STRIKEFORCE: SHAMROCK vs. DIAZ brought MMA back to Showtime…boy did it! The Showtime portion of the card would make any MMA promoter envious.
The night started out with big Brett Rogers taking on “Iron Ring” winner “Abongo” Humphrey. “Abongo’s” physique alone is enough to make most men tremble; that is, unless your name is Brett Rogers. Rogers cut down to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit while Humphrey weighed in at 239 pounds.
Rogers was agile and kept an impressive pace for his size; both men did, for that matter. Humphrey kept coming forward but in the end it was his downfall. Rogers’ technical superiority became evident in his crisp striking that repeatedly found its mark.
Rogers use of the muay thai plum also paid big dividends, but especially in round two as he delivered three big knees that stood Humphrey up like a volleyball lobbed ready for the spike. Rogers finished the job and left Humphrey beaten on the ground.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos looked amazing as usual. It has been so long since we have seen her in the cage it is easy to forget how skillful she is. Her power is remarkable and she simply destroyed Hitomi Akano. “Cyborg” is vicious and every time she put her hands on Akano it hurt.
Some how this tough little “Girl Fight Monster” made it to round three. Akano had heart but not near enough skill or power to compete with “Cyborg.” The cameras panned to Gina Carano after the fight. Carano vs. Santos is the fight fans want to see.
Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach was an outright war. The fight went back and forth with both guys landing some good shots. For the most part it was a stand up fight except when Radach took the fight to the ground a couple of times.
Smith was eating some big punches. He was keeping his head straight up with no movement and was eating shots. It looked as though any minute Radach would finish him but then out of nowhere, Smith connects and Radach is out. Mouths everywhere were hung wide open as though someone had disappeared before our very eyes. One moment Benji was there, the next he is not.
Melendez got a much needed win and a very decisive knock out to cement his status as the number one Strikeforce lightweight contender. It was the perfect outcome to set up the fight with Josh Thomson. However, there is no need for an “Interim Title.”
Finally, we come to the crescendo of the evening and the bout so many were wrong about. How could the entire MMA community be so wrong? Everyone it seems over-estimated Shamrock and under-estimated Nick Diaz. For one thing, people do not seem to realize how hard Diaz has to work to fight at the lower weight classes. He is not a small guy. He is tall and long and he has filled out over the years.
Secondly, Nick Diaz has been boxing with professionals since he was a kid. He has the style of punching that allows him not to waste energy and throw combination after combination without wearing himself out. If you notice, even after the bout, he looks like he just got out of bed; there is no heavy breathing whatsoever.
In the end, Nick’s size, length, reach, hands, kicks, take downs, and ground game all made the difference. In other words, Nick beat Frank Shamrock in every area of the game.
From the outside looking in, it appears Frank Shamrock would be better suited at 155 pounds. It seems his frame fits that weight class much more so than 170 (even though this fight was at a catch weight of 179 pounds).
This was a perfect main event. It had all they hype behind it and it delivered. In fact, the whole card delivered. It just proves, when it comes down to it, people just want to see good fights.
For the play by play and official results to STRIKEFORCE: SHAMROCK vs. DIAZ go HERE.
By: Jack Bratcher