By Denny “The Mad One” Hodge
Broomfield, Colorado- Strikeforce: “Payback” takes place tonight at the Broomfield Event Center and will be live on HDNet starting at 10 P.M. Eastern/9 P.M. Central.
UFC vet and local fighter Duane Ludwig will face off against “TUF 2” participant Sam Morgan in the main event, and Top Ten ranked Frank Trigg faces Falaniko Vitale in the co-main event.
Featherweight match- Ricky Johnson vs. Tyler Toner
Round 1– Nice body kick by Toner then to the clinch. They separate with Toner throwing a nice combo, then following with a low kick. Toner misses with a high kick, and Johnson closes the distance and forces Toner against the cage with some knees and foot stomps. Nice elbow by Toner off the clinch. Both fighters using kicks. Toner misses another high kick, and Johnson gets in a nice uppercut with some dirty boxing. Johnson loads up and misses with a big right. Toner is stalking Johnson now and they clinch against the cage again. They separate and Toner is pursuing and connects with a high kick and follows up with a right. Johnson with a winging punch that misses again. Toner putting together nice leg and punch combos, and Johnson is bleeding from the nose. Nice strong low kick by Toner again as he continues to walk Johnson down around the cage. Nice thai clinch and a big knee and Johnson is down and int trouble, Toner comes in to finish and gets caught with a big shot. Johnson goes for the guillotine but Toner passes to side mount and the round ends.
Round 2– Johnson comes out aggressive and Toner gets the clinch again and throws some nice knees. Johnson pressing Toner against the cage, then they separate . Toner moving forward again with a nice body kick. Toner delivers a nice high kick to the head of Johnson. Johnson changes levels and goes for a takedown but is stuffed. More knees from Toner as Johnson is now moving backward. Back to the clinch and Toner throws another nice knee and they go to the ground. Toner now in Johnson’s guard and delivering some nice GNP. Toner standing up now and raining down big shots. Johnson rolls and is covering up bleeding pretty bad now. Toner with full mount dropping bombs to the head of Johnson and the ref stops it. TKO victory for Toner.
112 lb. Bout- Tyra Parker vs. Michelle Waterson
Round 1– Nice kicks by Michelle, and Parker lands a nice right hand of her own. Big right by Waterson and the fighters clinch against the cage. Big knees to the face of Tyra from Michelle against the cage. Parker turns to the side to avoid more shots and Waterson takes her back, takes it to the ground and transitions to a rear naked choke and locks it in. It’s over!! Quick finish by Michelle Waterson with an RNC victory in Round 1.
Light Heavyweight- Carlos Zevallos vs. Andre Walker
Round 1– Walker with the jab and follows up with a huge left that drops Zevallos. Walker looking for big shots from inside the guard, as Zevallos is looking to get back on his feet. As he works his way up he is still getting caught with punches. Zevallos is taking a lot of punishment with Walker staying aggressive and landing more shots. To the clinch and Zevallos lands one knee before they separate. Body shots by Walker in the clinch with Zevallos looking for more knees. Zevallos still looks hurt, but is hanging in there and looking for the clinch to throw more knees. Zevallos now has Walker pushed up against the cage and working more knees. Back to the center of the cage. Walker is looking tired and is dropping his hands now. Zevallos still working knees to the body. Walker looks for the takedown with a trip, and Zevallos end up in side control. Zevallos with knee on belly then to the mount and dropping big shots. With :16 seconds left in the round it looks like Walker will survive to see Round 2, but the ref steps in and stops the fight. Zevallos wins by TKO in Round 1.
Lightweight- Billy Evangelista vs. Luke Caudillo
Round 1– Caudillo lands a huge left that stuns Billy and follows up with a knee and some GNP, Billy is back up and is dropped again and is in trouble. He’s wobbly on his feet and gets dropped for the third time. Billy is surviving in the clinch with a couple of upper cuts. Action is slowing as Billy looks like he is recovering now. Billy shoots but is stuffed and they are back to the center of the cage. Evangelista with a knee and takes a counter punch on his way in. Caudillo with a nice kick. Evangelista with a crisp left, Caudillo throws a body kick and Billy catches it and it goes to the ground for a second, but Caudillo pops up immediately. Front kick by Evangelista and a knee as he moves forward. They exchange knees and Billy stuns Caudillo and it goes to the ground with Billy taking Caudillo’s back. He is dropping shots to the face of Caudillo as he give s the thumbs up near the end of round 1.
Round 2– Evangelista gets a nice kick in, then disengages. Nice stiff jab by Billy and Caudillo counters. Low kick by Caudillo, and Billy throws a kick that Luke catches and it hits the ground. Evangelista uses the cage to spin off and get back to his feet. Nice punch/kick combo from Billy. Evangelista misses with a big knee. Evangelista with a high kick that is blocked by Luke. Nice jabs from Evangelista is he is dictating the pace. End of Round 2.
Round 3– Body kick and punch combo, and Billy drops and gets a good double leg takedown. Inside Luke’s guard against the cage, with Billy alternating between the body and the face. Caudillo looking to control the posture of Billy by locking him up. Evangelista is getting free to land some punches, but Luke is doing a good job with not taking much damage. Referee gets in and stands them back up. More jabs from Billy, followed by a straight right. Caudillo shoots for the takedown but misses. Billy shoots and is stuffed. Uppercut attempt by Evangelista but he misses. Nice stiff right to the face of Luke, followed by a body shot. Billy now picking Caudillo apart with his combos. Billy shoots but Luke steps away. End of Round 3. To the cards and the decision is in. Winner by UD is Billy Evangelista.
Welterweight- Donnie Liles vs. Pete Spratt
Round 1– Spratt throws a big kick that is blocked and he somersaults backward. They are back on their feet with Spratt landing a nice right. Low kick by Liles, and misses to the head of Spratt with a high kick. Clinch against the fence, Spratt throws a knee and catches Liles with a shot to the crotch. Liles takes a few minutes to recover, and the fight is back on. Big right from Spratt, and as he steps away he lands a kick. Spratt doubles up with the right but misses. Liles catches Spratt and flys backward into the cage support. Back to the feet. Liles comes forward with some punches and now they are clinched against the fence. Spratt with double unders controlling the action. Liles goes for a judo throw but ends up on his back. End of Round 1.
Round 2– Liles gets in a couple of punches and they are now clinched against the fence. Liles pulls guard and now Spratt is on top with Liles pressed against the cage. Spratt backs away, and Liles comes in with a good knee. Spratt connects with another right, but not much in the follow up. Liles looking to find a way to get the fight to the ground. Spratt throws a wild uppercut that misses. He is throwing big shots but from way outside and they have been mostly ineffective. Liles catches Spratt right on the chin. Spratt comes in with a knee to the head, then back to the clinch. Liles reverses and puts Spratt against the cage. Liles goes for another takedown but cannot get it to the ground. Liles with a combo, but Spratt comes back with a huge body shot. Liles shoots across the cage and gets the takedown. He is working to pass the guard and is now in half guard. He is now in the mount, Spratt rolls, with Liles going for the arm bar, then transitioning to Spratt’s back as the bell rings. End of Round 2.
Round 3– Liles shoots for a nice double and takes Spratt down. Spratt quickly back to his feet. Liles with the clinch, he drops down and slides, then gets the takedown. He is now in the mount with Spratt turning and Liles taking his back again. Liles look for the figure four body lock, then softens him up with some punches than sinks in the RNC. Spratt taps. Donnie Liles by rear naked choke, Round 3.
Middleweight- Falaniko Vitale vs. Frank Trigg
Round 1– Low kick by Trigg. Trigg to the clinch with knees. Knee to the groin from Trigg and the action is stopped for the moment. Nice exchanges. Trigg throwing forearms and knees, and mixing in punches. Vitale is backing away, covers up, then throws a big uppercut. More knees from Trigg. Vitale gets the takedown but Trigg is back up.. Vitale pressing Trigg against the fence. Nice right by Trigg and another big knee. Trigg with the body lock, then Vitale reverses and presses Trigg against the fence. Trigg with a big uppercut. Back to the clinch with Trigg dropping big knees. Trigg sets up the judo throw, but Vitale sees it and steps out. Trigg with short lefts to the face in the clinch. Big shot by Trigg again, followed up with more knees. Vitale with a whizzer, as the round nears an end. End of Round 1.
Round 2– Trigg continues to mix it up with punches and knees. Trigg controlling the clinch against the cage. Knee to the body of Trigg from Vitale. Trigg reverses, and looks for more knees. Stall in the action, and the ref steps in to break them up. Trigg moving forward with stiff jabs and another big knee. Trigg staying really busy with his hands and knees.. Big elbows from Trigg, and he is controlling the action. Cross face from Vitale, and he follows up with a knee. Action stalling again in the clinch. Body shot by Vitale, and he throws a big punch but misses. The ref steps in and separates them again. Vitale with a good right that connects. End of Round 2.
Round 3- Vitale looking more aggresive but Trigg comes back and sets up the takedown with a couple of punches. Vitale is on his back with Trigg in half guard. Trigg throwing short punches from the top. Vitale working to a seated position against the cage. He is back up and throwing some knees, but Trigg turns him back into the fence. The ref steps in again to break them up. Vitale with a huge right that knocks Trigg back into the cage. Knee from Trigg, and Vitale answers with a missed uppercut. Back to the clinch against the cage. Vitale gets the takedown against the cage, but Trigg is quickly back up to his feet. Trigg with double unders, and throwing more knees. Trigg backs away and is working his jab with a minute to go. Vitale comes back with a body shot. Trigg with the takedown again and he is in Vitale’s full guard. The round ends with Trigg on top. To the judges. UD win for Frank Trigg.
Main Event- Sam Morgan vs. Duane Ludwig
Round 1– Nice low kick by Ludwig. Morgan closes, gets the body lock and takedown. Morgan in half guard. Ludwig back to his feet and both are throwing wildly. Morgan misses with a big right, and both clinch throwing knees. Morgan is on his back after the sweep with Ludwig in his full guard. Morgan kicks him off and stands. Huge body shot that hurt Morgan, follows with a big right that drops Morgan. Ludwig standing over the top and drops a bomb to the body and Morgan taps from the body shot!!! Ludwig by TKO in Round 1.