Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Weekend Wrap Up

Strikeforce

"King Mo" Lawal vs Roger Gracie
Gracie, the latest in a line of great jiu jitsu practitioners look completely out of his element and was entirely outclassed by Lawal. In a fight where you'd expect Gracie to try and get the fight to the ground, he chose to stand with Lawal. Gracie is the taller fighter and had a reach advantage. I don't know if he thought his weak jabs would be enough to keep King Mo at bay, but it didn't work. King Mo clubbed him with a monstrous right hand and dropped Gracie, a follow up punch on the grounded Gracie left him stiff on the canvas.

Jacare Souza vs Luke Rockhold
The middleweight title fight between Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold. Now if any of you have been reading my blog, I predicted Souza to handle this fight easily against an over-matched opponent who hasn't fought in like 19 months. I was totally wrong!

Souza came out fast and furious in the opening 2 rounds displaying amazing counter punching and just overall better stand up. But every time Souza hurts Rockhold he would initiate a take down attempt along the cage. He would expend a bunch of energy and would accomplish anything except letting Rockhold regain his senses. In rounds 3 and 4 I saw both rounds going to Rockhold who didn't slow down the entire fight. In rounds 3 and 4 Souza looks visibly gassed. Rockhold pours on pressure and lands some big strikes, including some jumping spin kicks. Round 5 I could have seen going either way, with the back-and-forth battle all throughout the round. On my scorecard I gave the round to Rockhold.

In the end the fight went to the judges who awarded the Strikeforce middleweight title to Rockhold via unanimous decision. The official scores were 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47, all for Rockhold. I'd love to know what that first judge was smoking giving all 5 rounds to Rockhold.

Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva vs Daniel Cormier
Now in my breakdown/prediction blog, I thought Cormier would have a chip on his shoulder wanted to get respected and would utilize his wrestling to outpoint Silva to a unanimous decsion. Well, I got the winner right! Cormier had a bigger chip on his shoulder than I thought and came to destroy Silva. From the opening moments of the 1st round it's obvious that Cormier's striking has improved dramatically as he cracks Silva with overhand rights. Bigfoot just doesn't have an answer and tries to shoot on Cormier who stuffs his attempts with ease. The fight is entirely one sided with a brutal knockout coming at 3:56 of the opening round when Cormier drops Silva with another huge overhand right. As Silva hits the canvas, Cormier bounces his head with 2 hammerfists before the referee can save Silva. During the in-cage post fight interview, Cormier is quick to talk about getting respect. And predicts he'll win the tournament.

Josh "Warmaster" Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov
In the final fight of the night, Barnett made Kharitonov look like a bum off the street. The fight opens and Barnett eats a couple punches, they clinch up trade a couple shots, then Barnett decides he's had enough. Barnett utilizes a body lock trip and lands directly into full mount. Kharitonov looks like a fish out of water. He makes no real attempt to get up. Instead he tries throwing punches off of his back. Barnett takes his time, working ground-and-pound and just beating on Kharitonov for fun it appears. Kharitonov finally starts trying to get Barnett off of him and gives up his back. Barnett just keeps pounding away on Kharitonov as he just turtles up. Barnett starts to flatten him out and Kharitonov rolls to his back. As he rolls, Barnett sinks in an arm triangle and Kharitonov taps at 4:28 of the first round.


Bellator
I'm just going to briefly hit on the Bellator 49 welterweight tournament. After I woke from my coma thanks to Ben Saunders I relapsed until this morning when by a miracle I recovered.

Douglas Lima, Luis Santos, Chris Lozano and Ben Saunders all advance to the semi-finals. However, only Ben Saunders did it in convincing fashion. The other 3 men all ground out boring unanimous decisions. Saunders really seemed to want to work his ground game. Through the first 2 rounds he repeatedly took down Cisneros and attempted submission after submission. Cisneros escaped everything but was being handled decisively. As the two men came out for round 3 Saunders throws some punches and Cisneros clinches with Saunders (the muay thai kneeing machine). Saunders goes to work immediately and lands some nasty knees crumbling Cisneros to the ground. A couple follow-up punches and the referee jumps in to end it at 29 seconds of the 3rd round. Hopefully the semi-finals are a bit more exciting.

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