In the end, Alistair Overeem would be the second Heavyweight of the night to advance to the semifinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament. Overeem did little to silence his critics, or to impress the fans in a lackluster main event against Fabricio Werdum.
Werdum did little to make the fight exciting himself, choosing to flop repeatedly at the feet of the Strikeforce Heavyweight champion, inviting him to the ground with a wave of the hands. Of course, Overeem mostly declined to engage in Werdum’s tactics, but even when the fight was on the feet, there was little action from either fighter.
Werdum actually landed more overall strikes than the champion, but likely lost favor on the scorecards with his constant attempts to get the fight to the ground ineffectively.
Overeem (35-11 MMA, 4-0 SF) was declared the winner by unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.
Josh Barnett submits Brett Rogers to advance to semis
Josh Barnett introduced Brett Rogers to the world of catch wrestling with a first-hand demonstration of his ground game, dominating the action on the mat before locking up a fight-ending arm triangle in the second round.
Barnett dominated the first frame also, putting Rogers on the canvas and riding out the rest of the round from a dominating full mount position.
Rogers survived to see the second, but after Barnett landed a clean left hook that caught “The Grim” flush on the jaw, Rogers clinched and found himself once again on the bottom with Barnett back in the full mount position.
From there Barnett (30-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC, 1-0 SF) isolated the right arm of Rogers and transitioned to the arm triangle, getting the tap and finishing the fight in dominating fashion.
Jorge Masvidal batters K.J. Noons en route to unanimous decision victory
Jorge Masvidal and K.J. Noons gave MMA fans an absolute war in their lightweight bout with fifteen minutes of nonstop action. It was Masvidal that did major damage early and often, as he punished the body and bloodied the face of Noons on his way to the win on the judge’s scorecards.
After nonstop action in the first with Masvidal getting the better of the stand up war, Noons leaned in looking to land to the body, leaving an opening for Masvidal to land a brutal shin to the face. The kick dropped Noons, and Masvidal landed a right hand on the way to the mat trying to finish the fight.
Noons showed tremendous heart surviving the round and recovering nicely before the start of the second round, but Masvidal had his way in the second also, getting several take downs and landing a huge knee to the bloodied face of Noons before the bell could sound to close out the round.
There was a sense of urgency from the corner of Noons for obvious reasons coming out for the final frame, and although a very game Noons responded, Masvidal outworked him to the bell, earning the decision nod from the judges.
Daniel Cormier mauls Jeff Monson
Daniel Cormier wanted to showcase his stand up game in this bout, and showcase it he did. Cormier’s striking has never looked better as the AKA product put on an absolute clinic against Jeff Monson, dominating “The Snowman” over fifteen minutes of action en route to a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
As expected, Monson was unable to get the fight to the mat, and was forced to stand with Cormier, who implemented a lethal mix of kicks, and powerful left hooks that punished the face and body of “The Snowman.”
Monson’s only real offense was his jab, but after being staggered with several counter left hands and short uppercuts, he was forced to switch stances, but regardless of his stance, he proved to be little more than target practice for Cormier.
The victory improves the undefeated Cormier to a perfect 8-0 overall (5-0 SF).
Chad Griggs makes short work of Valentijn Overeem
Chad Griggs made Valentijn Overeem his fifth straight (T)KO victim, taking out the older Overeem brother in the very first round with a brutal display of ground-and-pound.
The end came quickly for Valentijn Overeem once Griggs took the fight to the mat. Overeem held on to the left arm of Griggs from the bottom trying to stall the action, but Griggs was able to free his arm and start to tee off from the top.
Overeem wilted under the ground assault of “The Grave Digger”, tapping on the mat, halting the action and giving Griggs (11-1) his 3rd Strikeforce victory (all (T)KO’s in the first round).