended about a half dozen live shows over the years including the Challenger series, and they were always solid outings. I still remember attending the Carano - Cyborg fight live, and remember it as being the most electric crowd and big fight feel that I have ever felt. And that includes all live events I've attended over the years from UFC to WWE. They have the ability to market things that UFC does not have time do, such as a women's division, up and coming fighters getting their first chance fighting on live television, specialty fights and attractions such as Hershal Walker, Bobby Lashley, etc. Also a platform for veteran fighters who are looking for fights outside of UFC (Fedor, Barnett, etc.). Not all fighters are a good fit for UFC in some cases, but those same fighters always put on a good show in Strikeforce (Barnett, Nick Diaz). Just a little sad to see the promotion go away, RIP Strikeforce, you will be missed...
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