From tkduffy22 on Flickr.
Bob Sapp’s return to his home state of Washington didn’t go so well. The former NFL lineman and K-1 star was stopped by fellow kickboxer Jan Nortje in brutal fashion, stunning the 7,089 in attendance at the Tacoma Dome for last night’s Strikeforce and Bodog Fight co-promoted event.
After cutting Sapp with a series of stiff left jabs in the opening moments of the fight, Nortje followed up with a barrage of punches while his opponent was up against the cage. Seconds later, Sapp was on the receiving end of one final left hook that sent him crumpling to the canvas and forced the referee to wave off the proceedings.
The win was Nortje’s first in mixed martial arts since Tadao Yasuda was forced to bow out of their December 2002 bout because of injury. After the fight, Nortje (2-5) expressed his desire to compete under the Strikeforce banner in the future.
“It wasn’t luck,” Nortje said. “I trained my ass off for this fight. I knew Sapp was one hell of a job to take on, but I did it. Thanks to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, I’m going to keep doing this. This feels nice. This feels good.“
A disappointed Sapp (9-3-1) revealed a potential hamstring injury that may have hampered his performance during a post-fight interview.
“My hamstring buckled and I wasn’t able to get back up,” Sapp said. “I tried to move around a lot but it wasn’t working. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it done today.”
After a brief exchange on the feet, Cory Devela put veteran Joe Riggs on his back for good just two minutes into their middleweight bout with a swift judo throw. Immediately tapping out after he hit the mat, it was obvious that Riggs was in extreme pain from what appeared to be an unconfirmed lower back injury.
Although Devela landed two right hands flush to a downed and submitting Riggs, it was evident that the injury was the main cause behind the former UFC welterweight title contender being unable to stand up. A stretcher was called into the cage and Riggs was taken to nearby St. Joseph Medical Center where he remained overnight before being released earlier this morning.
Devela, now 8-1, noted that he hoped Riggs (27-10) would fully recover from the injury after the fight.
After a few minutes, I knew that I probably shouldn’t be standing with him,” Devela said. “He’s a hard-hitting guy and I had a better chance of tying up with him and beating him up that way. I hate to see when a fighter gets hurt like that so I hope he’s alright and comes back hard.”
Photo courtesy of FEG.
The official weigh-in results for tonight’s Strikeforce at the Dome show are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
The event feature a super heavyweight showdown between former NFL lineman and K-1 star Bob “The Beast” Sapp and Jan Nortje. Former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith will take on kickboxer Rick Roufus, who will be making his mixed martial arts debut.
The only minor hitch during the festivities involved Steve Berger, who needed an extra two hours to make the welterweight limit.
Bob Sapp (356 lbs) vs Jan Nortje (333 lbs)
Joe Riggs (184) lbs vs Cory Devela (184 lbs)
Maurice Smith (235 lbs) vs Rick Roufus (207 lbs)
Steve Berger (172 lbs) vs Eddy Ellis (168 lbs)
Jorge Masvidal (159 lbs) vs Ryan Healy (158 lbs)
Eric Clark (224 lbs) vs Josh Bennett (259 lbs)
Ray Perales (170 lbs) vs Lyle Beerbohm (168 lbs)
Matt Kovacs (244 lbs) vs Mike Hayes (230 lbs)
Scott Shaffer (144 lbs) vs Zach Skinner (143 lbs)
Dave Corshane (169 lbs) vs Nathan Coy (170 lbs)
Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz has announced that Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Eddy Ellis will now compete at the upcoming “Strikeforce at the Dome” event later this month as replacement opponents.
The show, which features a main event between former NFL lineman and popular Japanese fighter Bob “The Beast” Sapp going up against K-1 kickboxing star and undefeated professional boxer Jan “The Giant” Nortje, will take place on February 23rd at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.
Riggs will replace Cedric Marks, who was forced to pull out of his bout against Cory Devela after suffering a should injury during a recent training session. Riggs was expected to return to action in a potential bout against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
However our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting that Riggs will compete at both shows.
“Joe stepped in to fight Cory, but he will still be fighting Joey next month,” Riggs’ manager Ken Pavia told them.
Ellis will be taking the place of Duane “Bang” Ludwig who has opted to sign on to face former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” event instead of facing welterweight Steve Berger, whom Ellis will now take on.
The event will feature a total of ten bouts. The BodogFight-sponsored event will also be televised on HDNet.