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411’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Report 1.12.13

January 13, 2013 | Posted by Mark Radulich

411’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Report
1.12.13
Chesapeake Energy Arena
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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MAIN CARD (Showtime)

Champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine – for welterweight title
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi
Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza

PRELIMINARY CARD (Showtime Extreme)

Pat Healy vs. Kurt Holobaugh
Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons


Hey 411 readers, thanks for joining 411’s live MMA coverage tonight!

Many writers and MMA fans have expressed joy and relief that Strikeforce is finally closing its doors. I don’t really understand this. Unless you had money invested in the brand and it was costing you something (beyond a subscription to Showtime) what difference does it make whether or not the promotion existed? Strikeforce wasn’t perfect and lord knows they deserved criticism for decisions of questionable wisdom but I find it distasteful for folks to wish failure on others, even a problematic MMA brand. This is just my opinion but I think far more energy should be geared toward hoping for the success of others rather than celebrating their demise. What did Strikeforce do to you to make you hate it? Why are you rooting for it to go away?

Much like my entry into watching the UFC due to being a fan of Brock Lesnar, I became aware of Strikeforce when Bobby Lashley attempted to establish his MMA career there. This is around the time that I also began to learn more about the history of MMA and the legend of Fedor Emelianenko. Now my fetish for heavyweights is well documented so you can imagine my curiosity regarding this near-mythical Russian heavyweight that had gone on the longest winning streak in MMA history. I had to see this man. I had meant to watch the entire PPV stream of Fedor vs Werdum on Showtime.com (I didn’t have Showtime at this point) but other family obligations called me away, as they often do. When I finally got home, turned on my computer, paid my money and opened the stream, Fedor had just tapped out for the first time. Yup, that was my very first Strikeforce experience.

The next outing was the infamous Strikeforce: Houston show where Bobby Lashley gave up on the stool (allegedly due to mono) to Chad Griggs and made me an instant fan of Mr. Muttonchops. On that same card King Mo lost the title to Rafael Cavalcante, and Jacare won the vacated middleweight title against Tim Kennedy. While it wasn’t the greatest thing I had ever seen, I was intrigued and I stuck with the promotion, covering most of their events (including the Challengers series) for 411mania.com. I ordered Showtime specifically for that purpose.

I was one of those fans diligently watching and writing as Ronda Rousey and Dan Cormier made their bones on Strikeforce Challengers and then eventually garnered spots on the main broadcasts. I remember being at home watching Rousey challenge Tate after the latest first round submission victory on the very last Strikeforce: Challengers show. I was legitimately bummed when the last 2 shows of 2012 were cancelled. Again, I was a fan and I’m sad to see it all come to an end. I don’t thing I missed a single Strikeforce show since I began watching with SF: Houston. I laughed, I cried, I hurled, and more often than not, I enjoyed what I was watching.

Don’t get me wrong, I relish the opportunity for all of the SF talent to come over to the UFC and test themselves against some of the best in the world. I had a lot of fun last year rooting for guys like Lavar Johnson just because he was an ex-SF guy. If there’s any justice in the world Pat Healey will rise again to challenge Gilbert Melendez, this time as a UFC fighter (GO BAMBAM). Despite all of the great potential match-ups and the creation of the Ronda Rousey Women’s Bantamweight division, I would have liked to have seen SF stay around a little longer, if for no reason than to give up and comers a place to ply their wares without the pressure of fighting on UFC shows. Such is life, I suppose. The SF under Zuffa while a shell of its former self, did not offend me the way it seems to have offended many of you out there.

With all of that said, I’m happy that I’m able to cover their finale show. It’s not the grand finale they wanted but hey, at least DC and Barnett finally got their promised +1 fights and at least one title is being defended. I’m not going to quibble, I’m just going to enjoy the show. I would also invite you to use this space to share of your SF memories if you would like.

Anywho…I didn’t come here to tell you that so without further dudes, let’s make with the fussin’ and a fightin’.

INTRODUCTION:

We are live from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!

Your hosts are Ron Kruck, Frank Shamrock (sigh) and Pat Miletich.

un-aired

Estevan Payan def. Michael Bravo via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:01

Adriano Martins defeats Jorge Gurgel via 3 Round Decision

PRELIMINARY MATCHES ON SHOWTIME EXTREME:

Middleweight bout: Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith

ROUND ONE Leg kick from Smith starts us off. Smith throws a few rights, without setting them up. Lots of movement from Smith. Another leg kick from Smith. Smith covers up and Gracie goes for a single leg. Smith gets away. Another leg kick from Smith. And then another. Gracie isn’t throwing much of anything. Gracie lands a left and pokes Smith in the eye. Front kick from Gracie. A leg kick from Smith buckles Gracie. Gracie tries another front kick. Smith misses a high kick. Smith backs Gracie up with a flurry of punches and that’s the round.

SCORECARD: Smith 10-9

ROUND TWO Smith attacks the lead leg. Smith sticks his left in Gracie’s face. Gracie counters. Smith’s eye is giving him trouble. Gracie backs him into the fence. Gracie gets Smith down. Gracie works from his guard. Smith is holding on to him, trying for a stand-up. Gracie shuts him down and passes to side control. Gracie passe to full mount, not good for Smith. Gracie smashes him with an elbow. Gracie submits Smith with an arm triangle. I suspect we’ll be seeing Mr. Gracie on a Fuel broadcast in the near future.

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Roger Gracie by submission (arm triangle) at 3:16 of round 2.

Lightweight bout: Pat Healy vs. Kurt Holobaugh

ROUND ONE We have ourselves a fight! They trade leather for a few moments until Healy shoots and pushes Holobaugh into the fence. They exchange a bit and separate. They trade a few punches and Healy takes him down. Healy easily pulls out of an armbar. Healy moves to North-South and Holobaugh grabs and ankle lock. Healy defends and continues to work over Holobaugh. Holobaugh gets back to his feet. Healy keeps up the pressure. The fighters crash to the mat and Holobaugh attempts to take his back. Healy defends and reverses. Healy locks up a rear-naked choke with only 10 seconds on the clock.

SCORECARD: Healy 10-9

ROUND TWO Holobaugh comes out swinging for the fences! Healy counters and takes him down. Healy passes to full mount. Holobaugh gives up his back again. Holobaugh sneaks out of the back but Healy goes for a kneebar. Holobaugh scrambles and but Healy stays on his back. Healy is pummeling Holobaugh, trying for a choke. They transition again and Healy ends up in Holobaugh’s full guard. Healy uses his legs for an inverted triangle while working for an arm lock. Healy has shut Holobaugh out on groundstrikes 13-0.

SCORECARD: Healy 10-9

ROUND THREE Holobaugh lands a leg kick. Healy throws a lazy shot. They clinch and exchange knees. Holobaugh is smashing Healy upside his face while Healy looks for a shot. He tries for a takedown but Holobaugh sprawls. Healy scrambles and takes advantage of Holobaugh’s failed armbar attempt. Holobaugh transitions and tries for an omoplata. Healy snakes his way into an arm triangle position. Holobaugh hangs on for dear life and is able to escape the choke. They break free of each and throw leather until the horn blows. Not bad for 2 weeks notice and apparently out his weight class (Holobaugh fights at Featherweight).

SCORECARD: Healy 10-9

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Pat Healy by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28).

Here’s hoping that whatever god Healy offended is pacified and both of these men are UFC bound.

Middleweight bout: Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith

ROUND ONE (The other) Smith starts out with some leg legs. Smith charges and takes Kennedy…Kennedy, down. Kennedy gets to his feet but Smith stays with him and takes him down again. They get to their feet and Kennedy knees him in the chest. Smith tries for another takedown but Kennedy gets away. Kennedy misses an uppercut. Smith takes him down again. Kennedy reverses position and now has Smith pressed against the fence. Kennedy backs off of him. Kennedy lands an uppercut and body kick. Smith kicks Kennedy square in the junk…sigh. Back to action and Smith tries for a takedown. There’s a scramble and Kennedy takes his back. They are wrestling against the cage. Kennedy lands a flurry of knees to end the round.

SCORECARD: Kennedy 10-9

ROUND TWO Kennedy fires off a shot but Smith takes him down. Kennedy gets back to his feet while leaning against the fence. Kennedy spins Smith around. Kennedy trips Smith and puts him down. Kennedy works for an arm triangle (tonight’s submission du jour). Smith defends and scrambles. They end up in a stalemate position and the ref stands them up. Smith tackles Kennedy off of a kick. Kennedy has shut out Smith on groundstrikes 14 zilch.

SCORECARD: Kennedy 10-9

ROUND THREE Smith rushes forward and tries for a takedown but Kennedy counters with a guillotine. Holy smokes he actually got it! Nice.

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Tim Kennedy…Kennedy by submission (guillotine) at 1:36 of round 3.

Brian Stann vs Tim Kennedy on July 4th weekend, how about it? #BOOM

Lightweight bout: Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons

ROUND ONE Front kick from Couture. Couture is very active on his feet. He lands another leg kick. They clash and lands a huge knee. Jab from Noons. Noons misses an uppercut. Couture rushes forward and eats an uppercut. Noons lands a right hand. Kick to the body from Couture. Noons lands an uppercut and a left hook. Couture is staying on his bicycle. They clash and have an even exchange. Another uppercut followed by a straight right from Noons. Couture throws a high head kick and follows with a spinning heel kick that just pisses Noons off. Noons rushes forward and subtly throws an illegal knee before the round ends.

SCORECARD: Noons 10-9

ROUND TWO Noons catches Couture with another uppercut. Couture misses a head kick. Couture rushes for a takedown and gets stuffed. They clash and there’s an accidental head butt. Noons is mad as hell. He’s teeing off on Couture! Noons is hammering him with lefts, rights and knees. All Couture can do is run! Noons is hit with a hard knee. Noons has blood running down his face. Noons lands a hard right. Couture presses forward and Noons counters. Couture lands a left. Couture lands a knee. Crane kick from Couture! Both men are going for it as the round ends.

SCORECARD: Noons 10-9

ROUND THREE Noons evades a series of punches from Couture. Couture goes for a takedown, Noons defends but takes a knee for his troubles. Jab from Noons. Shot to the temple from Noons. Couture lands a right hand from a far. Couture lands a punch kick combo. Liver shot from Noons. Counter right hook from Noons. Another pair of counter hooks from Noons. Low kick from Couture, but Noons counters with a stiff punch. Noons evades another series and counters effectively. Wow! Surprisingly good fight from both men!

SCORECARD: Noons 10-9

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Ryan Couture by split decision (29-28X2 Couture, 30-27 Noons).

Pat Miletich, Frank Shamrock and I beg to differ but none of us are judging tonight.

And now off to the very last main Strikeforce card on Showtime!

SHOWTIME MAIN CARD MATCHES:

Catchweight bout (194lbs): Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza

ROUND ONE Herman throws a pair of leg kicks. Souza clinches and pushes him to the fence. Souza lands a flurry as he backs out. Souza shoots for a pretty takedown and gets it with ease. The fight is stopped momentarily due to illegal up-kicks. No point deduction and they are stood up. They clash and clinch. They clinch again and Jacare lands a series of knees. He shoots again and dumps Herman! Jacare looks for a keylock and transitions to a kimura! Done and done! Welcome to the UFC Jacare!

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by submission (kimura) at 3:10 of round 1.

Dear UFC Middleweights Not Named Anderson Silva,

Jacare is coming for you!

Hugs and Kisses.

Light Heavyweight bout: Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi

ROUND ONE Kyle throws flurry to start. Mousasi buckles him with a leg kick. They trade leg kicks. They clash and Kyle lands a few knees. Mousasi looks to take him down. Kyle stays on his feet. Kyle lands a combo on the chin of Mousasi. Mousasi misses a high head kick. Kyle lands another flurry. Mousasi gets the takedown. Kyle looks to shrimp out but Mousasi is giving him no space. He works on him from half guard. Mousasi gets full mount. Mousasi postures up and goes for the old ground and pound. Kyle flips over, Mousasi grabs the rear-naked choke and that’s wrap folks. WAR MOUSASI!

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Gegard Mousasi by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:09) of round 1.

Mousasi vs Phil Davis anyone?

Heavyweight bout: Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino

ROUND ONE Barnett rushes Nandor (from Mordor) and takes him down. He jams his forearm into his neck. Elbow to the face from Barnett. He stands in guard and gets a leg lock but Nandor escapes. Suplex from Barnett! Nandor appears to be trying to get out of the cage at this point. Barnett slams him down right into full mount. Nandor, “gives him the arm triangle,” according to Miletich. Pin me, pay me.

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Josh Barnett by submission (arm triangle) at 2:11 of round 1.

Heavyweight bout: Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring

ROUND ONE Staring misses with an uppercut. Cormier lands a head kick. They clinch up but Cormier backs out. Staring clinches again and after a brief defense, gets put on his back. Cormier is in side control. Cormier goes for a crucifix but Staring is able to defend and get to his feet. They break and resume striking. Cormier opens up on Staring and smashes him! Staring goes down again! Cormier is back in the side control position. Staring is being punished with elbows. He gets up and Cormier kicks him in the face. There’s a stop in the action so Staring can get his mouthpiece back. Cormier takes him down again. Cormier gets to full mount and pounds on Staring! More elbows rain down on Staring! Cormier pummels Staring as round 1 ends.

SCORECARD: Cormier 10-8

ROUND TWO Staring starts with a kick in the gut. Cormier clinches up and drives Staring into the fence. Right hand from Cormier as he takes a body shot from Staring. Cormier gets another takedown. Cormier gets his back. Staring rolls over and backhands Cormier. He rolls again and Cormier rains down punches (some of hit the back of the head). Cormier gets full mount and continues to tenderize Staring. At this point Staring just protecting his noodle but he isn’t fighting back. Cormier changes position and continues to the beating until the ref mercifully stops it. Dan Cormier vs Frank Mir in San Jose, UFC on FOX 7 – BOOK IT DANA!

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER – Daniel Cormier by TKO at 4:02 of round 2.

STRIKEFORCE WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT

Welterweight Championship bout: Champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine

ROUND ONE Saffiedine lands a leg kick. Another kick from Saffiedine meets a right hand from Marquardt. He follows with some leg kicks. Another exchange of kicks between the fighters. Marquardt is nailed with a counter right but he recovers and ties up Saffiedine. They clinch and break a part. Hard leg kick from Saffiedine. Marquardt misses a side kick but lands another leg kick. Marquardt lands a left and backs Saffiedine into the fence. They clinch against the cage Saffiedine has the advantage. Saffiedine breaks away. Tough one to call as the fans are booing this championship fight.

SCORECARD: Saffiedine 10-9

ROUND TWO Marquardt lands a jab. Leg kick from Saffiedine. Marquardt lands a leg kick. He tries for a single but Saffiedine stuffs it. Marquardt switches to a trip but Saffiedine gets back to his feet. Marquardt backs him into the cage. Marquardt tries for a takedown but it’s not enough for the ref as they are broken up. Saffiedine is still working his kicks. After taking a bit of punishment, Marquardt rushes him and drives him to the fence. He can’t get it done so they go back to standing. Saffiedine lands a nice counter left. Marquardt is dropped again before the round ends.

SCORECARD: Saffiedine 10-9

ROUND THREE Saffiedine misses a spinning kick. He tortures Marquardt’s leg with another kick. They clinch against the cage. Saffiedine turns his opponent around. More boos from the crowd. Flying knee from Marquardt is blocked. Saffiedine takes a hard punch. The fighters are throwing some punches but not much is connecting. More punishment delivered to Marquardt’s leg. Marquardt shoots with 10 seconds to go but he is stuffed.

SCORECARD: Saffiedine 10-9

ROUND FOUR More leg kicks from Saffiedine. Marquardt misses an uppercut. Spinning back fist from Saffiedine. Marquadt’s leg is starting to buckle from the volume of kicks landed. Marquardt is turning up the volume trying to save himself. SMACK! Another kick to the leg. Marquardt’s leg is a lovely shade of purple. Saffiedine kicks him again! Marquardt tries to catch but can’t. Hard shot from Saffiedine. They clinch up and trade some short punches. More kicks from Saffiedine. Marquardt is cut! This night is not going well for Nate the Great. Unless he finishes Saffiedine next round he can kiss a fight with GSP goodbye.

SCORECARD: Saffiedine 10-9

ROUND FIVE Saffiedine is still countering and kicking. Head kick from Saffiedine. They clinch up agains the fence. Marquardt finally blocks a kick. Right hand from Saffiedine. They clinch against the cage again. Knee to the face from Saffiedine. Less than a minute left in this fight and Strikeforce itself! Saffiedine TAKES DOWN MARQUARDT! Good grief! Less than 30 seconds to go and Marquardt can’t get off of his back. Saffiedine unloads on Marquardt as the final buzzer sounds. Holy Moses, we’ve just seen the underdog dominate the veteran champ and win the (now meaningless) title! It won’t be fight of the year or anything but it’s a fitting end to Strikeforce.

SCORECARD: Saffiedine 10-9

OFFICIAL RESULT: WINNER AND NEW STRIKEFORCE WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION – Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46X2).

Coker addresses the live crowd: He says it’s been a great ride but it is time. He thanks Showtime and his staff and that’s a wrap.

What can I say, this was a Strikeforce show. It was about what I’ve come to expect from them. I wish all the fighters and Scott Coker fruitful futures wherever they may roam.

Remember to tune into the 411 Ground and Pound Radio show every Sunday at 11:00 AM. Until we meet again my friends, Good night, good luck and God bless.

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Mark Radulich

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