CINCINNATI – “Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” takes place this evening at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, and features the semifinal round of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix with Josh Barnett taking on Sergei Kharitonov and Daniel Cormier facing Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
But the action doesn’t stop there. The Strikeforce middleweight title is on the line as Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza takes on Luke Rockhold, and the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, “King” Mo Lawal, returns to take on BJJ demigod Roger Gracie.
The action kicks off at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on HDNet with the preliminary card and then moves to Showtime with the main card airing at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT). ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary of all the action.
“Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” quick results:
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
- Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov by submission (side choke) Rd 1 (4:28)
- Daniel Cormier def. Antonio Silva by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (3:56)
- (Title) Luke Rockhold def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)
- King Mo Lawal def. Roger Gracie by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (4:33)
- Pat Healy def. Maximo Blanco by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 2 (4:24)
PRELIMINARY CARD (HDNet)
- Mike Kyle def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante def. Yoel Romero Palacio by knockout (punches) Rd 2 (4:51)
- Jordan Mein def. Evangelista Santos by TKO (strikes) Rd 3 (3:18)
- Alexis Davis def. Amanda Nunes by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (4:53)
- Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
“Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” quick results:
This is one of, if not the strongest preliminary card Strikeforce has ever produced. Be sure to check out our interview with Chris Mierzwiak from earlier in the week.
Chris Mierzwiak vs. Dominique Steele
Round 1 – Mierzwiak shoots, stuffed, they scramble, Mierzwiak has an inverted triangle but Steele gets out. Nice right from Mierzwiak. They tie up and Mierzwiak puts Steele down, they scramble to the feet, remaining clinched against the cage and exchange punches, knees and it’s a fast paced scramble as Mierzwiak looks for the takedown. They separate and Mierzwiak puts on the pressure with punches, scoring big and he puts Steele down, takes his back with both hooks in looking for the choke, they roll. Mierzwiak has a body triangle locked on with his legs. Steele trying to defend against the choke. Steele blindly punching behind him. Steele is able to roll over into mount. He stands up and out. Mierzwiak meets him on the feet. Steele with a flying knee for the second time in the fight. He throws some big punches and they clinch up before the bell. Non-stop action!!! 10-9 Mierzwiak.
Round 2 – One two from Steele, misses a flying knee. Mierzwiak throws him down but he bounces right up. Steele with the takedown. Mierzwiak gets to his knees. He rolls and recovers full guard. Mierzwiak throws his legs up, gets back to his knees. Steele controlling from top, landing punches to the body and head. Mierzwiak throws up a triangle. Steele slams him and gets free. Steele on top in half guard. Steele controlling from top as Mierzwiak gets to his knees and stands up. They exchange big punches, another flying knee from Steele. They are slowing just a bit from such a fast pace. Steele drops Mierzwiak with a punch. He goes down and Steele takes top position, gets a crucifix and lands punches. Mierzwiak scrambles to his knees in pure defense mode as Steele continues the assault, punching, but with virtually no power at this point. Steele 10-9.
Round 3 – Clinch against the cage. Mierzwiak holding on, pressing Steele against the cage. Steele pushes him off and they square up. Lazy leg kick from Mierzwiak gets countered with a right and put on his back. Steele inside Mierzwiak’s guard. Both guys seem very tired. Mierzwiak goes for a leg, gets to his knees. Steele holding a body lock from behind as they stand. Elbows from Mierzwiak connect as Steele misses a flying knee. Double leg takedown from Steele. Less than two minutes to go. Mierzwiak throws up an armbar attempt. They scramble and Mierzwiak takes Steele’s back with both hooks in. Less than a minute to go. He locks on the body triangle, still looking for the choke. Steele defending well, turns over, ends up on top inside full guard. Steele grinds it out for a 10-9 round and should have the fight 29-28.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Amanda Nunes vs. Alexis Davis
Round 1 – Nunes comes out swinging big. Davis tries to tie her up to stop the assault. Nunes trying to gain space to strike, she backs out briefly, throws some strikes before tying up again. Davis tries for a takedown but ends up on her back with Nunes on top in half guard. Davis gets to her feet. Nunes with a leg kick and they exchange punches. Davis lands a leg kick and punch and Nunes fires back with a nice left jab. They exchange more punches before tying up and Nunes presses her to the cage. Nunes backs out and lands a right hook. Clinch, and Davis lands a few knees to the body. Davis with a body lock. Nunes looks for a takedown but the bell sounds. Close round. Nunes has a huge knot on the side of her head. Davis 10-9.
Round 2 – Nunes lands some punches but Davis ties her up a la Randy Couture. Davis takes her back, slides off, gets to her knees looking for a single, she stands, they clinch and begin to exchange knees. Nunes presses her into the cage corner. They exchange knees with Davis getting the better of the knee strikes, landing quite a few to the thighs of Nunes. Davis with the dirty boxing. The ref separates them. Nunes lands a punch, they tie up and Davis presses her to the cage, knees from Davis, still pressing Nunes to the cage, more knees. Nunes gets a hip toss but Davis uses the momentum to roll over on top and begins to attack from top, she gets full mount, Nunes gives up her back and Davis flattens her out. Davis with the ground and pound from back mount and the ref stops it with just a few seconds left in the round. A bit surprising ending there. Nunes was on a six fight win streak. The wrestling of Davis made all the difference in this one.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Alexis Davis def. Amanda Nunes by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (4:53)
Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos vs. Jordan Mein
Round 1 – Big leg kick from Cyborg and Mein gives him one back. Another one from Cyborg. Inside leg kick from Mein. Outside leg kick from Santos and Mein gives one back. Another one. Mein counters with a left. Leg kick from Santos. Again, and it buckles Mein’s leg. Leg kick from Mein. Santos misses a big leg kick. Big big leg kick from Mein. Another one from Santos and Mein counters with a one two punch. Big silent leg kick from Santos. Huge leg kick from Mein. One two counter and a low kick from Santos. Jab from Mein. Leg kick from Santos. Mein changes to south paw, back to orthodox. Huge leg kick from Cyborg buckles Mein. Santos counters with a nice left and follows that with a leg kick. Leg kick. Body shot from Santos and an overhand right just misses. Big body shot from Santos and Mein counters. Santos with a leg kick and Mein is walking slowly to his corner. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 2 – Mein with a leg kick, blocks a high kick. Leg kick from Santos, Mein counters with a one two. Body kick from Santos. Leg kick. Inside leg kick. Inside leg kick again from Santos. Big leg kick from Santos. Inside leg kick from Santos doing damage. Mein counters with a couple nice lefts. Mein lands a one two with those long arms. Big leg kick from Mein, just misses a head kick. Inside leg kick from Cyborg. Santos misses a leg kick and Mein counters with a big combo as Cyborg covers up in defense. Cyborg misses a wheel kick. They both throw some big leather and miss. Leg kick from Santos, inside. Leg kick from Mein. Leg kick Santos, Mein checks it. Left hand from Mein. Straight left counter. Body shot from Mein. Leg kick from Santos. Close round 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 3 – Body shot from Mein. Leg kick from Santos. head kick connects from Santos and Mein eats it. Leg kick from Mein. Mein with a nice combo. Mein counters with a one two, lands a left. They both swing big. Huge liver shot from Mein, Cyborg is hurt, Mein unleashes a flurry of elbows, stays on him and Cyborg goes down as the ref steps in. Ten standing elbow shots from Mein right to the noggin of Cyborg. Great performance by young Jordan Mein.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jordan Mein def. Evangelista Santos by TKO (strikes) Rd 3 (3:18)
Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante
Round 1 – Feijao misses a leg kick. Romero circles. Boos from the crowd at the feeling out period. Romero misses a flying front kick then dodges a big punch combo from Feijao. Feijao parts Romero’s bald head with a kick. Huge leg kick from Feijao hurts Romero. Feijao throws a Superman punch but Romero gets out of the way. Romero has only had four pro fights. This is an enormous fight to take so early in his career. Body punch from Romero as he continues to dance on the outside. He dodges a kick from Feijao. Feijao misses a head kick. Big leg kick from Feijao. Romero just dancing around. Ref stops the fight, he pulls Romero over and says something to him. Romero taunting Feijao, sticks his chin out. Romero shoots, goes for the takedown, no dice. And a roar of boos from the crowd. Romero tried to steal the round. Nope. 10-9 Feijao.
Round 2 – Leg kick from Feijao. Another one. Low kick from Romero to the groin. Time is called. Feijao slips on a high kick. Romero flies in and puts the heat on Feijao, has him against the cage and is throwing bombs. Feijao swings back, Romero shoots and gets the takedown but Feijao bounces right up. Romero looks like a smaller Bobby Lashley. Body kick from Feijao and Romero taunts him in return. Romero ties him up but Feijao slams him hard. Romero gets up and they exchange punches. Romero ties him up with a body lock. Lands an elbow and a couple punches. They take the center of the ring. Romero trying to lure him in. Feijao misses a high kick but keeps turning and lands a spinning backfist that hurts Romero. Feijao jumps on him with elbows. Romero is up and Feijao hurts him with a left hook and Romero goes down. Feijao stands over him and lands a bomb on the chin and he’s out. The ref stops it. Romero is talented but he’s young in the game.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Rafael Cavalcante def. Yoel Romero Palacio by knockout (punches) Rd 2 (4:51)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Mike Kyle
Round 1 – Kyle attacks with punches, de Lima counters with a punch and leg kick. Huge leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with a right. Body kick from de Lima. Kyle taller and longer. Leg kick from de Lima. Leg kick from Kyle. Huge leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with a jab. Hook, leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with a leg kick, checks a leg kick. Jab from Kyle. Again. Another jab from Kyle, hook and leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with the double jab. De Lima looks hurt from something. Two left jabs from de Lima; it looks like his leg may be hurt, he’s not moving well. He’s stumbling. Big body shot from Kyle. Jabs from Kyle, de Lima swings big and misses. Jab from de Lima. Kyle lands a couple jabs, he backs de Lima up. The bell sounds and de Lima looks out of it. 10-9 Kyle.
Round 2 – Leg kcik from de Lima. Kyle working the jab. De Lima with a right. Big leg kick from de Lima. Right hand from de Lima. Big big leg kick from de Lima. Jab from Kyle and a leg kick from de Lima. Big leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with the jab, body shot. Kyle checks a low kick. Body kick from de Lima. Huge leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with the jab. Left jab from Kyle. Again with the jab, again. Kyle with a shot, ties de Lima up and gets the takedown. Kyle with some body shots but de Lima gets to his feet. Kyle with the trip takedown. Kyle stands and kicks de Lima’s legs while he’s on his back. Kyle 10-9.
Round 3 – Jab from Kyle, left hook. Jab. Big leg kick from de Lima. Kyle with the jab, de Lima fires back. Big inside leg kick from de Lima, then a punch, outside leg kick. Nice combo. Jab jab leg kick from de Lima. Left hook from Kyle. Jab. Inside leg kick from de Lima is checked. Outside leg kick from de Lima. Kyle shoots under the punch and puts de Lima on his back. Kyle hangs out on top in half guard where he grinds out the rest of the round with ground and pound. De Lima holds on. 10-9 for Kyle for the round and 30-27 for Kyle for the fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Mike Kyle def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Pat Healy vs. Maximo Blanco
Round 1 – I wish my name was Maximo Blanco. Body kick from Blanco, he lands a punch combo and then a leg kick/sweep that puts Healy on his back. Blanco inside half guard, lands a couple elbows. One minute gone. Short elbows from Blanco and Healy scrambles to his feet, lands a left. One two three combo from Blanco. Healy reminds me of the Miller brothers. Head kick from Blanco, they tie up and Blanco gives him some knees to the body. Healy ends up on his back with Blanco inside full guard. Body shots from Blanco, Healy’s head against the cage, he throws his legs up on Blanco, looking for something, he grabs Blanco’s leg. Then traps Blanco’s arm in a scissor lock. Blanco gives him several kicks in the face which is illegal because they are both on the ground. The ref stops the fight and the doctor checks a bloody Healy out. Doctor shines the light in Healy’s eyes. The kicks really did not seem that hard to be honest. They are going to deduct a point from Blanco. That’s fair. Here we go. They both swing twice and miss. Left hand from Blanco, then a body kick. Healy catches a leg, Blanco grabs the fence, ref knocks his hands off. Healy slams him and takes his back. This is a great style match up. Looked like Healy was thinking about a submission but hangs out on his knees on top of Blanco’s back landing punches. 10-9 Healy.
Round 2 – Right hand from Healy. Left hand from Blanco. Healy working the jab, tries to clinch, is shoved off. Right and a left hand from Blanco lands on Healy’s cheeks. Blanco’s striking is wild, it comes from all kinds of angles. Healy lands a right, he knocks Blanco on his butt. Blanco gets up and Healy slams him and takes his back, goes for the choke but Blanco is out and up. Blanco lands a right, Healy with a knee to the body. Great back and forth action here. One two from Healy. He shoots and gets the takedown. Blanco gets up and Healy is riding his back. Blanco keeping a knee on the ground. Blanco is to his feet and Healy slams him again. Healy gets his back and going for the choke. Blanco taps out just before losing consciousness and this fight is over. Healy is now 5-1 at lightweight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Pat Healy def. Maximo Blanco by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 2 (4:24)
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Roger Gracie
Round 1 – Touch gloves. King Mo chants have begun. Roger so tall. Mo almost lands a body punch. Mo with his hands way down. He swings a quick left hook and misses. Mo dodges a couple jabs. Roger tries to tie up and Mo shrugs him off. A few boos start. Left hook from Mo skims in front of Roger. Mo catches a kick and fires back. Front kick from Gracie. Knee from Gracie. Jab from Roger misses. Superman punch from Roger misses, Mo fires back. Jab from Roger. Boos from the crowd. Mo swings and misses. Hard to get inside on the long limbs of Gracie. Boos. Mo drops Gracie with a big right, he’s hurt. Mo lands another one and Gracie is out cold. Gracie’s first ever loss and first time I’ve seen a Gracie unconscious in some time.
OFFICIAL RESULT: King Mo Lawal def. Roger Gracie by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (4:33)
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Luke Rockhold
Round 1 – Rockhold with a leg kick. Jacare with a body kick. Jacare shoots, stuffed. Rockhold lands a knee but Jacare lands an overhand right and Rockhold stumbles. Jacare shoots and gets the takedown, still holding the legs, hanging on top of Rockhold. Rockhold trying to get to his feet. Jacare lands some right hands. Rockhold gets to his feet but Jacare gets him back down. Rockhold still trying to get up. Jacare lands some punches as he tries to keep him down. Rockhold is up, Jacare holding on, misses a knee. Rockhold with a knee to the thigh, gets an underhook. Rockhold whizzes out. Leg kick and a push kick from Rockhold. Body kick from Rockhold and Jacare lands a counter right. Repeat. Jacare with another right hook. Punch and leg kick, leg kick, switch kick to the body from Rockhold. Jacare shoots and gets Rockhold down but he bounces right up. Jacare 10-9.
Round 2 – Rockhold with a jab and spinning back kick, leg kick. Leg kick from Rockhold, front kick. Misses a head kick. Superman punch, leg kick from Rockhold. Jacare counters a combo with a right and Rockhold goes down. He gets up and they go at it. Jacare forces him to the cage, big elbow from Jacare as they break to the center. Leg kick from Rockhold. Jacare blocks a head kick. Blocks a switch kick. Leg kick from Rockhold, again. Left hand from Rockhold, right jab. One two head kick from Rockhold. Knee from Rockhold, clinched against the cage. Rockhold gains the advantage, puts Jacare against the fence. Two knees to the thighs from Rockhold. Underhooks from Rockhold and he breaks loose to the center. Rockhold throws a five punch combo and misses every one. Lands a leg kick. High kick and it’s blocked. Overhand right connects from Jacare. Rockhold backs Jacare up with punches and kicks. 10-9 Rockhold.
Round 3 – Front kick from Rockhold. One two three from Rockhold. Jab from Rockhold. Leg kick from Rockhold. Kick to the groin from Rockhold and Jacare is mad. He says, “that’s two times” to the ref. Rockhold hunting. Jacare shoots, picks Luke’s leg up and sweeps the back leg. Jacare has him pinned to the fence with punches but Rockhold gets up, leg kick, leg kick and a punch. Jacare looking tired, throws a lazy right. Push kick from Rockhold. Leg kick. Two minutes to go. Left hand from Rockhold, then a punch-kick combo. Big leg kick from Jacare. Jab jab punch from Rockhold. Jacare has slowed to a crawl. Right hand from Rockhold as Jacare drops his hands. Rockhold 10-9.
Round 4 – Rockhold backing Jacare up with punches, lands a nice one two. Leg kick from Jacare. Body kick from Rockhold. One two from Rockhold. Jacare with a right. Lands another solid right. Rockhold has his hands very low. Jacare ties him up against the cage. Knee from Jacare. Rockhold goes for a trip takedown but Jacare gets right up. They exchange shots. Jacare shoots, Rockhold turns him a flip and they get back on their feet. Rockhold misses a spinning back kick, Jacare catches the leg and tries to take him down. Rockhold defends with a whizzer. They tie up against the cage; two knees from Rockhold as he takes the round 10-9.
Round 5 – Front kick from Jacare. Body kick from Rockhold. Jab from Rockhold. Jab from Rockhold. Jacare blocks a head kick and misses a right. One two three from Rockhold. Jab from Rockhold, leg kick. Leg kick from Jacare. Jacare with a right, ties up with Rockhold. Jacare tries to muscle him down but Rockhold defends for a moment but Jacare gets the trip. Jacare trying to hold him down as Rockhold tries to get up and he does. Jacare misses a right. He backs out. Rockhold connects with a one two, again. Front kick from Jacare. They trade big punches with one minute to go. Leg kicks from both. 360 body kick from Rockhold, a punch combo backs Jacare up. Left hand from Rockhold. Jacare comes in swinging, they tie up and that’s it. 10-9 Rockhold and 49-46 Rockhold as I see it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Luke Rockhold def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal
Daniel Cormier vs. Antonio Silva
Round 1 – Cormier runs to the cage. Bigfoot has an 11 inch reach advantage. They touch gloves. Leg kick from Cormier and Silva rushes him to the cage. They go to the middle. Leg kick from Silva. Cormier stuns Silva with a big overhand right and he goes down. Silva shoots, stuffed by the Olympian. Silva on his back, takes some kicks and the ref lets him up. Cormier lands a jab. Cormier catches a kick and sweeps Silva’s back leg. Cormier standing over Silva and the ref lets him up. Jab from Cormier. Silva swings big and backs Cormier up. Cormier catches a kick and literally knocks Bigfoot unconscious with an uppercut; Silva drops straight down to the canvas, folding him. Oh my goodness folks. Oh my goodness. That is so huge. Is Daniel Cormier the next king of MMA? Cormier says AKA went 4-0 tonight. He says he’s going to win the title in the finals. He said, “He’s no Cain Velasquez, and that’s who I train with every day.” (Mo and Cormier both got big KO’s tonight)
OFFICIAL RESULT: Daniel Cormier def. Antonio Silva by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (3:56)
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal
Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Round 1 – Who will meet Cormier in the finals? Overhand right from Branett. One two from Kharitonov. Barnett lands back. Leg kick from Barnett. Kharitonov attacks. Barnett with an uppercut. They lock up and Barnett puts him on his back and lands in full mount. Elbow from Barnett. Kharitonov tries to bust out but Barnett is at home. Barnett postures up and Kharitonov bucks. Kharitonov holding onto Barnett’s arms. Small hammerfists and punches and elbows from Barnett. Kharitonov bucks and Barnett rides. He postures up with punches and now lays over Kharitonov’s face smothering him. He postures up. Kharitonov punching from his back, now gives up his back. One and a half minutes to go. Barnett punching under the arm, hammerfists to the side of the head. Punches, flattens him out and punches him, locks in a side choke and taps out Kharitonov. It’s Barnett vs. Cormier in the finals — what a freaking fight!! Pro wrestling vs. Olympic wrestling —- let’s see the odds…. What if Cormier wins and the UFC wants to unify the titles Cormier vs. Velasquez — say what???
OFFICIAL RESULT: Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov by submission (side choke) Rd 1 (4:28)