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Villasenor bests Cyborg, Gurgel and Heun wage war at Strikeforce Challengers

Friday evening’s Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg featured a little bit of something for everyone. A fan of knockouts are you? The first fight of the evening ended in just seventeen seconds. Submissions? There was a handful. Even if you just love watching two men try to beat each other within an inch of their listrikeforcecrestves for fifteen solid minutes, Jorge Gurgel and Conor Heun had you covered.

The main event of the evening saw the Greg Jackson trained Joey Villasenor narrowly edge out Chute Boxe’s Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in a back and forth split decision victory. A brutal headliner with both men dishing out and receiving punishing strikes for the duration of the bout.

While the main event did not disappoint by any means, without question the show stealer was the 160 pound match-up between Gurgel and Heun. Both men are known for their extensive submission arsenals, and both elected to leave their ground game at home to stand and batter one another for three full rounds. Head kicks, flying fists and punishing leg kicks highlighted this bout that was in many ways reminiscent of the stand-up war waged between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar at the first TUF Finale. Although Heun fought valiantly he ended up on the short end of the judges scorecards as Gurgel did a fantastic job pushing the pace and imposing his will on his less experienced opponent.

The heavy handed Tim Kennedy surprised many as he went for a takedown on Nick Thompson in the early goings of the first round of their middleweight contest. From there Kennedy was able to dominate the dangerous ground fighter on the canvas before taking his back in the second round and finishing Thompson with a series of hard punches to the side of the head to force the tapout. Thompson complained about being hit to the back of the head immediately following the bout.

Sarah Kaufman improved her undefeated record to 10-0 as she battered Shayna Baszler on the feet for the bulk of their 135 pound bout on her way to the unanimous decision victory. The contest was the first Strikeforce female contest with five minute rounds.

Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm showed why he is currently one of Strikeforce’s fastest rising lightweight prospects as he improved upon his undefeated record while catching the ever-dangerous Duane Ludwig with a schoolyard choke submission in the very first round.

A full list of the results from the event are listed below:

Joey Villasenor def. Evangelista Cyborg via split decision

Tim Kennedy def. Nick Thompson via submission – Round 2

Jorge Gurgel def. Conor Heun via unanimous decision

Sarah Kaufman def. Shayna Baszler via unanimous decision

Luke Rockhold def. Corey Devela via submission – Round 1

Dennis Hallman def. Justin Davis via submission – Round 1

Brian Caraway def. Alex Zuniga via unanimous decision

Lyle Beerbohm def. Duane Ludwig via submission – Round 1

Landon Showalter def. George Stork via unanimous decision

Len Bentley def. Marques Daniels via unanimous decision

Steve Hadsel def. Taylor Roberts via knockout – Round 1

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