Strikeforce Challengers 4 was just the tip of this huge ice burg weekend of MMA. In the main event Jorge Gurgel took on up and coming prospect Billy Evangelista. Despite the card not bringing in a lot of attention there was still a lot of interesting happenings, and as always ProMMA.info has you covered.
Jorge Gurgel (13-5) vs. Billy Evangelista (9-0)
To the surprise of no one Jorge Gurgel got into another brawl. The broadcast team continually mentioned that this fight was for a shot at the title. However, this fight did nothing but show that both these fighters are still a few fights away.
In the end Billy Evangelista took home the decision, but does anyone think that he would put up a fight against Gilbert Melendez? Strikeforce has really painted themselves in a corner by using Jorge Gurgel for fights like this. Putting a UFC castoff against your prospects does not make fans excited for future match ups. All in all it was a quality main event to get everyone ready for Sengoku and Fedor vs. Rogers.
Shane Del Rosario (8-0) vs. Brandon Cash (5-0)
Some people have been very excited about Del Rosario because he is a prospect in the heavyweight division. Other people have questioned his dedication to MMA.
In this fight he did a lot to show that the excitement may be justified. With his stand up game, he could go a long way if he can catch bigger fighters in submissions like that.
Luke Rockhold (5-1) vs. Jesse Taylor (17-4)
This was a very impressive performance for Rockhold. Taylor came out and looked to enforce his will with wrestling. However, the ground was clearly Rockhold’s world. After initiating a scramble he was able to take Taylor’s back and then patiently work for the rear naked choke.
Rockhold appears to be ready for the next step up in competition. He by far the most successful prospect ever groomed through Strikeforce. The after party with Fast Eddie is going to be a good time.
Thomas Diagne (1-0) vs. Warren Merrit (4-3)
Diagne scored with a huge double leg early in the first round. He end up in side control. He looked to be doing an okay job staying out of trouble until Merrit caught him in a leg lock.
For years it has been the unwritten rule in western MMA that going for leg locks leads to getting punched in the face. All this has done is create a generation of fighters that have idea how to defend against leg locks. To be fair Diagne is just converting to MMA, and leg lock defense is a hard thing to learn.
Elisha Helsper (0-1) vs. Zoila Frausto (3-0)
An interesting scrap led off the card. Zoila Frausto was clearly the better striker, but she still had issues with Hellspur. Frausto seemed content to throw more flashy kicks and strikes instead of the basic combinations. This gave Hellspur some chances, but the fight was still all Frausto. The judges saw it correctly and gave her the unanimous decision. Frausto could turn out to be a good addition to the Strikeforce women’s game if she starts working off the jab.
In the middle of the third round Hellspur worked extremely hard for and score a takedown into half guard. The referee stood the fighters up almost immediately. Not only was the stand up quick, but also referees have no business standing fighters up from dominant positions. Credit should go to both broadcasters Pat Miletich and Stephen Quadros for addressing the stand up on the air.