Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal results
Chad “The Grave Digger Riggs” defeats Valentijn “The Python” Overeem (Submission – Punches – Round 1 – 2:08)
Not much to explain here. The heavy-handed Chad Griggs dropped Valentijn early in the first round. Griggs smothered Valentijn on the ground, took his back and landed blow after blow to the midsection and head of Overeem. Much to the dismay of MMA fans world wide, Overeem tapped to strikes at the 2:08 mark.
Griggs takes his sixth win in as many fights and is really making a name for himself in Strikeforce’s heavyweight division.
With the Olympic wrestling credentials of Daniel Cormier and the submission grappling championships owned by Jeff Monson, many expected this fight to go to the ground fast. Instead, both fighters took the center of the cage and decided to kickbox for the majority of this three round affair.
The former US Olympic wrestler, Cormier, used none of his wrestling in his dismantling of Monson. Cormier used effective punch combinations and punch kick combinations, managing to keep Monson at the end of his strikes all night. Cormier was unable to put away Monson; a veteran of 54 MMA fights, Monson was able to withstand 15 minutes of punishment. A lesser heavyweight would have succumbed.
Cormier showed a lot of maturity in this fight, and clearly the American Kickboxing Academy is the right place for him right now.
Jorge Masdival defeats K.J. Noons (Decision – Unanimous)
A battle of two MMA fighters with pro boxing experience, this fight went exactly the way I expected it to go – a three round slug fest.
Masdival set the pace early on, landing a knee that split King Karl’s skull. Noons was aggressive all three rounds, and also a bit sloppy with his strikes. Masdival took advantage of openings and out struck Noons for the entire fight. Masdival used an effective combo of boxing and Muay Thai. Noons was a bit more predictable, throwing few kicks and relying mostly on his boxing.
“K.J. was more aggressive, he made more openings happen,” Masvidal stated. “He’s a good striker, but I’m a bad style for him. I’m a good counter fighter.”
Masdival called out Gilbert Melendez after the fight, and we may have a new contender for Strikeforce lightweight champion.
“The Babyfaced Assassin” Josh Barnett defeats Brett “The Grim” Rogers (Arm-Triangle Choke – Round 2 – 1:17)
Rogers was able to get back to his feet and attempted a takedown of his own. Barnett was able to reverse the takedown and secure the mount, eventually finishing Rogers with an arm triangle.
During the post fight interview, Barnett grabbed the mic away from Gus Johnson and cut a pro-wrestling style promo for the Strikeforce fans.
“Gus, I love you. I know you have a job to do, but then again, so do I,” said Barnett. “I think the people want to hear what I have to say right now.
“Now, I could talk about calling people out. We already know I’m fighting Sergei Kharitonov. We could talk about fighting in the UFC and doing all this different stuff, combining the organizations, and challenging this guy and challenging that guy. But I still have a tournament to fight,” he said.
“Bit by bit, inch by inch, one by one. I’m going to take them down, each one, one by one. One skull to the collection and then the next and the next until I’m standing on top of a pile of bodies with a pile of gold in my hand.”
Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem defeats Fabricio Werdum (Decision – Unanimous)
In the most puzzling affair of the night, Overeem decisioned Werdum in a lack luster main event.
Overeem showed none of the kickboxing prowess that helped him become the K-1 kickboxing Grand Prix champion. Werdum went for takedowns early on in the fight. Overeem had zero trouble stuffing the takedowns and manhandled Werdum in every attempt.
Desperate to get the fight to the ground, Werdum tried pulling guard on several occasions, a similar strategy he used in a loss to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 70.
The Reem would have none of this, and asked the ref to stand Werdum up every time Werdum would hit the ground. Although Overeem landed a few power shots that dropped Werdum, his striking was non-existent. Overeem was a little too cautious of Werdum’s BJJ and he did the bare minimum to defeat the brazilian.
“He’s one of the best grapplers in the world, I consider him the best grappler in MMA, so we don’t want to play with him on the ground,” Overeem said after in the post fight interview.
“Considering that Fabricio is the best grappler in MMA, the game plan was to not go into his game. I consider myself, with the K-1 title, the best striker in MMA, so I wanted to keep it standing,” said Overeem in a post-fight interview with Showtime Sports. “He made so many takedown attempts. It was a little frustrating to me, because I couldn’t finish him in that first [round], and I also couldn’t deliver the fight that I wanted to deliver to the fans.”
Next up for “The Demotion Man” is Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
“I’m not going to talk about my fight strategy [against Silva]. I never do that, but I will say that he’s a very tough opponent. He’s a big guy; I think the biggest in the heavyweight division. He’s well-rounded, but we already have our game plan for him.” said Overeem.
Let’s hope it’s a more exciting one then the strategy employed against Werdum.
Do you want to train MMA? Did you eat too much pizza during last night’s Strikeforce event and need to burn some calories? C3 Athletics is Connecticut’s Premier Fitness and Martial Arts Training Center. We have classes in Group Fitness, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and more! Give us a try, your first class is free! Sign up here for more information.