Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley live updates
Strikeforce runs its first major Showtime event since being purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa on Saturday night in San Diego. The show, one of Strikeforce's stronger cards of the past couple years, is headlined by a pair of title fights. Explosive British striker Paul Daley challenges Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight title while well-rounded Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri challenges Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight title. Preliminary bouts begin around 4:30PM Pacific.
Paul Song vs. Casey Ryan
Song sports a 2-0 MMA record while Ryan is 1-0 in his career thus far. Ryan is a much taller man than Song.
Round 1. They trade before closing the distance and clinching. Song gets a takedown. Ryan looks for an armbar from the bottom, but can't get it. He then looks for a triangle choke and secures the submission 1:39 in.
Winner: Casey Ryan, Round 1, submission.
Rolando Perez vs. Edgar Cardenas
Perez is 5-4-1 while Cardenas is 3-0. Referee Cecil Peoples is heavily booed by the crowd, a sign of a discerning audience.
Round 1. The fighters clinch at the start of the bout. Perez secures a takedown and lands some punches from the top. Cardenas eventually gets back up but eats some knees to the body in the process. They exchange punches and kicks to close the round. Perez 10-9.
Round 2. Perez gets the takedown. He looks for submissions, including an arm triangle attempt, but isn't able to get one. Cardenas stands back up and opens up with punches on his feet. Perez looks to establish his jab and leg kicks while Cardenas throws wild hooks and uppercuts. Perez takes him back down and uses ground and pound. Cardenas works his way back to his feet at the end of the round. 10-9 Perez.
Round 3. They exchange punches relatively evenly at the start of the round. Perez gets another takedown two minutes into the round. There isn't a lot of action and they are stood back up. Perez lands a nice pair of hooks and they clinch. Cardenas connects with a hard leg kick and looks for a takedown of his own. Perez uses a kimura to secure top position on the ground. Perez drops punches down from mount as the fight comes to the end. 10-9 Perez, 30-27 Perez.
Winner: Rolando Perez, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
AJ Matthews vs. Herman Terrado
Matthews is 4-0 while Terrado is 5-2. Matthews gets a Thai plum and throws some hard knees. He takes Terrado down but Terrado looks for a guillotine. Matthews avoids that and lets Terrado back. He then goes back to work with heavy knees from the clinch. Terrado counters with some big hooks of his own and momentarily drops Matthews. As they disengage from the clinch, Terrado gets the best of the open standup. He lands some big hooks and presses the action. He drops Terrado with a hard hook and lands some additional punches on the ground until the fight is stopped. This was a very exciting fight.
Winner: Herman Terrado, TKO, round 1.
Joe Duarte vs. Saad Awad
Duarte has had more high profile fights than most of the fighters thus far on the card and has a 5-2 MMA record. Awad is 8-3.
Round 1. They aggressively trade punches to start the round. Duarte gets the better of the early standup and drops Awad with a punch. He is very active throwing punches from the half guard. Duarte postures up and drops down a big punch. Duarte gains full mount and looks to get a rear naked choke but Awad escapes and pours it on with punches and knees to conclude the round. Great round. Duarte 10-9.
Round 2. Awad connects with a left hook that stuns Duarte and he proceeds to follow Duarte around the cage throwing alternating left and right hooks. Duarte doesn't do much to defend and appears to be on the verge of being finished when Duarte scores a desperation takedown. Duarte quickly takes over on the ground. He gains full mount and lands a long series of punches before finally grabbing an armbar for the submission. That was one heck of a fight.
Winner: Joe Duarte, submission, round 2.
Virgil Zwicker vs. Brett Albee
Round 1. Zwicker lands a spinning back kick to the body that has Albee visibly hurt, ala David Loiseau vs. Charles McCarthy. Zwicker, sensing Albee is in trouble, moves in with punches aggressively and Albee drops. Zwicker throws a few more punches on the ground and the fight is stopped.
Winner: Virgil Zwicker, TKO, round 1.
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Robert Peralta
Takaya is a very highly regarded 145 pound fighter known for an exciting style. He was groomed to challenge for the WEC featherweight title a few years ago but lost both his WEC fights. Peralta is a 13-3 fighter without a lot of major fights.
Round 1. The standup is tentative to start the fight. Takaya mainly utilizes boxing while Peralta throws a variety of kicks. Takaya clinches a couple times and seems to look for a takedown, but he doesn't come close to getting one. Takaya goes down from either a punch or a slip late in the round but gets up and takes Peralta down as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Peralta.
Round 2. Takaya looks for a takedown but Peralta prevents it. Takaya goes for another takedown and gets it two minutes in. He doesn't do much on the ground and the fight is stood back up. They clinch back on their feet and the round concludes. Not a good round. 10-9 Takaya.
Round 3. Peralta lands a nice punch to the body followed by a punch to the head, the best combination of the fight thus far. Takaya clinches and takes Peralta to the ground. Not much happens on the ground and the fight is stood back up. As they engage in the standup, Takaya looks to take an off-balance Peralta to the ground. Peralta defends very well, scrambling across the cage to prevent the takedown. Takaya lands a couple nice leg kicks and presses forward towards the end of the round. They clinch against the cage with Peralta blocking the takedown as the fight concludes. Very close round and fight. 10-9 Peralta, 29-28 Peralta.
Winner: Robert Peralta, split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27).
Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm
Aoki is one of the world's best lightweights, with an upper echelon submission game. Beerbohm is more of a submission grappler in his own right and is coming off the first loss of his career. Aoki got a surprisingly big reaction from the crowd.
Round 1. Aoki lands a hard kick to the body. Beerbohm presses him against the cage and looks for the takedown but Aoki takes Beerbohm down and looks to take Beerbohm's back. Aoki sinks in a rear naked choke and the crowd goes crazy. There are a lot of hardcore MMA fans here plus fans happy to see the Japanese fighter do well after the recent tragedy in Japan.
Winner: Shinya Aoki, submission, round 1.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine
Mousasi is a dangerous striker with a very good submission game as well. Jardine is a tough veteran with wins over Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell before a long losing streak short circuited his career.
Round 1. Jardine opens up with a big leg kick and overhand attempt but both miss wildly. Jardine takes Mousasi down but Mousasi gets right back up. Jardine is the aggressor early in the fight while Mousasi just feels him out. Jardine shoots for another takedown. Mousasi defends for a while before finally giving it up. Mousasi gets back up but Jardine takes him down again. Mousasi then stands up again. Mousasi connects with a right hook and opens up with punches inside. Jardine appears staggered and Mousasi pursues with more big punches. Jardine answers by taking Mousasi down. Mousasi throws an illegal upkick while Jardine is down. Mousasi is deducted a point and the fight continues. Mousasi continues with haymakers and throws a few leg kicks in addition. 10-9 Mousasi but with the point deduction 9-9.
Round 2. The fighters start the round by trading leg kicks. Jardine shoots for a takedown but Mousasi grabs a guillotine and then pushes Jardine away. Mousasi begins to methodically pace down Jardine, who is bleeding badly from a few spots on his head. Mousasi easily stuffs a takedown attempt and answers with a stiff left hook. Jardine clinches and takes Mousasi down with two minutes left in the round. Mousasi throws punches from the bottom and stands back up. Mousasi connects with some straight rights and follows with his jab. He appears to stagger Jardine and follows him across the cage with wild punches. Jardine again gets a takedown but Mousasi again gets right back up. That was a dominant round. 10-8 is arguable but Mousasi gets it 10-9.
Round 3. Mousasi again moves forward with hard straight punches. Jardine throws back some but is mostly in survival mode at this point. Jardine again looks for a takedown. Mousasi reverses and takes down Jardine. He then grabs Jardine's neck and looks for a guillotine choke. He pulls him back to his feet and has it tight but Jardine slips out. Mousasi takes Jardine down again and gains full mount but somehow Jardine manages to scramble out of trouble. Mousasi again chases down Jardine with big punches and a tired Jardine tries to avoid danger. Jardine, who took this fight on short notice, is beaten up and exhausted. Mousasi walks him down with hard punches and kicks. He takes Jardine down again and briefly looks for a kimura. Mousasi throws punches from the top as the round comes to an end. 10-8 Mousasi, 29-26 Mousasi.
Ruling: Majority Draw (29-27 Mousasi, 28-28, 28-28). Absolutely appalling decision. Complete incompetence by the judges for a fight that wasn't remotely close.
Abe Belardo gave the second round of that fight to Keith Jardine. He should never be allowed to judge again.
Strikeforce lightweight title: Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
This is a rematch of an exciting bout at Pride Shockwave 2006.
Round 1. As Kawajiri moves in he is dropped with a powerful straight right hand. Melendez follows with a series of big knees and briefly takes Kawajiri down. Kawajiri gets up and is met with more knees and heavy punches. Melendez looks to secure Kawajiri's back and throws punches to the side of Kawajiri's head. Kawajiri stands up and is greeted with further hard punches. Kawajiri lands a nice straight right that is his best punch of the round. Melendez seconds later lands a big right hook and follows with a flurry of punches and elbows until the referee stops the fight. That was a statement win by Melendez. It was the most impressive win of an impressive career and advances his case for being the world's best lightweight and one of the world's top pound for pound fighters. Scary good performance by "El Nino." He lived up to the nickname.
Winner: Gilbert Melendez, TKO, round 1. Melendez after the fight says he wants to unify the lightweight titles.
Strikeforce welterweight title: Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley
Diaz made his name in the sport as a jiu jitsu standout, but in recent years has relied more and more on his striking. The big question is whether he will stand with Paul Daley, a world class striker with a less prolific ground game.
Round 1. Diaz sticks out his chin, puts down his hands and starts jawing at Daley to start the fight. Daley drops Diaz with one of his first punches and looks to finish with big punches, a soccer kick to the body, and knees. Diaz recovers and gets back up. Diaz opens up with punches of his own, pressing Daley against the cage and landing big blows. Daley takes Diaz down. Diaz stands back up. Diaz moves in with punches to the body and head and goes back to taunting Daley. Daley responds with a hard hook and stiff knee. Daley drops Diaz again with a big punch and looks to finish again with punches on the ground. Diaz recovers and the fight is stood back up. Diaz goes back on the offense and brutalizes Daley with punches to the body and head. It appears that a punch to the body does big damage as Daley collapses. Diaz follows with an onslaught of punches on the ground and the referee stops the fight with just 3 seconds left in the round. That's as exciting of a one round fight as you're going to get. Diaz taunts Daley after the fight.
Winner: Nick Diaz, TKO, round 1.