“Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” recap: Werdum submits Fedor, “Cyborg” destroys Finney

Photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Fabricio Werdum needed less than one round to do what no other man has ever done against Fedor Emelianenko. The two met in the main event at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” Saturday, June 26, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

Emelianenko (31-2 MMA, 1-1 SF) came out and displayed the power that has made him the most feared fighter on the planet, dropping Werdum (14-4-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC, 3-0 SF) after landing a stiff jab, followed by a right hand.

Fedor followed Werdum to the mat looking for the quick finish with short right hands and hammerfists, nearly getting caught in an armbar, but escaped and maintained his assault on Werdum.

Werdum remained calm and continued to look for the submission attempt and after Fedor fought to free his arm, Werdum locked up a tight triangle attempt, then worked on the isolated arm of Fedor looking for the finish.

Emelianenko worked to escape the submission all while still throwing strikes, but with the arm completely extended, was forced to tap just over a minute into the bout.

The loss was the first legitimate defeat of the legendary Fedor, with his first loss coming by way of a cut, but even in defeat, Fedor remained calm and even gave fans some wisdom before leaving the cage, talking about what he felt after losing.

“Well, frankly speaking nothing,” said Fedor through his translator. “Because, the one that doesn’t fall, doesn’t stand up.”

The win for Werdum sets him up to face Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce Heavyweight championship. The two have faced each other in the past, with Werdum holding a victory over Overeem by way of submission (kimura) back in 2006.

Le finishes Smith in rematch

Scott Smith used a different strategy this time around against Cung Le. Smith stormed out of the gates looking to apply pressure and close the distance to prevent Le from landing his patented and punishing kicks that nearly finished Smith in their first bout.

Le also came out with a different game plan this time around. Using a more patient striking game, Le picked his spots, strategically throwing the big kicks that gassed him in their first bout.

Near the end of the first round, the fight started to resemble the first bout, with Le landing stinging body kicks and pinpoint accurate strikes forcing Smith to shoot for a take down near the end of Round 1.

In the second frame, Le quickly dropped Smith with a kick to the body, and although Smith made his way back to his feet, it was only moments later when Le landed a beautiful spinning heel kick that stunned Smith, dropping him to his knees, and this time around Le finished the fight.

Le stepped in to put the finishing touches on an impressive victory landing a short right hand opening up a cut on the cheekbone of Smith, before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Cyborg demolishes Finney

“Cyborg” lived up to her name once again, brutalizing Jan Finney with a barrage of precise and punishing strikes from the start of the bout, and despite being deducted a point for hitting Finney in the back of the head, the outcome was never in question.

After nearly being finished in the first, Finney showed heroic heart just by coming out for the second round, but after landing a flush right hand to the jaw of the champion, it was over within seconds as “Cyborg” landed a barrage of punches, then dropped Finney with a knee to the body.

Santos pounced, and delivered some finishing strikes to the face of the over-matched Finney, forcing the referee to finally step in and stop the fight.

Thomson “Punks” Healy

Josh Thomson has been known to stand toe-to-toe and brawl, but he stayed patient against the very tough Pat “Bam Bam” Healy. Thomson found himself on his back frequently as Healy used his size and wrestling to take the fight to the mat throughout the bout.

It was Thomson’s active guard that threatened to end the fight several times from his back, as he transitioned seamlessly between submission attempts, putting Healy in trouble with both armbars and a triangle attempt, but he was unable to finish until the third round.

With time running out on the bout, Healy earned what looked to be a possible fight deciding takedown, but Thomson scrambled to reverse position and took the back of “Bam Bam,” and locked up a tight rear naked choke.

Healy gave the thumbs up to the referee to let him know that he was still in the fight, but the tap came soon after.