SAN JOSE – This is it folks! Tonight’s the night for “Strikeforce: Evolution.” It is the promotion’s final card for 2009, and on paper at least, it may be their best of the year. The only down side is we’re only getting four fights on the televised main card since they couldn’t find an opponent for Robbie Lawler.
ProMMA.info’s Matt De La Rosa will be sitting ring side in the HP Pavilion, ready to bring you all the play-by-play commentary (and tweeting) you have come to expect from Google’s number one professional mixed martial arts website. The preliminary bouts begin at 7pm CT/5pm PT and the main card airs live on Showtime beginning at 9pm CT/7pm PT.
- Alex Crispim def. A.J. Fonseca by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Justin Wilcox def. Daisuke Nakamura by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Antwain Britt def. Scott Lighty by TKO (doctor stoppage) Rd 1 (5:00)
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Mike Whitehead by KO (punches) Rd 1 (3:08)
- Ronald “Jacare” Souza def. Matt Lindland by submission (arm triangle) Rd 1 (4:18)
- Gilbert Melendez def. Josh Thomson by unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 49-46) Rd 5
- Scott Smith def. Cung Le by KO (punches) Rd 3 (3:25)
Preliminary Card play-by-play:
Alex Crispim (145.6) vs. A.J. Fonseca (143.2)
Round 1 – Both fighters come to the cage with a ton of energy as the HP Pavilion begins to fill up. Fonseca stuffs an early takedown attempt but Crispim starts to work the clinch as both fighters jockey for position against the cage. After some work Crispim manages a take down. Crispim is working from half guard and peppering Fonseca with shots and a few elbows that the referee looks closely at. Fonseca is trying to escape from the bottom but Crispim works more punches. Fonseca manages to get up and starts working some knees and punches from teh clinch and both fighters exchange against the cage. Crispim looks tired as he throws some low kicks and Fonseca continues to move forward as the round comes to a close.
Round 2- Both fighters touch as the bell sounds and Fonseca continues to move forward and the two clinch up against the cage again. The two separate and throw a few strikes in the center of the ring and Fonseca shots in again for a takedown but Crispim puts him in a Guillotine and moves into half guard. Fonseca gets out and scrambles but Crispim makes his way into mount and then moves to Fonseca’s back before the two men get back to their feet. Crispim lands a few strikes and starts to “showboat” a bit and the San Jose faithful approve. Not much action on the feet to close out the second.
Round 3 – Crispim lands a nice right hand but Fonseca shakes his head as if it didn’t phase him. The two fighters do not engage much and Crispim throws up his hands again and this time the crowd boos. Crispim looks for a takedown after a nice exchange on the feet. Crispim works to a standing guillotine and begins to land a few deadly knees. Fonseca is slowly going down to the mat and Crispim lands another knee and the referee ways him off and gives Fonseca time to recover. Fonseca gets the takedown but Crispim works to a omoplata. Fonseca tries to work out of it but Crispim gets to his back looking for an arm bar then goes for a heel hook just as time expires.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Alex Crispim def. A.J. Fonseca by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Note: The Stack vs. Douglas bout has been called off. AOL Fan House’s Eugene Lydon tells ProMMA.info that Douglas was not able to rehydrate properly in time for the bout. Be sure to follow Matt De La Rosa on Twitter to find out the latest from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, including the post fight press conference.
Daisuke Nakamura (154.4) vs. Justin Wilcox (155.6)
Round 1 – The pair of lightweights appear to be more than happy to exchange on the feet and Wilcox lands a nice combo that ends with a clean left hook. Wilcox lands a nice right and Nakamura returns with a combo of his own. Wilcox hits another nice right and the two continue to exchange in the center. Wilcox pursues Nakamura and eats a left hook but continues to throw hard combinations. The two men trade shots and Nakamura looks for a flying arm bar but to no avail. Wilcox hits a nice standing right elbow as the horn sounds
Round 2 – Both men continue to strike in the center of the cage but nothing damaging lands. Nakamura complains of an eye poke and the action is stopped for a moment. Wilcox doesn’t seem to think anything happend. Wilcox comes back with a pair of rights that find their mark and his right cross seems to be making its way to Nakamura’s chin throughout the second. Wilcox works a takedown in the center of the cage and Nakamura is looking to lock up a Kimura but Wilcox has none of it and works from the top before the round ends.
Round 3 – Nakamura tries to land a knee to start the round but slips and the two men scramble on the ground. Wilcox gets Nakamura’s back but the two stand back up. Nakamura tries to back away put Wilcox pursues and lands another clean right hand. The action hits the floor for a moment and as the two come up Nakamura hits Wilcox with a knee but Wilcox answers with another fright cross. Blood starts to run from Wilcox’s left eye as the two men circle in the center of the cage. Wilcox throws more “punches in bunches” and Nakamura eats an upper cut but answers with some shots of his own. Wilcox and Nakamura are trading leather in the middle of the cage to cheers from the crowd as the fight comes to a close.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Justin Wilcox def. Daisuke Nakamura by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Antwain Britt (205.6) vs. Scott Lighty (203)
Round 1 – The round starts and both men exchange strikes and Britt locks up Lighty against the cage and referee Josh Rosenthal restarts the action. Britt is throwing some hard windmill punches and knocks Lighty down. He begins to land shots to a downed Lighty and looks to move to Lighty’s back but Lighty fights it off. Britt looks like he is losing his grip on Lighty but brings him back down to the mat. They get back to the center and Britt thands a combo and Lighty hits the mat but regains his composure. Britt is right back on Lighty, who is bleeding from what looks like to be a cut on the forehead, and after some time in the clinch they separate. Britt tags Lighty again and the two hit the floor. Brit is in side control and hits Lighty with a few strikes as the first round horn sounds. Before the second round begins the fight is waived off, replays show Britts hard overhand rights dropping Lighty to the canvas.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Antwain Britt def. Scott Lighty by TKO (doctor stoppage) Rd 1 (5:00)
Main Card (Showtime) play-by-play:
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (218.6) vs. Mike Whitehead (261.6)
Round 1 – Whitehead starts early with a leg kick that misses. Both guys feeling each other out, Lawal with his hands down, then steps in and lands a left hand. Another left hook by Lawal, and Whitehead goes to the clinch and lands a knee. They disengage, and Whitehead fakes a kick to the body. Lawal eats a right hand, but Lawal still has his hands down low by his waste, and looks super calm in there. “King Mo” changing stances and lands another left hand. Inside leg kick by Whitehead scores. Lawal scores with a stiff jab then follows up with a nice left hand again, and Whitehead is bleeding under his right eye. Whitehead with another inside leg kick, then gets dropped by a right hand and he’s in trouble! “King Mo” is on top and dropping some GNP, and Whitehead is OUT!!! First round KO victory for “King Mo” Lawal.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Mike Whitehead by KO (punches) Rd 1 (3:08)
Matt Lindland (185.2) vs. Ronald “Jacare” Souza (185.4)
Round 1 – Tentative start in the first 15 seconds. Lindland looking to land some kicks, with Souza answering with much better boxing then we are used to seeing with him, landing a nice right hand. Souza is working his jab nicely and snapping out his right. Souza misses with a kick upstairs and Lindland looks for the take down. Inside leg kick scores for “Jacare”. Lindland misses with a looping overhand left hand and is reaching with his punches. Souza lands a solid shot to Lindland’s stomach but gets taken down. Lindland looking for some GNP but gets cuaght in an armbar attempt by Souza. He transitions to the omaplata and has Lindland’s arm trapped and is landing big shots on Lindland. Lindland works out and now is on his back with “Jacare” in his guard. Souza working to pass the guard of Lindland near the cage, but so far Lindland is defending nicely from his back. Souza stands and lands a big shot and passes to side control. Lindland works to regain guard but only manages half guard. Souza transitions to an arm triangle and locks it in and Lindland is in trouble. Within seconds Lindland taps and it’s over.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ronald “Jacare” Souza def. Matt Lindland by submission (arm triangle) Rd 1 (4:18)
(LW Title) Josh Thomson (153) vs. Gilbert Melendez (154)
Round 1 – Melendez starts quickly doubling up with his jab. Nice right hand and leg kick from Melendez. Thomson counters but misses with his own punches. Melendez shoots from way outside and Thomson shoves him off then lands a nice right hand. Melendez shoots again but gets stuffed from Thomson. Melendez throws a kick to the leg that Thomson catches and takes Melendez to the ground. Melendez scrambles and locks up a guillotine, but Melendez is out. Here we go!!! Both guys are exchanging with big combos and the fight is on! Nice jab right hand combo from Melendez and Thomson smiles. Melendez lands a crisp left hand, but Thomson counters nicely with a big right hand. Melendez shoots again and gets the single leg, lets it go, and lands a big right hand. Thomson misses with the leg kick, and Melendez counters and scores with one of his own. Melendez is really working that double jab, and throws it consecutively then steps away. Leg kick from Thomson now, but it’s one and done as he backs out of the pocket. Melendez steps in with a kick and two big right hands with 30 seconds to go. Thomson with a five punch combo, but only lands two of them at the bell. ProMMA.info scores Round 1 for Gilbert Melendez 10-9.
Round 2 – Melendez back again with the double jab, Thomson counters with a kick to the body. Thomson throws a leg kick and Melendez counters with a big right hand that drops Thomson. Thomson is back up immediately. Double jab again from Melendez, Thomson slips, gets back up and Melendez scores with two elbows. Thomson steps in and lands a jab, follows up with a right hand, then gets caught in the groin with a knee from Melendez. Melendez eats two body kicks, and Thomson scores with another kick to the leg. Stiff jab from Melendez, and Gil is working for the single again, but cannot get the fight to the ground. Leg kick from Thomson is caught by Melendez and the scramble is on. Melendez circles and scores with a knee before disengaging. Melendez with the leg kick, then the double jab. Huge body shot from Thomson then a right/left combo, now it’s rock’em sock em robot, and Thomson gets dropped! Melendez is on top now working shots to the body with 30 seconds to go in the frame. ProMMA.info scores Round 2 for Gilbert Melendez 10-9.
Round 3 – Inside leg kick for Thomson. Left hand and leg kick scores for Melendez. Melendez with the same combo again. Thomson misses with a spinning back kick. Melendez with the jab and leg kick again. Kick from Thomson lands, and Melendez counters with a right hand. Thomson with the jab, Melendez counters with the right hand. To the clinch, Melendez with a big knee, then follows up with a shot to the body. Melendez again with the jab/leg kick combo. Melendez starting to really dominate the stand up landing combo after combo. Big kick to the lower leg and both guys go down, but bounce right back up. Thomson lands a jab but mises with the right hand. Both exchange leg kicks. To the clinch, Thomson scores with a knee to the body. Thomson shoots for a take down but gets stuffed. He sticks with it holding onto the single. Melendez shrugs him off and throws as they disengage. ProMMA.info scores Round 3 for Gilbert Melendez 10-9.
Round 4 – Championship Rounds!! Melendez back again with the double jab. Inside leg kick from Thomson. Double jab/leg kick combo from Melendez. Thomson to the body, blocked by Melendez. Thomson shoots but is stuffed. Melendez to the clinch, lands some knees but goes to the ground. Both guys scramble back to their feet. Both guys pawing with their jabs, but Melendez scores with his right. Thomson’s kick blocked again, and Melendez fires a big combo. Left hand/leg kick combo again from Melendez. Thomson scores with a kick to the leg. Melendez misses with the jab and the right hand. Leg kick from Melendez, now both guys in the pocket and firing. Body shot by Melendez, Thomson counters with a kick to the body that Melendez catches and takes him down with. It’s only down briefly, as both guys bounce right back up. Both guys swinging for the fences but not much landing by either fighter. Thomson shoots but is stuffed again. Nice body punch by Thomson, then Melendez counters with a nice uppercut. Melendez moving forward and looking for power shots. Thomson to the body is blocked by Melendez, to the clinch with a scoring knee by Gil. Incidental eye poke and the action is stopped for the moment. Back to the fight…. not much action with only seconds to go, and the Round ends. ProMMA.info scores Round 4 for Gilbert Melendez 10-9.
Round 5 – Leg kick by Thomson after both guys miss with strikes to start. Inside leg kick from Thomson. Thomson to the body, then lands a three punch combo. Melendez counters and it’s a toe to toe war. Thomson moving forward now, Melendez scores with an uppercut, and Thomson is throwing wild looping overhand punches. Melendez lands the jab, then to the body. Thomson eats a leg kick then gets dropped with an overhand right. Melendez is on top with 2:39 to go in the fight. Thomson is surviving by controlling Melendez’s posture. Thomson rolls, and Melendez is trying to control him and keep him down. Thomson works his way back up and lands a nice right hand but looks exhausted. Melendez looks fresher but is breathing out of his mouth too. Thomson still winging his punches and Melendez steps in and lands a huge knee to the body. Thomson clinches and takes Melendez down from the body lock. Thomson working for mount but Melendez slips out and is back on his feet. What a fight!! Jab scores again for Melendez, Thomson moves forward trying desperately to catch Melendez with something. 10 seconds to go and both guys are throwing EVERYTHING at each other till the bell sounds!! ProMMA.info scores Round 5 (10-9) and the fight for Gilbert Melendez 50-45.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Gilbert Melendez def. Josh Thomson by unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 49-46) Rd 5
Cung Le (184) vs. Scott Smith (185.6)
Round 1- Smith moves froward quickly but misses. Le as expected lands with a couple of kicks, before missing to the head. Cung with a kick to the body, but Smith is still coming forward. Spinning back kick to the head is blocked by Smith. Right hand to the body by Smith. Le with a huge spinning back kick lands and drops Smith to the canvas. Cung standing over Smith landing right hands. Smith is turtled up and trying to recover. Le is landing hammer fists and more big right hands to the head of Smith. McCarthy calling for Smith to defend. Le is dropping huge punches to the ear of Smith and McCarthy is close to stopping it. Smith works his way to his feet and eats a big knee. Smith mises with a big right hand but is wobbly . Le with another spinning kick drops Smith again. Smith scrambles back up. Smith pawing with his jab. Cung smells blood and lands another kick, this one to the face. It’s starting to look like a highlight reel now, but this is when Smith is dangerous. Smith with the left hand, then lands a right hand before missing with a kick. Another kick to the body from Le. Smith is stalking trying to stay in the fight, then eats a left hand from Cung. Leg kick from Le, Smith counters with a right hand. End of Round 1. ProMMA.info scores Round 1 for Cung Le 10-8.
Round 2 – Double jab from Smith to start. Le counters with a kick. Cung shoots for a take down attempt, but gets stuffed. Leg kicks from Le now, times three, then one to the head. The kicks are coming from all angles so far in this fight. HUGE spinning kick to the body of Smith again, drops him to the mat. Smith to the closed guard now. Smith trying to control the wrists of Le, but is now getting stacked and choked by Cung. McCarthy calls for action then stands them up. Smith moves forward and lands two big rights before Cung gets on his skates and gets out of there. A kick, left hand combo from Cung forces Smith to clinch against the cage. Le with the whizzer and looking for the throw. Le now breathing out of his mouth and may be tiring after the long lay off. Knees to the body from the clinch by Le. Le goes for the throw and eats an uppercut before they disengage. Back to the clinch against the cage. Smith scores with some dirty boxing from the clinch. Smith reverses position, misses with an elbow, but presses forward and lands a right hand at the bell. ProMMA.info scores Round 2 10-9 for Cung Le.
Round 3 – Le misses to the head, but follows up with a huge spinning kick to the head that stuns Scott Smith. Another kick from Cung, Smith counters with one on his own. Le to the body, then a spinning kick to the ribs. Smith steps in and lands a left hook. Two back to back kicks to the body again. Le scores with a two punch combo. Smith is looking to land power shots, misses with an uppercut. Double jab, right hand, then a spinning backfist from Cung Le. More kicks to the body, Le goes for the double and slam. Smith briefly goes for the guillotine, but lets go. Big left hook from Le scores. Right hand scores from Smith, then an uppercut. Left hand scores from Smith and Le is in trouble. Le is down, then back up, eats another shot and is in deep trouble. Big right hand staggers Le, he’s down, and he lands a couple of more big shots before the fight is stopped. Scott Smith defeats Cung Le by KO at 3:25 of Round 3.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Scott Smith def. Cung Le by KO (punches) Rd 3 (3:25)