Strikeforce Live Results
Strikeforce MMA is running a show this evening from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The show is being held in conjunction with the E3 video game convention. We will be blogging results all evening from the event.
The cage for the event is set up on a stage with the audience watching from the theater, which is a kind of unique setup. The arena looks relatively full going into the main card bouts.
In preliminary action, Hugo Sandoval defeated Marcus Kowal via second round TKO.
Jeremy Umphries submitted RJ Clifford in the second round via rear naked choke.
KJ Noons vs. Conor Heun
Noons built something of a name in EliteXC, including an impressive win over Nick Diaz. Heun is a Southern California based fighter looking to score a major upset.
Round 1. Heun lunges in with a couple of punches. He then looks to take the fight to the ground but Noons defends. As Heun moves in he is caught with a hard uppercut and Noons begins working the jab. Noons catches Heun with another uppercut. Heun looks for a kick but misses by a wide margin. Noons, a former boxer, is dominating the standup exchanges. Noons lands a hook and high kick. Heun answers with a few kicks of his own. Heun out of nowhere pulls Noons to the ground and takes his back with a minute and a half left in the round. Heun transitions into full mount with a body triangle and begins throwing down hard punches. Noons is bleeding from the nose as Heun throws down hard punches. Noons reverses to top position and then stands up. He drops Heun with a punch as the round comes to a close. That was a very exciting close round with Noons getting the best of the standup and Heun the best of the ground. Noons 10-9. Most in the press have Heun winning.
Round 2. Heun throws a high kick and is answered with a Noons straight left. Heun lands an uppercut and a jab as Heun comes in. Heun lands a nice knee and Noons looks for a knee of his own that doesn't land. Noons throws an uppercut that connects decently at the same time Heun lands a low kick that turns Noons around. As the round progresses, both men lands solid blows. Noons seems to catch Heun with a punch but as he moves in he is caught with a counter that staggers him back. Heun lands a pair of knees as well. Noons lands a nice hook but Heun takes him down at the very end of the round. Another very close round with Heun doing much better in the standup, but I've got Noons narrowly ahead again. Noons 20-18.
Round 3. Noons hits Heun with some nice combination punching. Heun tries to get the fight to the ground but Noons easily avoids. Heun moves in with punches and kicks but is having difficulty landing anything. Heun shoots again but doesn't get the takedown. Heun lands a nice uppercut moving in and shoots but Noons blocks it nicely. Heun is now bleeding badly from the face. Heun looks for a takedown but again misses but he runs in with a punch that catches Noons. Noons opens up with punches at the end of the round and takes this round solidly. I have the fight 30-27 Noons but I expect some 29-28s from the judges.
Winner: KJ Noons, split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28).
The 30-27 for Heun surprises me greatly because I thought the only clear cut round was Noons winning the third.
Trevor Prangley vs. Tim Kennedy
Prangley is a very experienced MMA veteran who has fought all over the world for a variety of promotions. Kennedy is a former American soldier and considered a quality MMA prospect.
Round 1. Kennedy looks for the takedown. Prangley blocks that and uses a judo throw to place Kennedy on his back, but Kennedy gets right back up and again looks for a takedown. Prangley throws Kennedy down but again Kennedy gets up and secures a takedown of his own. He begins to work from inside Prangley's half guard. Kennedy gains full mount on Prangley and begins throwing punches. Prangley turns and stands up, with Kennedy taking his back and applying a rear naked choke. Prangley taps out. This was an impressive win by Tim Kennedy.
Winner: Tim Kennedy, submission, round 1, rear naked choke.
Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos vs. Marius Zaromskis
Cyborg is now better known as the husband of female star Cris "Cyborg" Santos but he is a world traveled fighter in his own right. Zaromskis is a star from the Dream promotion in Japan renowned in particular for his high kicks.
Round 1. Round 1. Zaromskis opens up early with punches and a high kick. Cyborg answers with a left hook of his own that backs up Zaromskis but Zaromskis recovers and go back on the offense. He lands a really hard straight left but Cyborg is able to take the blow. They trade punches and Cyborg appears to rock Zaromskis with another left hook. Zaromskis undaunted charges in with a wild flying knee ala Andrei Arlovski and is caught with a right that drops him. Cyborg finishes with punches on the ground.
Winner: Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, round 1, TKO.
That was a big setback for Zaromskis, who has lost two straight Strikeforce fights. His loss to Nick Diaz was a bad one because Diaz was so dominant, but losing to a journeyman fighter like Cyborg really lowers his stock.
Wrestling stars Dave Batista, Bill Goldberg, Chavo Guerrero and Ernest Miller are in attendance.
Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Robbie Lawler
Babalu is a former UFC light heavyweight title contender while Lawler is one of the world's best middleweight fighters. This is a catchweight bout at 195 pounds.
Round 1. Babalu clinches quickly and pushes Lawler against the cage. He throws a few knees but is unable to get a better condition and referee John McCarthy separates them. Lawler knocks Babalu back with a hard punch and throws a flying knee to the body but Babalu uses the opportunity to clinch again. They separate but Babalu shoots for a takedown and gets it. Lawler stands up. Babalu in the process looks for a D'Arce choke but can't get it. Babalu again gets a takedown off of a Lawler kick but Lawler stands back up. Babalu moves in with punches that don't land well but Lawler is mostly defending. Babalu clinches again but isn't able to get a takedown. Very close, pretty much even round. Lawler landed a couple good punches but Babalu had a few takedowns. 10-10.
Round 2. Lawler moves in more aggressively and stalks Babalu. He catches him with one nice straight punch but doesn't have Babalu in trouble. Babalu answers back with some blows of his own but doesn't land with any power. Lawler feigns being hurt but clearly isn't. Babalu opens up with kicks and has more success, both head kicks and leg kicks. Babalu moves in with a knee to the body and then a knee to the head. The crowd chants for Babalu. Lawler had more success early in the round but he stopped throwing later and Sobral takes it narrowly. 10-9 Babalu, 20-19 Babalu.
Round 3. Babalu shoots in but Lawler defends well. They trade jabs. Lawler continues to throw very little. Babalu isn't throwing with much power but he's doing much more. Babalu throws a variety of kicks but Lawler's blocking most. Babalu is throwing more to the body and Lawler looks winded. Lawler does land a left/rght punch combination. Babalu throws a nice counter punch as Lawler moves in. Lawler lands a punch at the end of the fight. Another close round. I give it to Babalu, 10-9, 30-28. Very close fight though and I could see it going any way. Lawler did not look impressive.
Winner: Renato "Babalu" Sobral, unanimous 29-28 decision.