Bobby Lashley vs Wes Sims. Sims apparently took this on a week's notice. The short, stocky dude Lashley was supposed to fight didn't work out I guess. Lashley looked decent, and got the win. He actually looked better than Brock did in his MMA debut. They played up the "WWE Champion" bit but barely noted his legit wrestling credentials.
Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
Manhoef is called "the Dutch Mike Tyson" not sure if its because he's crazy or talented. Typical Robbie Lawler match where he gets beat to hell before he does anything. Manhoef was kicking the shit out of Lawlers front leg, so much so that it was flying up near his own head with every kick, and Manhoef looked like he would steal it, but WHAM Robby Lawler knocks him out. One of those frozen arms in the air and rolling eyes knockouts. Lawler could barely walk after the fight.
Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy (pronounced Nuj) Holy God Herschel Walker looks like he's 21. A better physique than almost every MMA star in the world. They keep going over how Herschel said if MMA was a sport when he was in High School, he never would have played football. Herschel is very upright and rigid looking, but showed some stiff kicks and punches. Nagy tries a takedown, but Walker sprawls and stops it. He's on fire. Gets the mount and punches him till the ref stops it. (probably too quick a stoppage but Nagy wasn't doing a thing.
Cris Cyborg vs. Marloes Coenen for the women’s world lightweight title.
Nice back and forth with punches and kicks for a few rounds until Cyborg turns on the heat and beats Coenen.
Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis for the Strikeforce welterweight title
Total domination by Diaz. Gets the win in very convincing fashion. Not a single thing Marius could have done to stop the ass beating.
I dunno that Lashley looked better than Brock did--Min Soo Kim was about equal to Sims in skill level and Lesnar steamrolled him in just over a minute, while the best thing Sims ever did was TKO Kimo Leopoldo, and five fights into his career Lashley still couldn't really finish him--the TKO came because Sims flopped on his belly and looked lost, he wasn't hurt and Lashley was punching him in the shoulder, of all things. Let's be clear: Sims is a hell of a guy and a fun personality, but he's in terrible shape, he's never been good at anything but being big, and he still tagged Lashley with a few jabs before going to the ground. In terms of pure numbers, Lashley and Brock have the same amount of experience right now, and Strikeforce's attempts to draw the direct comparison between him and Lesnar is sort of backhandedly self-derogatory--by this point in his career, three of Lesnar's fights had been against two of the best heavyweight champions in history and another was against a very solid journeyman and once-contender, where Lashley's toughest opponent was Jason Guida, a heavyweight who has been defeated by welterweights, who almost beat Lashley several times over. Lashley needs a lot of work, but honestly, the time to coddle him is over. Give him a real fight.
If Sims either dedicated himself to seriously getting in shape or roided himself up to the gills, he could jump to wrestling, but I wouldn't bet on it. He's not quite there mentally.
Manhoef's whole "Dutch Mike Tyson" thing is because he's one of the most prolific knockout artists in combat sports--out of 37 kickboxing wins, 27 were by KO/TKO, and out of 24 MMA fights, a pretty staggering 23. The dude's gameplan is not even remotely rounded out, he couldn't handle submission holds if you drew him a series of diagrams, and his chin can be remarkably suspect, but if he punches you in the face, you're probably going to die. Lawler was getting wrecked, but major points to him for keeping his head on straight and throwing a good hail mary.
Nagy may be one of the worst fighters I've ever seen. Stance, striking, gameplan, grappling--everything he did was just so fundamentally wrong that the fight became kind of unintentionally hilarious. Walker didn't impress me much with his skillset, but he did impress the crap out of me with his cardio and his composure. Almost everyone fucks up horribly their first time out, especially in the heavyweight division, but he kept his cool and looked like he'd barely broken a sweat by the time the fight was over. It'lll be hard to truly gauge him until he fights someone who'll give him anything at all to worry about, but he has promise.
Cyborg's kind of a monster, and it's going to be hard to build a division while she's the champ--she's bigger and stronger than everyone else, and Strikeforce already sucks at building contenders, as seen in that Coenen was a #1 contender who'd never had a fight televised. Erin Toughill's one of the few people who might be able to match her in size and power, and Sarah Kaufman's probably going to try to move up to 145 to fight her, and if they get knocked off, short of Megumi Fuji coming stateside, there isn't much left right now.
Diaz needs to fight Jay Hieron like he was supposed to back in August. Diaz has been fucking Hieron over for half a year, and now he wants to act as though he's too good to defend the title against him--Hieron's the only person who really challenges Diaz's historic weakness against wrestlers.
On that rant, Strikeforce has a serious problem with their titleholders. Overeem won't bring the heavyweight strap back from Europe, Mousasi has two people to fight and no one knows who he is, Shields openly wants to go to the UFC to the point that they've brought in Hendo to run a hitjob on him, and neither Melendez nor Cyborg have anyone to defend against.
I am wondering if Lashley might be better suited fighting somebody who also has a HUGE wrestling background. He seems to be too big for most people to push around, but a decent wrestler might show how good (or bad) he really is.
Originally posted by CarlCXI dunno that Lashley looked better than Brock did--Min Soo Kim was about equal to Sims in skill level and Lesnar steamrolled him in just over a minute, while the best thing Sims ever did was TKO Kimo Leopoldo, and five fights into his career Lashley still couldn't really finish him--the TKO came because Sims flopped on his belly and looked lost, he wasn't hurt and Lashley was punching him in the shoulder, of all things.
It's kinda funny in a way, because I'd argue Lesnar was pushed to a title shot ahead of more deserving guys based purely on his name while Lashley's spending altogether far too long on can crushing duties. Their careers are polar opposites and not in a way that makes Lashley look good, yet Strikeforce see fit to draw parallels between the two. Well done sirs.
I tend to think Brock's a tad overrated at this point, but Lashley didn't look anywhere near his level last night. Crappy striking, average ground 'n' pound, zero submissions and the takedown was as much down to Wes Sims being terribly ungainly as it was great skill on Bobby's part. And let's be honest, Wes Sims is fucking terrible.
Manhoef continues to be awesome to watch and was pulverising Lawler something terrible until the KO. Poor Melvin. He is what he is though, and that's a fun but deeply flawed fighter.
Herschel Walker actually wasn't awful. Clearly not good or anything, but if you judge him against other guys who've been thrown out there for name/freak-show value he did just fine. Horribly rigid footwork but a million, billion times better than the Giant Silvas of the world.
Cyborg did fine but through no fault of her own she's a division killer right now and there's no sign of that chaning any time soon.
Zaromskis was just a massive disappointment. No pace, no movement, no footwork, no defence, no chance. He got bludgeoned more or less from start to finish. Hopefully he can bounce back, but for all the favourable comparisons with a young Cro Cop going into the fight, he looked a lot more like Mirko's broken-down 2009 vintage on Saturday.
Overall, Zaromskis' fight depressed the hell outta me, but other than that it was a fun card. More of a placeholder than anything else though and they'll need to step things up and sort out the title picture(s) before too long.
Before they switch AGAIN in a couple days, here are the rankings as of just after the TUF 17 Finale card. Voting panel (75): Marcelo Alonso (Portal do Vale-Tudo ) * Kenai Andrews (MMA Crossfire) ** Ian Bain (MMAOpinion.co.uk)