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Tag: Strikeforce

Sapp Loses at Strikeforce? SHOCKING!!!

BSJN
(Combined weight: 689 pounds. Combined talent: 25 milligrams. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

I’d like to congratulate everyone who put money on +450 underdog Jan Nortje in his Strikeforce headlining match against Bob Sapp last night — you are officially smarter than a 5th grader. Video of the fight will be posted early this week in case you missed it (and honestly, how many of you subscribe to HDNet?) but wow, what a performance. The Beast rushed out after the bell and immediately got caught with a punch, then clinched and pushed Nortje into the fence. After some fat-man hugging, the two super-heavyweights separated and Sapp stuck Nortje with some stiff jabs. But as soon as Notje got the chance to throw some leather, Bob winced, ran in the other direction, and fell to the mat, where Nortje pounded him until the ref stopped it at 55 seconds into the first. Classic Sapp. Now are you ready to retire, dickhead?

But it wasn’t all slapstick comedy at the Tacoma Dome. Joe Riggs had to be carried out on a stretcher after his submission-via-agony loss to Cory Devela. Riggs and Devela clinched early in round 1, and Devela broke the stalemate with a hip throw that slammed Riggs hard onto his back. Not only was the pain immediately apparent on Riggs’s face, but he barely had the strength to tap out; the ref called it at 1:22 of the first round. Unable to get to his feet, paramedics had to remove the former UFC fighter from the cage. Making the scene even more brutal, Riggs’s entire body seemed to spasm involuntarily while he was laid out. For a guy who was previously addicted to painkillers, Riggs will have a tough road ahead of him, even if the prognosis is just a few slipped discs. We’ll update you when you know more.

In the evening’s other notable match, 46-year-old former UFC heavyweight champ Maurice Smith spolied the MMA debut of 41-year-old kickboxer Rick “The Jet” Roufus. Roufus was totally lost once Smith shot in for a takedown, and Mo’ was able to get full mount and tap Roufus with an armlock at 1:53 of round one. It was the second fight in Smith’s current farewell-tour; he stepped away from the game in 2000, but returned to action with a TKO victory over Marco Ruas at an IFL event last May.

The night’s other matches weren’t nearly as exciting, unless you dig slow three-rounders fought by guys you’ve never heard of. But here’s how they turned out:

Eddy Ellis def. Steve Berger via unanimous decision
Jorge Masvidal def. Ryan Healy via unanimous decision
Mychal Clark def. Josh Bennett via TKO (doctor’s stoppage), end of round 2
Lyle Beerbohm def. Ray Perales via submission (guillotine choke), 1:19 into round 3
Mike Hayes def. Matt Kovacs via unanimous decision
Zach Skinner def. Scott Shaffer via unanimous decision
Nathan Coy def. Dave Courchaine via KO (punch), 1:46 into round 1

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Joe Riggs Returns Thanks to Second Strikeforce Injury

Riggs

Another injury has forced a fighter on the February 23rd Strikeforce At the Dome card to pull out of his fight. Yesterday, Brad Blackburn went down with a shoulder injury. MMAWeekly reports today that middleweight journeyman Cedric Marks has also tweaked his shoulder, and will be replaced by UFC veteran Joe Riggs, who will face 7-1 Washington-native Cory Devela. After a long stint in the Rage in the Cage organization and other regional shows, Riggs worked his way up to the UFC where he compiled a 4-4 record. His most notable match was a November 2005 fight against Matt Hughes that was scheduled to be for the welterweight title; Riggs failed to make weight, the match was downgraded into a non-championship fight, and Riggs lost anyway. His last fight was a first-round knockout victory over Eugene Jackson at a Strikeforce event last Sepember.

For your viewing pleasure…

Joe Riggs vs. Kendall Grove (5/7/04)

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HDNet Scores Strikeforce; Frank Shamrock Has a Very Expressive Face

BS
(Bob Sapp, doing what he does best.)

HDNet announced yesterday that it would be broadcasting four Strikeforce events in 2008, beginning with “Strikeforce at The Dome” on February 23rd. The Tacoma, Washington card features fights between Bob “The Beast” Sapp and K-1 vet Jan Nortje, and former UFC heavyweight champ Maurice Smith against kickboxing star Rick “The Jet” Rufus in his professional MMA debut. The HDNet deal doesn’t apply to the events that Strikeforce has already partnered with EliteXC for, which will still be broadcast on Showtime. Check out the new promo clip for the EliteXC/Strikeforce March 29th event in San Jose, California, featuring a main event of Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le. It looks like they’re playing up the “Frank Shamrock may be insane” angle, which can’t be bad for business.

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Jake Shields Wants Frank Shamrock


(It’s all about the hair.)

The TAGG Radio Network did an interview with Jake Shields this week, where the EliteXC welterweight made some pretty bold statements. Shields is certainly one of the most exciting up-and-coming fighters in action today and soon he just might add a 170-pound title to go with his impressive 20-4-1 record. Shields faces former UFC-er Drew Fickett and his 31-5 record on March 29th at the Strikeforce/EliteXC event.

Remember that whole “one game at a time” shit that coaches are always preaching to their players so they won’t overlook their current opponent? Apparently Jake Shields doesn’t buy into that. And the fighter he has his eye on happens to be one of the legends in the sport: Frank Shamrock.

Shamrock is headlining the March 29th event and will put his Strikeforce middleweight title on the line against Cung Le.

TAGG provided the following for MMA Junkie:

“I would do that tomorrow,” Shields said regarding the match-up with Shamrock. “In fact, when there was that whole Baroni thing going on, I actually got a phone call asking me if Baroni didn’t come through would I be willing to take that fight. It was about four days before the fight, and I said I would take it… I was willing to step up on four days’ notice and fight him.”

The report says Shamrock would possibly be interested in the fight, but would want Jake to go up to middleweight. Shields says, “Fine, Bee-otches!” – in so many words.

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Shields, Fickett Will Fight for EliteXC’s First Welterweight Title

JS
(Jake Shields, workin’ them pads.)

It was confirmed today that the March 29th EliteXC/Strikeforce event featuring Frank Shamrock’s fight against Cung Le will also host another high-profile match — Jake Shields and Drew Fickett will meet to decide EliteXC’s first-ever welterweight championship. Ranked #6 on our list of the top 10 welterweights in the world, Jake Shields is a former Shooto welterweight champ who has defeated the likes of Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit during his current nine-fight win streak; his last two fights were for EliteXC, and resulted in first-round wins by stoppage. Drew Fickett is a veteran of Rage in the Cage and the UFC, and complied a 4-2 record in the Octagon including a win over Josh Koscheck. Fickett has never fought for EliteXC before, but he’s won his last three matches since losing to Karo Parisyan by decision at UFC Fight Night 7 in December 2006.

The welterweight championship will be the third divisional belt awarded by EliteXC since its inaugural event in February of last year. The organization crowned Murilo “Ninja” Rua its first middleweight champ on 6/22/07 with his defeat of Joey Villasenor, but Robbie Lawler took the title three months later with his TKO of Rua at EliteXC: Uprising. KJ Noons became EliteXC’s first lightweight champion at the “Renegade” event on 11/10/07 when Nick Diaz’s eyelids tore apart and the fight had to be stopped. We’ll make a wild projection here and say that Jake Shields will be joining their ranks in March — and for the record, we’re fairly certain that Frank Shamrock will use his enormous ground-fighting advantage to put away Cung Le and retain his Strikeforce middleweight belt in the show’s main event.

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NOOOOOOOOO!!!

SappLeno

Looks like somebody didn’t read our list. According to a press release, Bob Sapp will make his “highly-anticipated” return to MMA competition when he headlines “Strikeforce at the Dome” in Tacoma, WA, on February 23. Sapp’s opponent will be named shortly.

Arguably the world’s worst pound-for-pound mixed martial artist active today, Bob Sapp’s career highlights in the past two years include:

— Agreeing to headline a May 2006 K-1 event in Holland against Ernesto Hoost, and then backing out halfway through the show.

— Agreeing to fight Gary Turner at Cage Rage 21 in February of this year, then backing out a few days before the fight was scheduled to go down.

— Cracking up Jay Leno with his impression of Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade.

— Defeating “Hard Gay” at a HUSTLE Pro Wrestling event on November 4.

— Eating hoagies?

Best of luck to Strikeforce and Ticketmaster in dealing with all of the refund demands that will result from Sapp’s upcoming non-appearance. The people of Tacoma deserve nothing but the best from your respective customer service departments.

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Tim Kennedy to Replace Sean Salmon at HDNet Fights

Salmon

As you may have already heard/seen, Sean Salmon found himself on the wrong end of a brutal flying-knee knockout at last week’s Strikeforce middleweight tournament. Though he denied reports that he had a seizure in the ring, Salmon was given a 45-day medical suspension after the fight, making him ineligible for a scheduled match against Jason “Mayhem” Miller at the HDNet Fights “Reckless Abandon” (!) event on December 15.

Taking Salmon’s place is Tim Kennedy, a member of the IFL’s Chicago Red Bears who previously defeated Miller at an Extreme Challenge event in 2003. Kennedy is scheduled to fight in the IFL World Grand Prix only two weeks later, so let’s hope he isn’t slapped with a medical suspension himself.

The “Reckless Abandon” card also features Frank Trigg vs. Edwin Dewees, Yves Edwards vs. Alonzo Martinez, and Pete Spratt vs. Tristan Yunker. Our best wishes go out to Sean Salmon, who should really learn how to protect his head

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Friday’s Strikeforce Event Available Free on Yahoo! Sports

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To see Cung Le kick ass, Sean Salmon get KTFO’d, and all of my predictions fall apart one by one, click here.

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Strikeforce Salaries Seem to Be Missing a Zero

Barrel
(I’m only posting this picture because my Google image search for “moth flying out of wallet” was a total bust.)

Since the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board isn’t releasing fighter salaries for UFC 78 in order to maintain the fighters’ privacy, you’ll have to make do with the numbers from Friday’s Strikeforce event:

MIDDLEWEIGHT TOURNAMENT
Jorge Santiago [winner] ($15,000)
Trevor Prangley [finalist] ($30,000)
Falaniko Vitale ($20,000), Sean Salmon ($5,000)

MAIN CARD
Cung Le ($50,000) def. Sam Morgan ($10,000)
Alistair Overeem ($30,000) def. Paul Buentello ($20,000)
Lemont Davis ($3,000) def. Brian Schwartz ($30,000)
Anthony Ruiz ($3,500) def. Bobby Southworth ($10,000)
Luke Stewart ($10,000) def. Bryson Kamaka ($1,500)

UNDERCARD
Eric Lawson ($5,000) def. Josh Neal ($1,500)
Anthony Figueroa ($4,000) def. Pete Sabala ($1,000)
Alex Crispin ($4,500) def. Clint Coronel ($3,000)
Chris Drumm ($1,000) def. Evan Esguerra ($1,000)
Dennis Hallman ($10,000) def. Jeremiah Metcalf ($5,000)

These figures include win bonuses that ranged from $500 to $5,000, though the participants in the middleweight tournament all received a flat fee regardless of their performance. Man, that’s called “doing it for the love,” people…

Though the Potato was a pathetic 1-out-of-5 in his predictions for the night’s action, at least the sure thing came through, as rising superstar Cung Le ended Sam Morgan’s night with a vicious body kick at 1:58 into the third round. To watch the fight (with aggravatingly un-synced audio), click here, and to see a post-fight interview with Le, click here.

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Strikeforce Update: Sean Salmon Replaces Yuki Sasaki

Yuki

Yuki Sasaki has been pulled from tonight’s Strikeforce middleweight tournament after a second-consecutive MRA exam raised concerns with doctors; his participation has been questionable since his original MRA and MRI exams revealed an unspecified neurological condition. Sean Salmon — originally scheduled to fight in the tournament’s alternate bout — will take Sasaki’s place, and the alternate bout will now be fought between Dennis Hallman and Jeremiah Metcalf.

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