(“Hey, I’m Gina!”
“I am the one known as ‘Cyborg’.”
“Look, whatever happens tonight, I just want you to know that I have tons of respect for you, and I feel honored to be fighting you.”
“I want to kill you so bad, my dick’s hard.”
Photo courtesy of this set on CombatLifestyle.)
So who wants to witness some history in the making? Tonight, the curse is lifted, and the most significant women’s MMA fight of all time will take place. (Before that, there will be some men’s MMA matches of varying importance.) Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg results await you after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for round-by-round updates and occasional digressions. Warning: The Showtime broadcast is delayed on the west coast, so check your local listings, and if you’re not getting it live, maybe stay away from the comments section for a while, lest you be spoiled.
And we start with a little bad news: Strikeforce got a little spooked about the timing of the show, and relegated Jay Hieron vs. Jesse Taylor to the unaired portion of the card. Hieron def. Taylor via unanimous decision. (30-27 x 3)
And here we go. Damn, that intro is lookin’ tight on the ol’ flat-screen. It’s a new day in Strikeforce, and they have the production values to match. Gina and Cyborg are shown entering the arena. Carano looks a little nervous, but Cyborg is all smiles. Fedor Emelianenko‘s signing is plugged immediately by Mauro Ranallo. (Please, Mauro, no 25-centimeter pole remarks tonight.) Frank Shamrock has gel in his hair, and shine on his teeth. Mike Kyle stalks around the cage behind them. The stage, as they say, is set.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Kyle
Ranallo says that in the past, Kyle has “allowed his emotions to overshadow his vast potential.” Translation: He likes to gouge eyes, kick groins, and bite chests. Some of the fans in the crowd know about this guy’s “emotions,” and boo him heartily. Veteran PRIDE referee Yuji Shimada is holding it down.
Round 1: Kyle immediately comes out swinging. Werdum lands a leg kick, and Kyle returns it. Kyle catches a kick and Werdum has to jump backwards to safety. But Kyle lands a shot that seems to wobble Werdum, and Werdum shoots. Kyle ends up on his back, but almost secures an armbar. Werdum wrenches out, and grabs a guillotine choke in the scramble. Kyle taps. Congrats, Fabricio — you’re now eligible to be raped by Fedor.
Werdum says “sorry for my English, but I love America. I love everybody for coming.” He says he’d fight Fedor or anybody else, then shouts out his mom.
Randy Couture‘s enormous cauliflower ear showed up for an interview, and brought Randy along with it. “She’s done the work, the hay’s in the barn” says Randy about Gina’s preparation.
Gilbert Melendez vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida (for Strikeforce interim lightweight championship)
Ranallo says you can forget about keeping up with the Kardashians, the Strikeforce lightweights have to worry about keeping up with the Japanese Energizer Bunny, Mitsuhiro Ishida. Dad, you’re embarassing us. Jake Shields is in Gilbert’s corner. Nick Diaz is nowhere to be seen, obviously.
Round 1: Ishida shoots, Melendez sprawls. Ishida throws the high kick off Melendez’s glove. Melendez lands a right. The crowd starts to boo some inactivity. Ishida shoots again, is stuffed, and eats a knee on the way up. Melendez lands a hook to the body. Melendez measures and throws a three-punch combo. Melendez dodges a kick and lands a right hook. Melendez lands a counter left-hook. The crowd gets antsy again. Ishida shoots for a single leg, and Melendez desperately tries to fight it off, but Ishida finally gets him down and transitions to Melendez’s back, almost getting the choke. Melendez reverses and lands on top of Ishida against the cage. Ishida grabs onto Melendez’s head and stalls. Melendez knees Ishida in the shin. There’s the bell. 10-9 Melendez.
Herschel Walker says he wants a shot in the Strikeforce cage. Cool?
Round 2: Melendez lands a right to the body. Melendez jabs. Ishida shoots for the single, Melendez sprawls, drags Ishida up and knees him in the gut. Melendez pushes Ishida against the cage. Melendez lands a elbow that drops Ishida, but the Endless Fighter pops right back up. Ranallo mentions Melendez’s “bitter beer face.” Melendez slips a punch from Ishida and nails him with one of his own. Melendez swarms Ishida against the cage with punches, and Ishida drops to a knee. Ishida is shooting blood from his scalp. Melendez has Ishida pinned against the cage, and drops knees to his body. Ishida gets up and swings some haymakers to back Melendez off. Melendez catches a kick from Ishida and tosses him down, and the round ends. Another 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 3: They trade jabs. Leg kick Melendez, and Ishida gives it back. And another. Ishida still looks fresh, but he can’t get much going offensively. Ishida shoots and his stuffed, Melendez pushes him back with punches, nails him with a knee to the body, and knocks him down with a punch. Melendez hops into Ishida’s guard, dropping punches and hammer-fists. Melendez takes Ishida’s back, looking for the rear-naked. Ishida defends, so Melendez starts throwing bombs into Ishida’s ears, as Ishida turtles, then goes limp. The fight is stopped. Revenge is sweet.
Gilbert Melendez def. Mitsuhiro Ishida via TKO, 3:56 of round 3.
Cris Cyborg says she’s ready for the five rounds; she used to fight three fives in Brazil and her cardio is not a problem.
Renato Sobral vs. Gegard Mousasi (for Strikeforce light-heavyweight championship)
According to the Showtime Skinless Animated Dummies, Gegard Mousasi’s key to victory is the straight armbar. But they also said that Melendez was going to beat Ishida by triangle choke, so what the fuck do they know. Babalu puts his hands up to wave to the crowd, and nearly has them blasted off by the pyrotechnics. He freezes in horror, then runs to the cage. Hey, Big John’s in the ring. Good times.
Round 1: They land simultaneous leg kicks. Sobral catches a body kick and clinches. Mousasi scores a takedown, pushes Sobral against the cage and throws down jackhammer-punches until Babalu’s spirit leaves his body. Gegard Mousasi is your new Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion of the world. And he made it look easy. Mousasi def. Sobral via TKO, 1:00 of round 1.
Ranallo kills my buzz by talking to some boxer. They couldn’t get Pacquiao?
We get a promo clip listing all the MMA champions that Fedor Emelianenko has wrecked. “Fedor: Coming Soon.” Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…
Gina Carano vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos
And we’re already at the main event. You see that, guys, you should have kept Hieron/Taylor on the card after all. Frank Shamrock says “it’s chin-check time for the ladies.” Cyborg is grooving during the vaseline rub-down, and smiles big in the cage. Carano’s mood, as in the beginning of the show, is much more somber. Randy Couture gives her a hug and a firm smack on the ass. The crowd roars as she enters the cage. Let’s get it. Cyborg is booed, unfortunately. Evangelista tries to drown it out with some “heeeeeeeeeey!”s. Josh Rosenthal will be the only man in the cage.
Round 1: Cyborg stalks forward and eats a jab. Cyborg blasts some punches and clinches. Carano takes her down, and Cyborg goes for a heel hook. She loses it, but moves to Carano’s back, throwing punches. Carano gets up and takes some heavy punches. Cyborg goes for the takedown, but Carano winds up on top, and lands some shots of her own. She gets out of Cyborg’s guard, and they clinch again. Carano with the straight right. Cyborg returns. Leg kick Cyborg. Cyborg catches a kick and clinches. Carano rolls out. Carano tries a superman punch and gets clocked on the way in. Cyborg with a leg kick. Cyborg clinches and pushes Gina down, but awkwardly lets her up. Cyborg backs Carano against the cage, punches, and clinches. Cyborg works some knees against the fence, then scores a takedown, landing in half-guard. Cyborg almost locks in the kimura; Carano twists out at the last second. Cyborg with heavy punches from the top. Rosenthal stops it exactly at the bell. It could be a controversy, but Gina isn’t protesting. She spends about 30 seconds on the ground before getting up.
Ranallo: “All hail the alpha female…it’s not Gina Carano, it’s Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos.”
Cris Cyborg def. Gina Carano via TKO, 4:59 of round 1.
Gina pulls a Forrest Griffin and leaves the cage before the post-fight interview. Cyborg thanks Gina for the opportunity, and says she does everything for the fans. Time will tell if the fans will warm up to their new champion. It seems like half the crowd is cheering her, and the other half have already left the building.
Carano is backstage getting checked out by doctors. Ranallo mentions Tara LaRosa and Marloes Conan as possible challengers for Cyborg. And that’s pretty much it. We’re out in less than two hours, and that’s including all the boxing plugs. Exciting card; too bad there wasn’t more of it. Let us know how you feel, Potato Nation. Good night, and good luck.