PRO MMA (promma.info) was sitting cage side at “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” Saturday night, April 11, in San Jose, California. From the first bout to the last, the entire card was action packed. Only one fight went the distance and it was on the under card un-televised portion. Showtime viewers got a real treat with this reintroduction to MMA.
In the end, “The Legend” seemed more like a fable as the younger, taller, longer, and larger Nick Diaz kept Shamrock at bay with jabs and combinations. Shamrock occasionally found his way through the forest of punches but it was rare and even then it was only one or two shots at a time.
Diaz threw in some kicks and take downs for good measure. Shamrock was visibly weakening as the attack mounted and as Diaz, throughout the fight, kept talking to “The Legend.” The end of the story came in round two after a combination followed by a liver shot collapsed Shamrock to the canvas. Diaz followed up with punches to the face until Big John McCarthy was forced to halt the assault.
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz – quick results
Nick Diaz def Frank Shamrock via TKO (strikes) rd2
Gilbert Melendez def Rodrigo Damm via KO (punch) rd2
Scott Smith def Benji Radach via KO (punch) rd3
Cristiane Santos def Hitomi Akano via KO (strikes) rd3
Brett Rogers def Ron Humphrey via TKO (strikes) rd2
Luke Rockhold def Buck Meredith via sub (side choke) rd1
Eric Lawson def Waylon Kennel via TKO (strikes) rd1
Raul Castillo def Brandon Michaels via sub (RNC) rd1
James Terry def Zak Bucia via unanimous decision
Shingo Kohara def Jeremy Tavares via KO (knee) rd2
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz – play-by-play
Eric Lawson vs Waylon Kennell
RD1 – They come out and touch. Overhand right by Lawson followed by a quick Flurry of punches. Lawson follow these up with a couple of take downs by Kennell is able to return to his feet.They clinch against the fence and Lawson looks for a throw. Lawson is rocked by a couple of hard shots. Recovers quickly and takes Kennell back down. He falls in a triangle attempt. Kennell catches an arm bar that is extremely tight. Some how Lawson is able to pull out and get back the top position, where he reins down strike while transitioning to the mount. He continues to blast away as time is running out in the round. Big John steps in stops the fight! Eric Lawson beats Waylon Kennell @ 4:54 of round 1
Luke Rockhold vs Buck Meredith
RD1 – Rockhold gets a big double leg to open the fight and quickly transitions to an anaconda choke. Rockhold uses the near submission to transition to the back. From there he works for the choke and finally secures it @ 4:07 of the first with the tap . Strong showing of technical grappling by Rockhold in victory.
There is a break between the action and fighters are up and roaming about. Tito Ortiz crosses paths with Babalu. Never a lack of words Sobral jaws at Tito but Ortiz will not oblige. The arena was already half full as the first fight started and people are steadily flowing in. There is an all star cast of MMA personalities in the arena including Royce Gracie, Fabricio Werdum, Cung Le, Renato Sobral, Jamie Varner, Ryan Bader, Andrei Arlovski and many others. Does the volume of Affliction fighters and Tom Atencio lend weight to what Overeem said? Will Affliction fighters transition to Strikeforce once the organization goes under?
Brett Rogers Ron Humphrey
RD1 – Abongo is being promoted as the BET heavyweight champ. The action is heavy on their feet early on as Rogers get warned for striking behind the head. Correction Rogers was pulling the dreads of Humphrey. The rounds ends with Rogers having a point deducted for the constant grabbing of the hair in an attempt to gain the plum.
RD2 – Rogers is punishing Humphrey’s with knees and uppercuts as the crowd reacts to the big shots. Rogers continues to pound away and Herb dean stops the fight. Rogers wins with a second round KO. Ron Kruck spoke with Rogers backstage and states “Referring to the point for pulling hair it didn’t phase me because knew I was going to get him. I had him dazed and when it got to the second round every strike was hurting his soul.”
Cristiane Santos vs Hitomi Akono
RD1 – Cyborg comes out to a great ovation from the san Jose crowd. Despite reports of Santos weighing in at 158 at midnight, Cyborg is billed at 150 pounds in the ‘tale of the tape’. The big screen shows a pic of Gina Carano and the crowd goes crazy. Cyborg comes out with a barrage of punches that would do Wanderlei Silva proud. Akano survies the storm but is thrown to the mat with a suplex. Cyborg works the ground and pound while in Akano’s guard. Cyborg gets out of the guard and motions to Akano to get up on the feet. Cyborg stalks Akano and the Japanese fighter attempts to pull guard to no avail. Cyborg nearly ends the fight in the wayning seconds of the first round with punches and kicks to the body.
RD2 – Cyborg continues to stalk Akano. Santos continues to walk down Akano and Akano does her best to circle and keep her distance. Cyborg lands the huge head throw and works some more ground and pound. Cyborg keeps Akano against the fence as the Brazilian continues to rain down blows. Santos moves to half guard in the final seconds landing more punches from the top position.
RD3 – Cyborg comes out with a fury and Finishes the fight quickly and the fight is stopped after a series of powerful right crosses. Akano turns her back in defense and the ref has no other choice but to step in.
Sitting next to Ron Kruck has its advantages. He spoke with Cyborg and she stated that the next logical step is to fight Carano.
Scott Smith vs Benji Radach
RD1 – Both fighters meet in the middle and begin finding range with punches. Smith throws a right kick the Radach nearly catches. Smith pursues Benji around the cage and Radach looks to counter. Smith land a big combination but Radach counters with one of his own that floors Scott Smith.
RD 2 – The action is a little more slow and deliberate with Radach attempting a standing guillotine. Smith takes him down to defend from the submission, but Radach reverses him and takes the top position. Attendance is 15,211 @ HP
RD3 – It is Smith’s turn for a guillotine attempt. It looks close and Radach lifts him HIGH in the air and slams Smith to the canvas. They stand obviously tiered from the battle and exchange and Smith musters up the strength for another huge right hand and connects. Radach goes down and the fight is stopped.
Gilbert Melendez vs Rodrigo Damm
RD 1 – Gilbert catches a kick of Damm’s and takes him to the ground. He starts working from withing the guard of Damm’s against the fence. This is the scene for the rest of the round as Gilbert works on top.
RD 2 – They exchange standing initially and Gilbert shoots for a double. He switches to the single and scores the take down. They get back to their feet quickly. Gilbert rocks Damm with a right cross that sends him reeling. He follows him to the mat and finishes him off.
Frank Shamrock vs Nick Diaz
Rd 1 – The crowd roars with anticipation for the main event. Diaz comes out to a standing ovation. Shamrock stands ready for his entrance to a surprisingly mixed reaction. They start with Nick throwing some kicks and scores the take down. He passes to side mount. Frank gets back to his feet and they trade. Diaz fires his trademark peppering punches. Frank flops to his back and Nick follows to the mat. Nick passes the guard again and then takes mount. He begins to pepper Frank but Frank is able to regain standing as the round ends. The fighters are jawing at each other.
RD 2 – Nick comes out confident and talking to Frank as he peppers him again standing. Diaz is keeping him at the end of the jab. Diaz continues to get the better of the stand up. Frank is reeling as Diaz contiues the assault. Nick rocks Frank again and he goes down. Diaz stands over top of him and the fight is called. NICK DIAZ BEATS FRANK SHAMROCK by TKO in Round 2.