(Combined weight: 689 pounds. Combined talent: 25 milligrams. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
I’d like to congratulate everyone who put money on +450 underdog Jan Nortje in his Strikeforce headlining match against Bob Sapp last night — you are officially smarter than a 5th grader. Video of the fight will be posted early this week in case you missed it (and honestly, how many of you subscribe to HDNet?) but wow, what a performance. The Beast rushed out after the bell and immediately got caught with a punch, then clinched and pushed Nortje into the fence. After some fat-man hugging, the two super-heavyweights separated and Sapp stuck Nortje with some stiff jabs. But as soon as Notje got the chance to throw some leather, Bob winced, ran in the other direction, and fell to the mat, where Nortje pounded him until the ref stopped it at 55 seconds into the first. Classic Sapp. Now are you ready to retire, dickhead?
But it wasn’t all slapstick comedy at the Tacoma Dome. Joe Riggs had to be carried out on a stretcher after his submission-via-agony loss to Cory Devela. Riggs and Devela clinched early in round 1, and Devela broke the stalemate with a hip throw that slammed Riggs hard onto his back. Not only was the pain immediately apparent on Riggs’s face, but he barely had the strength to tap out; the ref called it at 1:22 of the first round. Unable to get to his feet, paramedics had to remove the former UFC fighter from the cage. Making the scene even more brutal, Riggs’s entire body seemed to spasm involuntarily while he was laid out. For a guy who was previously addicted to painkillers, Riggs will have a tough road ahead of him, even if the prognosis is just a few slipped discs. We’ll update you when you know more.
In the evening’s other notable match, 46-year-old former UFC heavyweight champ Maurice Smith spolied the MMA debut of 41-year-old kickboxer Rick “The Jet” Roufus. Roufus was totally lost once Smith shot in for a takedown, and Mo’ was able to get full mount and tap Roufus with an armlock at 1:53 of round one. It was the second fight in Smith’s current farewell-tour; he stepped away from the game in 2000, but returned to action with a TKO victory over Marco Ruas at an IFL event last May.
The night’s other matches weren’t nearly as exciting, unless you dig slow three-rounders fought by guys you’ve never heard of. But here’s how they turned out:
Eddy Ellis def. Steve Berger via unanimous decision
Jorge Masvidal def. Ryan Healy via unanimous decision
Mychal Clark def. Josh Bennett via TKO (doctor’s stoppage), end of round 2
Lyle Beerbohm def. Ray Perales via submission (guillotine choke), 1:19 into round 3
Mike Hayes def. Matt Kovacs via unanimous decision
Zach Skinner def. Scott Shaffer via unanimous decision
Nathan Coy def. Dave Courchaine via KO (punch), 1:46 into round 1