(“Guys, you can get some of those cupcakes *after* we take this face-off picture, okay? Guys?” Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
Hello, and welcome to a special “From Press Row” edition of the CagePotato liveblog. That’s right – I’m typing to you from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis tonight, not from my usual spot on my couch in Brooklyn. The good part? I’m about 25 feet from the cage and wedged between some of the brightest minds in MMA journalism. The bad part? Slamming beers, eating wings, and loudly showing bias towards my favorite fighters is frowned upon here, apparently. But we’re gonna try to have a good time anyway. Live round-by-round results are after the jump, starting at 9 p.m. CT. Hit that “read more” link and refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Time to do work, son.
Undercard quick results:
- Pat Benson def. Dave Cochran via armbar, 2:42 of round 1
- Lucas Lopes def. Scott Ventimiglia via DQ (Lopes KO’d by illegal knee) 3:26 of round 1
- Tyron Woodley def. Salvoder Woods via submission (choke), 4:20 of round 1
- Booker DeRousse def. James Wade via TKO, 4:06 of round 1
- Mike Kyle def. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante via TKO, 4:05 of round 2
- Jesse Finney def. Josh Bumgarner via submission (kimura), 1:55 of round 1
Strikeforce ain’t feeding us (ASSHOLES), so I’m gonna go get a burger before the main card starts. If I’m late, just go ahead and liveblog the Randleman fight for me, in the comments section. KTHXBAI.
Burger eaten, 8:48 p.m. CT.
Jimmy Lennon warms the crowd up before the broadcast begins, going through the matchups. St. Louis pops hard for every former UFC fighter. Lennon shouts out all the fighters sitting cageside, and Fedor gets a standing O. Anderson Silva is here, and the cheers and boos are equally loud.
I gotta say, that Gateway Arch is way more impressive in person. And here we go…
Kevin Randleman vs. Mike Whitehead
The Monster is incredibly amped up. His cornerman slaps him a few times, not that he needs it. The crowd is very happy to see him. And there’s Big John, holdin’ it down.
Round 1: Leg kick Whitehead. And again. He misses a head kick and Randleman pounces, clinching onto his back. Whitehead escapes and throws a head kick. He clinches and drags Randleman to the mat. Randleman bounces him off and gets back up. Whitehead shoots and gets the takedown, but Randleman quickly escapes again. They clinch and Randleman goes for the guillotine before Whitehead drags him down. Randleman again with the nice escape. Leg kicks Whitehead. Whitehead slips in the uppercut and clinches. He scores the takedown, yet again, but Randleman has him locked down on the ground. Whitehead throws some punches from the top as the round ends. 10-9 Whitehead.
Round 2: Whitehead comes out punching, before the inevitable takedown. Randleman holding on tight to keep Whitehead from posturing. Whitehead moves to side control, dropping punches where he can. The crowd gets restless. Whitehead just laying on top. Then he jumps to mount. Randleman slips out and escapes, then lands an uppercut. Whitehead throws some slow punches, hitting air. Randleman hesitant to throw. It’s a standing stalemate until the bell. 10-9 Whitehead for the top control, but it wasn’t pretty, and they’re both gassed.
Round 3: Whitehead misses a body punch, and Randleman cracks him, but Whitehead returns fire. More weak sparring. Randelman lands a huge left hook which drops Whitehead, then abuses him on the ground for a few seconds before Whitehead groggily struggles to his feet. They clinch. Whitehead slips in some punches, before scoring a takedown. He’s in half-guard, working for an armlock. Randleman gets up, and Whitehead cracks him with a right. Randleman lands a straight right, then jabs, and the round is over.
Mike Whitehead def. Kevin Randleman via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3). Fowlkes was right — we didn’t really need to see that one.
Phil Baroni vs. Joe Riggs
Riggs is the clear fan favorite in this one. The jokers behind me greet Baroni’s arrival with chants of “FUCK THE YANKEES!’
Round 1: Riggs tries a head kick. Baroni clinches and tries a knee, but Riggs takes him down and moves to his back, going for the rear-naked. Baroni defends, rolls, and establishes guard. Riggs lands a good punch from the top. Baroni tries to roll out, but Riggs stays on him. Baroni uses the cage to get up, but Riggs puts him right back down. Baroni struggles to his feet again, and winds up on top when Riggs goes for the takedown again. Baroni with body shots from the top. The ref stands ‘em. Riggs dashes in for a takedown and pushes Baroni against the cage. Baroni works his way on top and throws in a few punches before the round ends.
Round 2: Leg kick Riggs. Baroni backs him up with a right. Spinning backfist from Riggs misses by a mile. Riggs gets another takedown, pushing Baroni against the cage, but Baroni gets up and takes *him* down. Riggs gets up and lands a knee and punches. Riggs with a big right against the cage and follows in up with a jumping knee, then another knee in the clinch. Baroni tries to get it to the ground, but fails. Baroni shoots again and Riggs sprawls, but he works his way on top. Riggs latches on a triangle, and it looks close but he loses it. Baroni on top in Riggs’s full guard, slugging. Riggs wriggles halfway out before the bell. Two close rounds, but Riggs probably has the advantage going into the final round.
Round 3: Leg kick Riggs. They clinch and Riggs knees out of it, then throws a flying knee that rattles Baroni. Riggs with the body kick. Riggs with another knee to the head. Baroni is covering up; he’s looking gassed. Left straight Riggs. Riggs sticks the jab. Body kick Riggs. Riggs chasing Baroni with punches, then lands a short flying knee and a punch. Riggs with the hard right hook. Riggs swarms with punches and a knee. Baroni sticks the right straight, but Riggs returns more punches, more knees. Leg kick Riggs. Baroni starts swinging, trying to put something together, but Riggs takes him down to run out the fight. Very dominant round for Diesel.
Joe Riggs def. Phil Baroni via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3). Riggs says he broke both hands in the fight, and he wants Jake Shields.
Being at the fights live, I’m robbed of hearing Mauro Ranallo’s insanity. If he’s thrown out any metaphorical gems so far, lemme know in the comments section.
Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith
Round 1: Nice boxing exchange right off the bell, and Diaz is already putting his hands up. They clinch and Smith sneaks in a sharp right hook before punching out altogether. Diaz puts his hands down and gets nailed on the ear. Okay, be serious now, bro. Smith swinging for the fences, but Diaz lands a counterpunch, then a body kick. Diaz pressuring Smith against the cage with punches. They clinch for a moment befor Big John breaks ‘em up. Diaz lands a punch and goes back to the clinch, working some knees to Smith’s legs. They separate. Diaz sticks his chin out and gets clocked. He should really stop doing that. More clinching against the cage. Smith grabs onto Diaz’s back and slams him to the ground. Diaz bounces up. Diaz advancing with punches. Smith with a leg kick. Smith rushing forward with punches, and Diaz with a surprise takedown at the bell.
Round 2: Diaz throwing punches in bunches. Smith clinches on Diaz’s back again, but Diaz escapes. Diaz seems to hurt Smith with a punch flurry. He’s landing shots at will. Smith comes back with an elbow. Diaz attacks again with dozens of lil’ pitty-pat punches. Smith misses a head kick, and it’s back to the Nick Diaz boxing show. Knees from Diaz in the clinch. BJM separates them. More punches from Diaz, and a head kick to Smith’s glove. More sharp punches from Stockton’s own. Leg kick Smith. Smith lands a superman punch and a body kick. They clinch, and Smith throws a knee, but Diaz pours on some body punches that drop Smith at the bell. Smith is very slow getting to the stool. The round was all 209.
Round 3: Both guys slugging. This is when Smith is the most dangerous — when he’s getting the tar beaten out of him. Diaz slaps a kick against Smith’s jaw. Diaz with a right hook and Smith goes down. Diaz gets on Smith’s back, maybe too high for a choke…but no, he slaps on the rear-naked and it’s a wrap.
Nick Diaz def. Scott Smith via submission, 1:41 of round 3. Half the crowd boos him loudly. Don’t you people know genius when’s it’s right there in front of you? SAVAGES.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Brett Rogers
Round 1: Leg kick Arlovski. Rogers comes in swinging, and knocks Arlovski down. Big John immediately stops it. What. The. Fuck.
On the replay, Arlovski was clearly stunned when he went down…maybe he would have recovered, but not the way Rogers was swinging. Not a horrible stoppage, just unfortunate for Arlovski. Brett Rogers def. Andrei Arlovski via “spectacular” KO, 0:22 of round 1.
Where does Arlovski go from here? Boxing? Or maybe a profession that doesn’t require him to get punched in the face. Because that clearly hasn’t been working for him lately.
Jake Shields vs. Robbie Lawler
St. Lou loves them some Lawler.
Round 1: Lawler the aggressor…they go to the ground briefly after a clinch, then pop back up. Lawler with some dirty boxing. Shields tries some knees in the clinch. They separate; body kick Shields, and another. Leg kick Shields. Shields clinches, then tries for the arm-in guillotine, dropping to the mat. Lawler tries to pick him up, but he falls back to the mat and Shields is still wrapped around his neck. Lawler taps. Boom. The crowd starts leaving to beat the traffic.
Jake Shields def. Robbie Lawler via submission (guillotine choke), 2:02 of round 1. Shields wants Cung Le‘s belt. From a distance, you can hear Joe Riggs say “what about meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
Great night for welterweights taking on middleweights. Bad night for former Hammer House fighters. I’m heading to the press conference, talk to you guys later…