So, the first post Zuffa purchase Strikeforce event was tonight, which was headlined by TWO title matches.
The Main Event saw Nick Diaz v Paul Daley. First round opened up with Diaz opening a can of whoopass quickly and pounding on Daley for a few minutes before Daley turned on HIS punching power and had Diaz stunned and on the ground. Somehow Diaz was able to work out of the guard and get back to his feet, where he went on the offensive and punched Daley relentlessly working Body, Body, Head until Daley was knocked down, and Diaz pounced on him and the fight was stopped with a few seconds left in the first round. Exciting one round fight with a TON of good striking.
Co Main event was Gilbert Melendez defending his Lightweight Championship against Tatsuya Kawajiri. These guys had a fight in Japan in 2006, that was a slugfest that ended with Melendez getting the upset over Kawajiri, who claims he didn't lose and "at worst" it should have been a draw. Melendez of course knows he won that fight. This fight didn't take long. The first punch thrown was Melendez popping Kawajiri square in the head, which he folloed with some BRUTAL knees to the The head, which put Kawajiri on wobbly legs, which Melendez then took his back and pounded a bit on him. They then were back to standing and we get some great camera shots of Melendez, from the rear, punching Kawajiri dead in the face. The work off the cage, and Melendez gets a stiff jab, but Kawajiri shoots in, but it's stuffed and withing two seconds, Melendez has landed 7 punches to the head, and when he moves to the mount, three BRUTAL elbows takes Kawajiri out. It took me longer to type this than it took for the fight. Great exciting fight.
Earlier in the night, Keith Jardine (who I've never seen win, or look good in a fight) going to a majority draw with Gegard Mousasi.This was an odd match, with three stoppages One in each round. The first round was stopped because Mousasi used an up kick while Jardine who was in Mousasi's gaurd was trying to get better positioning. The ref assessed a one point penalty. The second came in the second round when Jardine again was the victim of a foul, this time a low blow. The third was from when one of their fighters spit their mouth guard and they stopped for nearly a minute to get it washed out. Jardine was his usual bloody mess, cut over both eyes, nose bashed up, etc. The first judge had Mousasi the winner (and by all logic, he should have been, the only thing Jardine did was get 7 or 8 takedowns that Mousasi calmly took and punched his was out of. Both of the other judges called it 28. The crowd booed, both fighters look shocked. Both apologized to the crowd for the no decision. And of course Gus and Frank couldn't stop talking about how Mousasi won.
The very first fight of the night was Lyle Beerbohm vs Shinya Aoki. After a few seconds of feeling out, Aoki gets a quick back mount on Beerbohm and choked him out.
They had a poll with "do you want UFC and STRIKEFORCE fighters to face each other in fights?" which was met with a 94% YES response.
They show A smiling Dana White wearing a STRIKEFORCE t-shirt. They interviewed Scott Koker who pretty much said "it made business sense to sell" and that he was excited to keep his fighters and have UFCs marketing machine working for them.
I had a sneaking suspicion that Jardine/Mousasi was going to be a draw, since Jardine had gotten a bunch of takedowns in the first round. But one of the judges gave him the second round, which seems completely unsupportable.
Diaz/Daley was incredible fun, and about as great a five minutes as you can have.
It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects. "Well. Shit." -hansen9j Go Pack Go! (Champs!) Let's Go Riders!
An article from Sherdog.com today does a lot to explain one of the biggest reasons I like MMA more than boxing right now. It uses the heavily rumored Rampage/Machida fight to kickstart a discussion of promotor-based combat sports (MMA)