Cris “Cyborg” Santos and Gina Carano battling for the Strikeforce women’s 145-pound title. Photo property of Esther Lin.
In the biggest bout in female mixed martial arts history, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos stopped Gina Carano via TKO to become the Strikeforce women’s 145-pound champion.
From the opening bell, the fight had a feverish pace as Cyborg immediately came forward and put the pressure on Carano with a flurry of hard strikes against the cage. As Cyborg attempted an early takedown, fans saw Carano sweep Cyborg and gain the mount. Before Carano could put up any offense, Cyborg went for a quick heel hook but Carano calmly escaped.
When they made their way back to the feet, Cyborg again came forward with a flurry and attempted another takedown but again Carano landed in the mount. This time Carano postured up and began to rain down a flurry of punches as Cyborg covered up. Cyborg was able to regain half guard but as she did, Carano stood up.
Back on the feet, Carano began to establish her strikes but the stronger Cyborg dominated in the clinch and late in the first stanza, Cyborg secured a takedown. From there, Cyborg postured up and unleashed a fight ending barrage of punches at 4:59 of the first round.
In his first foray on U.S. soil, DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi established himself as a top light heavyweight stopping former UFC light heavyweight contender Renato “Babalu” Sobral with strikes at 1:00 of first round.
Both fighters exchanged kicks early before Mousasi secured a takedown and gained side control. Immediately Mousasi attacked landing a plethra of punches that left Babalu dazed and confused on the canvas.
“I wanted to fight stand up, that was the game but if I can take advantage of takedowns I would have done it and I did it. So the game was to give it stand up and take top position,” said Mousasi. “It feels good, there was some pressure because it was the first time in U.S. and I just wanted to perform well so there was some pressure but I was relaxed and feeling very good.”
In the interim Strikeforce lightweight title fight, Gilbert “El Nino” avenged one of his only career losses when he scored a third-round TKO over PRIDE veteran Mitushiro Ishida.
The first round saw Melendez establish his striking as he diligently worked to stuff Ishida’s relentless takedown attempts. Every time Ishida shot in, Melendez was ready providing Ishida with a face full of punches including a crisp left hook. Late in the first, Ishida was able to secure a takedown but Melendez quickly reverse the situation gaining top position before ending the round on the feet.
The second was more on the same as Melendez again punished Ishida every time he came in looking for the takedown. This round saw Melendez take a different approach as he secured a big takedown late in the round. Melendez ended the round throwing vicious knees to the body before both fighters stood and exchanged punches as the bell sounded.
Ishida began to establish his striking early in the third but Melendez would have none of it as he continued to wade forward with jabs and kicks. Partway through the round, Melendez landed a good combo and took the bout to the canvas. From top position, Melendez took Ishida’s back and landed a flurry of punches that spelt an end to the bout.
“I had to be patient today, he’s a very smart fighter like a strategic fighter so usually I come out to brawl but I had to be patient. Jake kept telling me in the corner, “I know they’re booing now but when you knock him out they’ll forget about it.””
In the opening bout of the Showtime broadcast, Fabricio Werdum wasted no time submitting Mike Kyle with an arm in guillotine choke at 1:24 of the first round.
Kyle set the pace early mixing up punches and kicks to keep Werdum on the defensive. Following a stiff jab from Kyle, Werdum decided to shoot in and put the fight on the canvas. Kyle quickly attempted an armbar but Werdum worked out of it and locked on the fight ending guillotine choke.
Following the bout, Werdum said, “I training 40 days with Mike (Kyle) in Croatia for Mirko Cro Cop. He’s a good guy but I training so much hard, so much jiu-jitsu. My team, everybody help me, I’m happy thank you so much.”
Jay Hieron def. Jesse Taylor - Decision (Unanimous)
Scott Lighty def. Mike Cook - TKO (Punch to the Body)
Justin Wilcox def. David Douglas - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
James Terry def. Zak Bucia - TKO (Head Kick and Punches)
Alexander Trevino def. Isaiah Hill - Submission (Keylock)
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