(Focused and ready for battle, King Mo stares into his opponent’s eyes, desperately trying to remember who the hell this dude is. Photo courtesy of allelbows.com)
Two title fights in the light-heavyweight and middleweight divisions, a lightweight slugfest between KJ Noons and Jorge Gurgel, and Bobby Lashley‘s latest bit of record-padding, all brought to you by the world-famous City of Syrup. Let’s be real — if you’re not watching Strikeforce tonight, you’re a damn fool. Or, you don’t have Showtime. Or, you have better things to do. Speaking of which, your usual live-bloggers are occupied tonight, so respected CagePotato contributor Matt Kaplan will be filling in. Round-by-round updates can be found after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page for all the latest, and let your voices be heard in the comments section.
("Listen, Jacare, those hotel carpets are usually covered in…you know what, forget it.")
Strikeforce Houston is set to blast off this Saturday and your old pal Gambling Addiction Enabler has just one question: Could you loan us a few bucks until payday? Seriously, man, we’ve got some can’t-miss fight picks cookin’, and we swear it won’t be like last time. Thanks, bro. For real, you won’t regret this. Would it be cool if we used your shower?
Strikeforce had been planning a one-night, four-man tournament in Houston to determine its next champion. The four competitors were to be Kennedy, Souza, Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland. Those plans, however, were nixed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation…
TDLR administrator Greg Alvarez confirmed to MMA Fighting on Saturday that Strikeforce wanted a one-night, bracket-style tournament for the Houston show, which will air live on Showtime. But Alvarez said that request was denied. "They asked if it was possible and I told them that when Tough Man was outlawed, the state also did away with tournaments back in 2001," Alvarez said.
Cung Le returns from Hollywood, lightweight champ Josh Thomson tries to make it 2-0 against interim belt-holder Gilbert Melendez, Matt Lindland and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza battle for middleweight contendership, and King Mo takes on another heavyweight for some reason — all in all, not a bad night for Strikeforce’s mid-level stars. Round-by-round results from the Showtime broadcast are after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.
(Using real settings instead of a cheap green screen? Matt Lindland wouldn’t do that.)
It’s been too long since we’ve had Matt Lindland‘s particular brand of no-nonsense bad-assery in MMA. That’s partly because his last fight ended in a 37-second knockout loss to Vitor Belfort, resulting in a frightening few moments for the 39-year-old Lindland immediately afterwards. Turns out he was fine, just got caught, and all the other typical post-fight clichés, but the good news is "The Law" returns to action at Strikeforce: Evolution this Saturday night, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Lindland is sort of like the ornery grandfather of the MMA world. He isn’t about to put up with your bullshit, isn’t impressed with the way you’ve chosen to waste your life with internet porn and video games, and he isn’t going to lie to you about any of it. Tomorrow night he goes from facing one tough Brazilian opponent to another, as he takes on Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in what ought to be an intriguing clash of styles. Will Lindland’s suffocating wrestling attack and awkward, orangutan-like striking style be enough to pull off the minor upset? Or is Souza too young and too skilled on the mat for him?
What you may or may not know is that these two already met once in the submission grappling arena back in the 2003 ADCC. It was six years ago and there was no punching or kicking, so it’s not necessarily comparable to an MMA fight, though one man was clearly superior on that day. Check out the video after the jump, then let us know whether you think it’s a harbinger of future doom or just an irrelevant footnote.
Details are beginning to emerge about Strikeforce’s next big card, which is slated to take place December 19th at their familiar haunts in San Jose’s HP Pavilion. Though a headlining bout is still in the works, the event — dubbed "Evolution" — will reportedly feature…
Men’s +99kg (+218 lbs.) Opening Round Fabricio Werdum (Brazil) def. Rogent Lloret (Spain) via kimura Tomasz Janiszewski (Poland) def. Antoine Jaoude (Brazil) via points Romulo Barral (Brazil) def. Denis Roberts (Australia) via heel hook Saulo Ribeiro (Brazil) def. Kouji Kanechika (Japan) via points Jeff Monson (USA) def. Karol Bedorf (Poland) via points Janne-Pekka Pietiläinen (Finland) def. Tom Erikson (USA) via heel hook Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu (Brazil) def. Tom De Blass (USA) via points Asa Fuller (USA) def. Mike Matell (Canada) via armbar
Men’s +99kg (+218 lbs.) Quarter-Finals Fabricio Werdum (Brazil) def. Tomasz Janiszewski (Poland) via points Saulo Ribeiro (Brazil) def. Romulo Barral (Brazil) via points Jeff Monson (USA) def. Janne-Pekka Pietiläinen (Finland) via points Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu (Brazil) def. Asa Fuller (USA) via points
According to Graciemag.com, Brazilian middleweight standout Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza has signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce, and will make his debut at an October 25th event in Fresno, California — reportedly the same event that will see Fedor Emelianenko‘s Strikeforce debut. Souza has spent the last five fights of his career competing for DREAM in Japan, where he made it to the finals of their middleweight grand prix before succumbing to a Gegard Mousasi upkick, and had two contentious fights with Jason Miller. After their last match ended in a no-contest due to an illegal kick, Jacare and Mayhem were scheduled to fight for a third time at DREAM.11 (October 6th, Yokohama) for DREAM’s middleweight belt. It’s unclear if that fight will still be happening, though Japan MMA hears a rumor that Paulo Filho will be stepping in for Souza against Miller.
Souza’s Strikeforce signing is particularly interesting because Scott Coker recently announced that Jake Shields will fight for the organization’s interim middleweight title in October. Shields’s opponent hasn’t yet been announced, and Souza’s first opponent hasn’t been named either. You don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out. The winner of the interim middleweight title fight will face Cung Le whenever Le feels like taking a break from his action movie career and stepping back into the cage.
Nothing like a crude insult to get people hyped for a re-rematch. While watching DREAM.9 yesterday morning, we were surprised at the level of anger Jason Miller displayed towards Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza when their fight was halted by doctors and eventually stopped due to the giant soccer-kick-related cut on the Brazilian fighter’s scalp. (The video is after the jump in case you haven’t seen it.) After all, Jacare wanted to keep fighting, and it’s not like he put that gash on his head himself.
Was Miller just pissed that his new MTV fans didn’t get to see him beat some ass? Or was there bad blood between Mayhem and Jacare that we don’t know about? At any rate, it seems like Miller wants to make things publicly personal for his third meeting with Souza. That match hasn’t yet been tied to a specific DREAM event yet, though the next rounds of their Super Hulk and Featherweight GP tournaments are slated for September in Tokyo.