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Strikeforce Challengers Aftermath: Some Fights Totally Happened Last Night

(VidProps: YouTube/ZProphet420)

Depending on how you look at it, this week was either the perfect complement or an immediate counterpoint to Dana White’s recent claims that there could never be too much MMA on TV. What with UFC 120, Countdown, Primetime, TUF, Bellator and Challengers all leading up to the only show that really matters tonight, this week pretty much planned itself for fans who were so inclined. In light of that crush of programming, it’s perfectly understandable if you totally spaced on the fact that Strikeforce put on an event last night headlined by a rematch between a guy named Bobby Voelker and a guy called Roger Bowling. It’s cool. You probably had other stuff going on.


If you’re not a huge Challengers fan you also likely have no reason to remember that their first meeting back in May ended in a controversial win for Bowling. Something about an eye poke and a technical decision. From the sound of the talk between Mauro, Pat and Quadros here, the previously undefeated Bowling came into Friday’s bout considered a bit of a prospect who was looking to “graduate” from Challengers to the big show. Not to give away the ending, but shit doesn’t quite work out that way. Decent fight, though.

Also on this card, Lavar Johnson – who Strikeforce has taken to promoting as “The Miracle Man” after his comeback from a horrific shooting at a Fourth of July barbecue last summer – picked up another gimme win against Virgil Zwicker. Johnson is clearly one of MMA’s best stories, but now with seven wins in a row dating back to 2008 the company is going to have to start serving him a higher level of competition to keep him relevant. Seriously, it would be nice to see Johnson fight somebody who at least appears to pose some sort of physical threat to him.

Billy Evangelista returned from an 11 month layoff and despite losing the battle of sweet names to Waachiim Spirit Wolf, won a unanimous decision in what was also a fairly watchable fight, if you care to look it up.

In women’s action, Julia Budd upset Shana Olson in her pro MMA debut by sheer gigantism. For real, Budd looked enormous at 145-pounds and just sat down on top of Olson during a couple of takedown attempts. She was pretty impressive actually, en route to a TKO stoppage in the second round. Impressive enough to be a danger to Cyborg? No, not even close. But still, hats off.

At heavyweight, John Devine submitted Brandon Cash in the first round.

All in all in was an OK show the just about nobody probably watched. I suppose, this could lead to further discussion about Strikeforce’s promotional efforts, what exactly it’s trying to do with the Challengers series and whether or not it just punted this one away given its proximity to Lesnar vs. Velasquez, but I don’t see the point right now. Frankly, I’m astonished you even read this far down.

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El Guapo- October 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm
That Spirit Wolf-Evangelista fight was the shit!! 15 minutes of bombs away and not a lay and gay in sight. How can you not like that? But I gotta disagree with these guys ^^. It was close, but Spiritwolf didn't win that fight. He showed plenty of heart, yes, but took a pretty good ass whoopin. He did land a few nice ones and had a couple nice throws, I'll give him that, but overall he got beat handily. I think we were blinded by love. As in, you gotta love a guy who goes balls out like Spiritwolf. I don't care if he's 8-8 or whatever, I'll watch him everytime.
Mr_Misanthropy- October 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Mastering the Ocktay Gwan Cunt-Troll is the hallmark of a true master.
overeems_needle- October 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Spiritwolf won that fight!!!! That was a bullshit decision! Sure he was getting tagged but he controlled that whole fight with his takedowns and strikes.
The Lizardking05- October 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm
did anyone else think evangelista won that fight?.... i watched it completely sober (mind you)........ and i didnt think he did a whole bunch to beat spirit wolf..... looked to me that wolf controlled the whole fight besides the fact that he was getting tagged... maybe im thinking that 'octagon (or whatever shape strikeforce has) control and takedowns dont count as much anymore?
rngeorgeh- October 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm
RwilsonR, you so get it!
echoxer0- October 23, 2010 at 10:34 am
challengers is a great show, cause these amateurs fight way harder than some ufc vets to get that W
Get Off Me- October 23, 2010 at 10:12 am
Strikeforce keeps proving the haters wrong.
RwilsonR- October 23, 2010 at 9:29 am
@ rngeorgeh - not only is Budd not a danger to Cyborg, but I just don't see Spirit Wolf being much of a threat to GSP.
jimbonics- October 23, 2010 at 8:49 am
sounds expensive.
itsgalf- October 23, 2010 at 8:48 am
I'd watch a Strikeforce Challengers card if I could, but I won't read it
halfbreed23- October 23, 2010 at 8:39 am
Check this out everyone! There's this new invention called the DVR or Digital Video Recorder. It's much easier than setting your VCR and it will record hundreds of hours of television. If you happen to be playing Magic over in a friends trailer that doesn't have Showtime one Friday night you can record Challengers and watch it anytime. HDNet will use up a log of your memory alone. (HD stands for High Definition)

Luckily this space age invention will allow you to have something to do on Friday and record all the Strikeforce "events".
jimbonics- October 23, 2010 at 8:36 am
Decent fight.

I too, was surprised I read that far down.
Bill Jackson- October 23, 2010 at 8:28 am
I thought it was a great show. Really.
rngeorgeh- October 23, 2010 at 8:17 am
Overall an entertaining night of free fights. The comment about Budd not being a danger to Cyborg was ridiculous. It was her first MMA fight! Of course she's not a threat right now. The girl definitely has the potential to be a threat to Cyborg in the future.
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