The latest installment in Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament goes down tonight at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, featuring the long-awaited rematch between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Barnett‘s promotional debut against Brett Rogers. Plus, KJ Noons and Jorge Masvidal jockey for #1 contendership in the lightweight division, and 14-year veteran Jeff Monson collides with rising heavyweight star Daniel Cormier.
Handling the play-by-play for this evening will be the Shemp Howard of CagePotato’s liveblog-rotation, Matt Kaplan, so let him know you care in the comments section. Live results from the Showtime broadcast of “Overeem vs. Werdum” will be stacking up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.
Chad Griggs vs. Valentijn Overeem:
Griggs hits an early takedown after some feeling out and fights from half guard. Overeem lacks mental toughness, according to Mauro. Griggs is pounding away on Overeem, who’s given up his back. Hammer fists…and some more. Here’s the ref. That’ll do it. Griggs wins it early.
(Backstage interview with Heidi and Werdum. Peronaility plus. Let’s get to the next fight already.)
Daniel Cormier and Jeff Monson:
Monson is not an anarchist, says Mauro. Just a guy who wants equality for all. This could be an interesting match-up.
Hig kick from Cormier blocked by Monson. Both guys tentative. Noe they lock up. elbow form Cormier and they separate. Monson kicks the lead leag; Cormier responds with a 1-2 and presses Monson against the cage. Cormier opens up with his fists and bakcs Monson up. Monson’s got some blood under the left eye. Cormier seems to be loading up the right. Left hook. Another 1-2 lands for Cormier, who looks calm and is moving well. More blood on Monson’s face. Straight left from Monson; Cormier counters with both hands. Cormier wins that round easily.
Round 2: Monson looks lost here: swinging wildly, staggering. Cormier presses Monson against the cage. Bog right on the break from Monson. Stiff left from Cormier. More of the clinch. Jab from Monson, but Cormier counters with better shots. Left from Cormier, uppercut, clinch. Still clinched. Body kick from Cormier now. And a right hand. Knees to Mnson’s thighs from Cormier. Another round for Cormier.
Round 3: I’m sure Masvidal is thrilled to have the phrase “like Kombo Slice” attached to his billing. Back to the fight…Monson misses a wild overhand right and Cormier counters with a right uppercut. Laser right hand. Big left hook. Monson is in trouble. Big right. Monson backpedals and falls to his back, inviting Cormier to follow. Nope. Cormier presses Monson against the cage: punches, knees. Left, right from Cormier. Monson tries for a takedown. Stuffed. Cormier again presses Monson against the cage. Frank Shamrock is calling for elbows from Cormier. 1-2 and a leg kick from Cormier. Monson needs the home run here. Time runs out, though. Cormier dominated that fight from the opening bell.
Cormier wins 30-27 from all 3 judges.
Mauro on Cormier: “His toolbox continues to grow.” Gold.
Backstage with Alistair Overeem. Anyone else waiting for him to do something terrible to this chick?
KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal:
I just heard audio of Pat Miletich saying Noons “wants to be the matinee idol of this sport.” That’s adorable. I watched the replay of Noons-Jurgel the other night, and Masvidal better look out for the left hook.
Masvidal kicks the lead leg and misses with a jumping knee. Masvidal jabs. Noons lands a left. These guys are getting after it. Knee from Masvidal. Noons moves in with combos. Another Masvidal knee. Takedown from Masvidal, who has Noons against the cage. Noons looks to get at Masvidal’s left arm and makes it back up to his feet. Knee from Masvidal after a quick shot. Noons is bloodied now. Left-right from Masvidal. More blood. Right from Masvidal. Head kick drops Noons! Ground and pound! Noons is back up but still taking shots, and the bell sounds to end the first. Masvidal is dominating this fight. Let’s keep it going…
Round 2: Noons misses with the right. Masvidal is smiling as Noons tries a knee. Masvidal is proving to be a tough target. Masvidal hit a big takedown, but Noons pops right back up and fires punches…before being taken down again. Masvidal attacks from Noons’s guard. Noons is back up and lands a knee. Nasty left body hook from Masvidal, who’s got Noons pressed against the cage with a little over a minute left. A bloody Noons is back up and finds himself on top of Masvidal for a bit. Back on the feet. Big knee from Masvidal and Noons is hurt. Lots of blood coming from his forehead as the second round concludes.
Round 3: Footage of Michael Irvin watching from the crowd is hilarious. Noons lands (part of) an uppercut but misses the subsequent hook. Masvidal stays tight in his boxing. Blood is streaming down Noons’s face as Masvidal remains in complete control. Takedown by Masvidal, but Noons gets right back to his feet without taking any shots. Again Masvidal dumps Noons to the mat. He’s in a side mount and has a hold of Noons’s left arm. Noons breaks free but Masvidal now has a hold of the right leg. Masvidal keeps throwing punches. Looks like Masvidal vs Melendez. 30-27 (x3) for Masvidal.
I’m Shemp Howard? I just saw that. Could be worse, I guess…
Gus Johnson just called Mauro a legend. Frank Shamrock haunts my dreams. Gus Johnson’s got a perty mouth. In all seriousness, though, Gus has been doing a killer job with the Super 6 boxing tournament. Here comes Brett Rogers and some lady with a mean face on…
Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett:
There’s the comment about Rogers stacking tires. It was only a matter of time…
Barnett looks kinda slim for 256.
Here we go. Brett is jiggling all over the place. Josh presses him against the cage, hoists him into the air, and slams him to his back. Damn. Josh in side control. Releases a shoulder lock; now in half guard…and now mounting Brett. Here come some punches and short ’bows. Brett is trying ot buck off the cage with hsi feet, but that’s a big man on top. Josh looks patient. Brett bucks, but Josh lands back in the mount. Brett is just holding on now. A dominant round for Josh Barnett.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss seeing Josh Barnett fight.
Round 2: Big left hook from Josh, who’s again mounting sweaty Brett. Side choke? Arm choke? Got it! Good night. Brett Rogers had nothing for Josh Barnett tonight.
Josh professed his love for Gus and fires up the Dallas crowd. Barnett is now walking the cage and has completely taken over this interview. He’s talking about skulls, piles of bodies, and gold. Sweet Jesus.
Nice little Fedor-Hendo promo for July 30.
Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum:
Overeem comes out to the cage draped in a Dallas Mavs flag. Smart move. Overeem has more submission wins in MMA than he does KO/TKO wins.
Main event time: A sloppy combo from Werdum, but a decent knee. Werdum shoots; nope. And again. He wants Overeem to come into his guard and is waiting on the ground. Boos from the crowd. Overeem wants Werdum to stand the f- up already. Back to the feet. Each man lands a knee. Overeem misses a big right. Werdum clinches, pulls guard, and waits fro Overeem to fall into his guard. This strategy is pissing off Overeem and the Texan crowd. Big left hook from Overeem. Overeem slams Werdum down; Werdum begs Overeem to a ground fight. Not having it. Big knee from Overeem drops the Brazilian. Werdum might need a new strategy because Overeem isn’t taking the bait.
Round 2: Both men hit knees. A few punches from Werdum land on Overeem. Wow. Werdum catches an Overeem kick and drops Overeem. Back up. Overeem stuffs a takedown. Werdum pulls guard. Overeem steps back. Werdum is slow to rise. Overeem is landing some big punches now. Werdum looks fatigued. Knee, uppercuts from Overeem. Werdum pulls him into his guard. Working for a triangle, it seems. Overem is up and free. Werdum is slow. Again pulls guard. Overeem is waiting for Werdum to get up. Overeem falls into Werdum’s guard. The crowd is not loving this.
Round 3: Werdum presses Overeem against the cage after a flurry of strikes from both men. Overeem lands a right to the side of the head; Werdum flops to guard. Again. He’s having some success with his hands and knees, but he’s sticking to his guard. Overeem is standing over Werdum, stalking. Werdum gets up and lands a good right hand. Again Werdum is on his back with Overeem in his guard. Overeem stands with 30 seconds left. Werdum lands 3 good punches, falls to guard, and goes for a knee bar as the round ends. Not an exciting main event. Overeem gets the nod from all 3 judges, as expected.
Up next in the Grand Prix, Overeem-Bigfoot and Barnett-Kharitonov.
Gus just rubbed Mauro’s head! I’ve seen enough.
Happy Father’s Day, guys.