The final Strikeforce event for 2011 takes place Saturday in San Diego, CA, headlined by Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal with Women's Featherweight Champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos vs. the debuting Hiroko Yamanaka in the co-main event.
Friday's weigh-ins made the card official with all fighters making weight. The one anomaly was a prelim bout between Roger Bowling and Jerron Peoples which was made a 179-pound catchweight fight. Bowling is giving up 10.5 pounds to Peoples, so perhaps he simply didn't care what his opponent weighed. No word on whether Peoples is giving up any of his purse.
Can Melendez keep his streak going? Will Santos need more than a round in the cage to win? Comment below and let's hear what you have to say.
Lightweight Championship: Gilbert Melendez (155) vs. Jorge Masvidal (155)
Featherweight Championship: Cris Santos (145) vs. Hiroko Yamanaka (145)
205 lbs.: Gegard Mousasi (206) vs. Ovince St. Preux (206)
155 lbs.: Billy Evangelista (156) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
155 lbs.: Caros Fodor (156) vs. Justin Wilcox (156)
179 lb. catchweight: Roger Bowling (170) vs. Jerron Peoples (180.5)
265 lbs.: Devin Cole (248) vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones (265)
145 lbs.: Fernando Gonzalez (186) vs. Eddie Mendez (186)
170 lbs.: Chris Brown (170) vs. Herman Terrado (170.5)
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Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga (12-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is returning to the UFC.
The fighter has signed a new multi-fight deal with the organization and now meets fellow Brazilian Ednaldo Oliveira (13-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) as an injury replacement for Rob Broughton (15-7-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at next month's UFC 142 event.
Gonzaga's management today announced the booking. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed it with sources close to the event.
UFC 142 takes place Jan. 14 at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena, and the night's main card airs on pay-per-view. The prelims, including Gonzaga vs. Oliveira, air on FX.
Gonzaga, who was once a top-10 heavyweight, went 7-5 in the UFC from 2005 to 2010. Although he briefly considered retirement, he returned to the cage back in October at a Reality Fighting show in Connecticut, where he submitted Parker Porter to win the organization's heavyweight belt.
Gonzaga, who defeated and stunned Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in a 2007 title eliminator, ultimately suffered a knockout loss to then-UFC champ Randy Couture. The UFC released released him in 2010 following a 1-3 run against a murderers' row of heavyweights that included Shane Carwin, Junior Dos Santos and Brendan Schaub.
Oliveira (whose first name sometimes is spelled "Edinaldo") made his pro debut in 2005 and has been a fixture on Brazil's regional circuit. The heavy-handed Brazilian has picked up eight knockouts in 13 career wins. Most recently, the 6-foot-7 fighter scored a first-round knockout of Nalzinho Novaes. He's fought six times in 2011 with a 5-0 record (and one no-contest due to an eye poke).
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Welterweight prospect, Siyar Bahadurzada was one of several casualties that bowed out of the UFC 142 card today due to injury, but the UFC has now found a replacement for Bahadurzada to face blue-chip Brazilian, Erick Silva on the Rio card. The UFC's Brazil office tweeted that veteran fighter, Carlo Prater, has gotten the call and will make his UFC debut on the January 14th card against Silva:
Melvin Guillard, Carlos Condit, Spencer Fisher, and Pat Healy among others. Although Prater is a Brazilian native, he has called Texas home for many years, spending a lot of time training with Yves Edwards, and fighting often on the regional scene there. Most recently, Prater finds himself riding a four-fight winning streak and finishing all four of those fights by submission.
It's unclear whether Silva vs. Prater will remain on the PPV main card, but we'll update you when the UFC 142 lineup is finalized.
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In 2011, is proper anymore to ask which card you're more excited to see?
Is it only hardcore UFC haters who'll say DREAM's 2011 card is better than UFC 144?
Above are the competing posters. Below is DREAM's attempt at getting people fired up for its card headlined by the Fedor Emelianenko fight against Satoshi Ishii.
Personally, I'm stoked to see the fight. What does Fedor have left and is Ishii ready to compete against the top level of MMA just six fights into his MMA career?
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My favorite quote regarding Fedor paraphrased, "Fedor walks into the ring like he's going to a funeral and when he's walking out of the ring, he's just been to one.."
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It's been months since Strikeforce's last main card event, but they are coming back with a doozy. Take a minute to watch this video and be reminded of how fun their cards can be.
Gilbert Melendez is on a five-fight win streak, and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is returning to the cage for the first time since June of 2010. Will they retain their belts, or lose them to Jorge Masvidal and Hiroko Yamanaka?
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Does anyone believe that Cristine Cyborg isn't impervious to all non-penis wielding opponents?
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wow does she ever looked ripped in that pic, yeah I wouldn't doubt it if she could punch out a few dudes, if not win the title she might **** Cruz up
ANS PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIVE
honestly i think Ronda's style would match up perfectly with chris, she just need to gain some confidence in her hands
Cyborg absolutely destroyed that girl. I'm not sure Ronda can handle that. Side note she looked damn hot.
This weekend's Strikeforce card wasn't the most memorable. In fact, the card did nothing but emphasize the lack of depth in the organization. It was frankly disappointing (much like the Dark Knight Rises prologue). Even the commentary booth seemed disinterested, and unorganized, as if they were offering a play-by-play of a game of Farkle instead of MMA.
Perhaps it was warranted, given the action. One of the best prospects at LHW, Ovince St. Preux was blitzed and manhandled by Gegard Mousasi (in addition to being blitzed and manhandled by an impressively incompetent ref). Cris Cyborg, fighting the #2 ranked female in the world, answered the question 'what would happen if Jonathan Goulet got in the cage with Dan Henderson?'. And then Gilbert Melendez dominated one of their most compelling contenders in Jorge Masvidal.
First, a word about Gilbert's performance. I have to disagree with my colleague, Matt Roth on this one. I think Melendez was very impressive. Masvidal, for all of his faults (which were on display), is a rugged and talented fighter. He's a good counter puncher, is tough as nails, and well polished overall.
And Melendez shut him down. Working his head movement, using angles, and boxing like he wanted a shot against Andre Ward, Masvidal was utterly neutralized. He also displayed some useful quirks: feinting the takedown for an uppercut, and controlling the arm Jorge used to touch the ground in order to avoid knees to the head so as to be a "grounded" opponent. It was frankly, a masterful performance. If Melendez looks "bad" last night, it's because Masvidal had no sense of urgency and seemed only interested in not gambling for victory.
You got the feeling Gilbert himself knew this. He knew this was a big fight. He knew the stakes. All things considered, his performance reflects his knowledge of the political landscape he's now a part of. He engaged as much as he could have with his overly patient foe. And so in his post-fight interview, he called out the UFC LW division. Well played Gilbert.
But his call to action was inevitable. When rumors persisted that he was coming to the UFC, Melendez perked up: he's historically been one of the few fighters who explicitly acknowledges his status can't be validated until he's part of that misguided and soon to be deceased Gladiator intro. There must have been a slight sting when it was announced that Strikeforce was staying, and Melendez wasn't going anywhere.
Gilbert's 'call out' is a microcosm of the Strikeforce dilemma where the Sharks continue to swim with nothing but flounders. Unfortunately he's stuck. A call out, in conjunction with a performance that revealed the gap between himself and their best contenders, was the best course of action Melendez could have taken.
But any potential solution that doesn't involve Gilbert going to the UFC will demand either turning over the dirt underneath the rocks for prospects, or sending guys in the UFC to Strikeforce. But who has name value enough to garner interest against Melendez, but not enough name value to incur a cost to the UFC?
I hope the brass are thinking about that question. Because Melendez doesn't belong in a cage where Frank Shamrock restricts his contributions to misinterpretations of compustrike statistics. Or where Heido Androl struggles for relevant questions while wearing a dress that makes her look like she was grown on a tree in Papua New Guinea. He belongs in the UFC.
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Gilbert did an amazing job. He now needs to work on that little issue he had with not checking leg checks. He was definitely left vulnerable for a second or two which Masv didn't or couldn't capitalize on. Someone else might be faster.
Gegard mentioned being ill leading up to the fight, and though he did well enough, when he was explaining that point he looked exhausted. Almost like he was still sick. He had the look, like when I'm at work and just want to go f'ing home because I'm riddled with illness. How is he 6'1 and 205lb?? He has very little muscle on him comparatively. Not that he's ever needed to look ripped.
The Cyborg fight looked straight up like a man vs a women. Did you see how one of Cyborg's hooks threw Hiroko against the cage like she got kicked?
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Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi did an interview with MMA Weekly following his win over Ovince St. Preux at last night's Strikeforce show, and he had some surprising things to say. He was happy with his performance over the first two rounds, but said that he needs to step up his training overall.
Apparently he doesn't have a lot going on in terms of coaches and sparring partners at the moment:He went on to state that he'll probably work with Gokor Chivichyan, and will look to train with Dan Henderson as well. Apparently he will stick to the Orange County area and go to a few different gyms. This is obviously a good thing for Mousasi, who is an extremely talented fighter. As he said himself, there is room for improvement and with the right camp, Mousasi could definitely get his title back in the near future. You can catch the whole interview after the jump.
"I think, because I don't have good training. I have only one trainer. And that's wrestling, they were helping me with technical wrestling. But I don't have a conditioning trainer, I don't have a standup trainer, I don't have a jiu-jitsu trainer. I don't have any good sparring partners, high level. I don't have a nutrition(ist). I don't know what all these other fighters have. I mean, I think there's a huge (room for) improvement there. Next fight I'm going to train in the US with a good camp."
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Former UFC light heavyweight title-holder Lyoto Machida feels like he has solved the puzzle that is Jon Jones.Thus, “The Dragon” hopes he can eventually get back in contention to face the current UFC 205-pound champ once again. However, Machida is currently just 1-3 in his last four bouts, including the submission loss to “Bones” recently.
That being said, for Machida, a future in the UFC’s middleweight division is what is his future apparently holds, especially once friend Anderson Silva retires from the sport. Silva is the reigning UFC 185-pound champion and a training partner of Machida’s.
“Now, I don’t want to change – but if I am not the light heavyweight champion, it really could happen,” said Machida, in a recent interview with Fighters Only. “I lost (to Jones), but I still have three more fights at UFC and now my main goal is to be the champion of the weight class and bring the belt back to Para. Now it is a challenge to beat Jones and bounce back.”
Machida’s three losses have come to some of the elite in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, as he has lost to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and Jones. All three men have either worn the UFC title or are currently wearing the belt.
As for the loss to Jones, Machida says, “We already know the path to get to him and in the next fight the things should happen with more ease. I think we always have to be learning something out of this and it is through the loss that we learn more than with the victory. I am a professional and it is part of my career: to win or to lose. I hope the next time we can celebrate together.”
Machida was hitting Jones more than most have, as “The Dragon” seemed to be on top of his game through the first five minutes. But, once Jones landed with a big elbow that left a deep dash on Machida’s head, the end seemed to be near. Machida eventually passed out due to a standing choke in the second round, suffering his first career loss by submission.
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