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Cavalcante captures light heavyweight title, Souza outpoints Kennedy at “Strikeforce – Houston”

PRESS RELEASE / HOUSTON (Aug. 21, 2010) – Hard-hitting striker Rafael Feijao shocked Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion “King Mo” Lawal with a devastating third round knockout in Saturday’s Showtime televised main event at “Strikeforce – Houston”.

In a tactical co-feature, world-class submission specialist Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza captured the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship with a unanimous decision over American military hero Tim Kennedy.

In an all-action fight, Mo (7-1) was the aggressor in the first, scoring a body slam in the opening minute of the round. But, Feijao (10-2) was unfazed by the take down and got to his feet without suffering any significant damage.

After trading punches in the second, Feijao came out swinging in the third. He landed a few strong combinations and caught Mo with a powerful knee. Clearly wounded, Mo tried to take his opponent to the ground to minimize the damage but, while locked up standing, Feijao battered Mo with a series of brutal slashing elbows to Mo’s head, knocking him out at 1:14.

“I hit him hard with the right hand and the knee,” Feijao said. “I saw he was hurt, but I was just going to continue to hit him. I felt his grip loosening and knew that he was done.

“I have a new coach in boxing and Muay Thai that made the difference. “I just made my dream. I saw in his last fight he wanted to get inside. My strategy worked perfectly.”

A wounded Mo was disappointed but not dejected in his performance.

“I just got to make a few adjustments,” Mo said. “He fought a hell of a fight, but I’m not worried. I’ll come back stronger.”

Jacare (13-2-1) wasn’t able to get Kennedy to the ground, but his effective and relentless counterpunching was the difference maker in the fight.

A deep gash opened up over Kennedy’s left eye early in the third round. Kennedy (12-3) tried taking the fight to the mat, but it was ineffective against Jacare, who was the superior striker landing the harder, crisper punches.

Kennedy continued to attack Jacare throughout the fight, never giving up, but was unable to land anything that hurt his opponent.

“I felt through the fight that he felt my hand,” Jacare said. “I was landing some big punches and I thought I was winning the fight. I was ready to fight everywhere in the cage, but I was surprised how strong he was. He was strong, but I was the one connecting and landing the damaging punches.”

Kennedy, who landed more punches with a higher percentage, was a bit surprised in the unanimous decision loss.

“I was really frustrated with the end result,” Kennedy said. “Jacare is an amazing contender and now a champion. I was humbled that I was able to go five rounds with him, but I think it goes without saying that I’d like another five rounds with that guy. It’s going to be different.

“We’re talking about the most decorated grappler in the planet. I expected him to want to grapple. He countered with me the whole time and I was surprised. I should have put more pressure on him. The only time anyone got dropped in the fight was when I dropped him, but he’s got the belt.”

In a featured lightweight bout, KJ Noons scored a second round KO (:19) over fearless brawler and BJJ blackbelt Jorge Gurgel in a short, but spectacular match.

The two exchanged powerful punches in the first, but a powerful and controversial blow from Noons a split second after the sound of the closing bell for the first round proved to be the difference. Noons (10-2) came out swinging in the second, landing an overhand right followed by a left hook that sent Gurgel (13-7) flying to the canvas. He followed it up with punches on the ground, but the fight was clearly over as Gurgel could not recover.

“By any means am I a dirty fighter, no,” Noons said. “I was just going in there to try to engage and get the round. I was in the heat of the moment and I couldn’t stop my hands as they were going. It wasn’t cheap and I’m not trying to be dirty – I’m just trying to finish the fight. I didn’t’ intentionally do it, it’s just the rush.

“I thought it was a great fight. He had a really good game plan. He was moving around the ring and was trying to get me to engage more. I just knew I had to not over commit on my punches and my kicks and I’d be able to keep standing. I’m not surprised he didn’t take me down.”

Gurgel didn’t make any excuses or complaints in losing.

“I apparently got hit a couple of times when the round was up, but it’s not KJ’s fault,” Gurgel said. The referee is responsible for separating the fighters. I’m not taking anything away from (KJ) He landed a good right hand and a left hook. I have no excuses whatsoever. I came up short in my performance and I’m really upset. I thought I had his number. I’ve never been rocked before. I’ve had 20 professional fights and I’ve never felt that. KJ is a world class fighter.”

In the opening fight of the Showtime telecast, Chad Griggs won an upset, TKO victory over previously unbeaten Bobby Lashley at the end of the second round.

An experienced and talented wrestler, Lashley immediately took the fight to the ground in the first round. He expended a lot of energy trying to hit Griggs (9-1) while on the ground, but Griggs was able to counter and opened up a gushing cut over Lashley’s left eye.

Once again, Lashley (5-1) took the fight to the ground in the second, but his punches didn’t do enough damage to the more experienced Griggs. The cut worsened with Lashley apparently gassed in the closing moments of the second round and the referee called the bout immediately following the conclusion of the round.

“This is a dream come true fighting for Strikeforce. I got offered a big fight right off the bat and I’m super pumped I got the win,” Griggs said. “I know he was bleeding all over me. I think he was tired and he was hurt already. I think it was a good call to end it.

“I felt him starting to fade a little bit at the end of the first round. I could hear him breathing really hard and could feel him using a lot of muscle to land punches. I was comfortable because he wasn’t really catching me and he was using a lot of energy. I don’t think that he’s really been hit before or been tested. I could see it in his eyes that the fight was changing. He was still hustling, but I think he was losing some heart in there.”

A full list of results from “Strikeforce – Houston” can be found below:

Artenas Young def. Chad Cook via Unanimous Decision
Chad “Robo” Robichaux def. Humberto DeLeon via Split Decision
Reynaldo “The Truth” Trujillo def. Jose Santibanez via TKO Round 1
Adam Schindler def. Kier Gooch via Submission Round 1 (Rear Naked Choke)
Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes def. Rocky Long via Unanimous Decision
Andre Galvao def. Jorge Patino via TKO Round 3
Daniel Cormier def. Jason Riley via Submission Round 1 (Strikes)
Chad Griggs def. Bobby Lashley via TKO Round 2
KJ Noons def. Jorge Gurgel via KO Round 2
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Tim Kennedy via Unanimous Decision
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante def. “King Mo” Lawal via TKO Round 3

PHOTO CREDIT: Esther Lin / Strikeforce

30 COMMENTS
  • JabCrossHook says:

    lol tim kennedy is delusional, first of all souza slipped he didn’t drop him, second he got solidly out struck for the entire 5 rounds. Kennedy is a good fighter but his stand-up is very sloppy and he has no defense. If he fought Robbie Lawler like that then he would be sleeping. Its not like Souza is that great of a strike either, he basically boxed Tim the fuck out the match. And that moment when Souza slipped he actually caught Kennedy with a big shot that stunned him. I have no problem against Tim Kennedy but just because you landed around the same amount of blows doesn’t mean its a draw or it should be your victory. Tim’s hands were just awful, most of those shots that were “counted” had either little power or just grazed Souza because all I’ve seen mostly was Kennedy reaching like mad to catch souza back and souza just backpedaled and countered.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  • All the show did was prove that SF is another gigantic Elite xc. They’re talkin about bringing in paul Heyman and still wanting to have Lashley vs. Batista? So a prospect fresh off his first loss and an old body builder/ pro wrestler in his first bout? Sounds like a potential for a one sided beating or a snoozefest. Im a fan of pro wrestling but it and MMA are two far different things and should be treated as such.

    King Mo showed he has no cardio(yet the “great” SF announce team kept talking about how well conditioned he is), HORRIBLE standup and his wrestling has gotten worse. He couldn’t even hold down Feijao for any length of time and didnt even look like he was trying. Neither of those two would survive 3 fights in the UFC LHW. And Mo was calling out Rampage a few months ago…wow.

    Lastly just to put my two cents in on it, I’ve only been able to watch last nights card online and on two different sites, as I was at work last night. Noons shot at/after the bell was almost a whole second differently timed depending on which video i watched so i can’t make an honest call on that one. The first time I watched it it looked like a blatant sucker punch, the second not so much. However that illegal knee should’ve cost him the fight and a fine. If he knew the fight was over (as he was telling the ref while using no effort to hold JG back from taking him down) had he stepped away JG wouldn’t have been able to stand and the fight would’ve been stopped. I can’t wait for him to rematch Diaz so Diaz can hyper extend his arm.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Lashley is a joke and is in turn making Strikeforce look like idiots for giving him prime time. may as well have Kimbo in there.
    i wanna see KJ fight Mayweather, that would be hilarious, would be the best TV ever. Jorge never got over that late punch and that is what finished the fight.
    Mo needs to keep his hands up and fight more intelligently, he fought like he believed the hype.
    unfortunately a pretty dull night for me.
    wouls love to see Strikeforce dump their baggage and combine name fighters with challenger caliber fights, cos their big fight nights are getting increasingly dull

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  • Tony says:

    KJ Noons is a heel! The late shot was at the bell so I cant dis him for that to much but the knee to the head was un-called for.
    I really want to see NOONS vs DIAZ

    Lashley, King MO…. LEARN SUBMISSIONS!! ((see Lesnar vs Carwin for example))

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Controversy seems to be the main theme of Strikeforce events-Just goes to show you how difficult it really is to harness all these alpha fighters-Tim Kennedy lost a pretty close fight-Feijao looked like he was a whole weight class above Mo and performed as such-KJ didn’t do anything wrong intentionally-The knee actually hit Gurgel’s upper body-Lashley got a rude awakening-Life is tough but fighting in a cage for a living is much tougher

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Angry Mike says:

    It was gratifying to see Griggs beat Lashley. I’m pretty tired of ‘roided up wrestlers who think size plus takedowns equals MMA.

    And what the hell is wrong with Gurgel? Supposedly he’s a legit bjj black belt, but apparently he thinks that letting mediocre strikers pound him into jelly makes him an exciting fighter. No, it makes you old before your time, and possibly brain damaged.

    Two words for Tim Kennedy: 1) head 2) movement.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Talengard says:

    How do none of these fighters bitch about how slippery the mat in the cage is for SF? Sweat and blood pool up on the logos so it has to be difficult as hell to execute high level footwork or a good sprawl on that slippery shit. That’s just one of those things that shouldn’t be an issue so it’s all about the man vs man aspect and less shit to get in the way of a good fight. Small fuck ups based on slips really ruin it sometimes like seeing Jacare slip against Kennedy or shit like that.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Talengard says:

    I forgot to really comment on the fights, I thought it was a pretty crazy night of fights for SF, almost nothing I expected. Well, I thought bobby lashley would win, but I wasn’t suprised to see a mongoloid gas after the initial flurry.

    KJ Noons impressed the hell out of me. As far as I could tell that knee at the end didn’t connect, but the story of the fight was his hands anyways. His boxing looked amazing, the speed and technique were stellar, I didn’t see any of his professional boxing bouts, but I can’t imagine why he would leave with striking as good as his. KJ Noons made me a fan last night, his boxing is absolutely superb, the footwork, head movement, and his ability to utilize his whole arsenal in the blink of an eye. He pulled those hooks out of his ass at the last second and looked amazing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • BillyWarhol says:

    I would have liked to have seen that Fight but apparently we don’t get Showtime up here in Canada! Darn!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    Just do what I do BillyWarhol, and find an internet stream.

    As far as the show went, I thought it was overall pretty good. The announcers weren’t great, but I’ve heard a lot worse.
    It was good to see two fighters that actually deserved to be fighting for a belt duke it out for 25 mins. King Mo may have gotten “exposed” last night, but let’s not forget who he beat to get there. He’s still an incredibly tough fighter that has all the potential to make huge waves in this sport.
    I had no real complaints about the camera work this time which means I spent more time actually watching the fights instead of trying to watch the fights.
    The reffing was questionable in a lot of places, but that’s an industry wide issue and not limited to one particular MMA org.
    Overall I was entertained, excited, and in some cases pretty surprised…which is what I usually want on an MMA card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    KJ Noons’ pro boxing record of 11-2 is about as impressive as Bobby Lashley’s MMA record.

    Of the 11 victories KJ holds, the combined record of the oppoents is 49-90. That’s 49 victories against 90 defeats. Seriously.

    And his two defeats – one of those guys boasts a record of 8-18 while the other is a respectable 14-1.

    So yeah, let’s recognize any talk with Noons & Mayweather in the same sentence as the joke that it is, and instead look forward to a rematch with Diaz.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “However that illegal knee should’ve cost him the fight and a fine.”

    There was nothing in it and I don’t even think it connected.Also if you are implying that a fighter who stopped looked at the ref and then was forced to continue is a bad sport you are wrong. He did not want to continue but had to.

    “Lashley is a joke”

    ????. The dude got hurt big time with a knee, didn’t recover and lost. Now he is 5-1 in MMA and not a joke just a little green. You place expectations on him that are unrealistic.

    Finally KJ was challenging Mayweather to some sort of a MMA match wasn’t he? I think he would win. People are saying Noons isn’t as good a boxer etc, well duhhh, how good is Mayweather’s MMA?. Noons may not have the most outstanding boxing stats but they are a hell of a lot better than Mayweather’s MMA stats.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • BigDave says:

    Ok short and sweet here.

    The commentating was horribly amaturish at best.

    Lashley proved he has no heart or drive to fight anyone other then cans he beats in 30 seconds.

    The Noons fight needed to be stopped after the late punch as gurgel was in no condition to continue therefore a dq was warrented. As for fighting Mayweather, Noons is dilusional if he thinks he would last 1 round.

    King Mo looked slow and sluggish against a middle of the road fighter which seems to show me he didn’t work hard enough in training. He also needs to get some submission training before he can be considered a top tier fighter.

    Kennedy needed to spend more energy landing good shots then waving to the crowd after every round. He was out boxed by a guy who although getting better at striking is not a striker. It was close but they got a decision right for once.

    The refs other then big john where just plain bad. not stopping the noons fight or even penalizing the guy for 2 illegal blows is just horrible. And since when do you stand a fight up when a guy has full mount…just horrible.

    All in all this card was just plain boring and i for one am not going to be excited to watch any more of these strikefarce events.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • “There was nothing in it and I don’t even think it connected.Also if you are implying that a fighter who stopped looked at the ref and then was forced to continue is a bad sport you are wrong. He did not want to continue but had to.”

    Go watch it the knee landed flush on the forehead. No it wasn’t the hardest but it was a blatant illegal throw and that should be penalized.
    Second He had to? Wow you’re definnition of had to and mine are quite different. Like I said he could’ve backed up and the ref would’ve seen that JG was DONE and no longer able to protect himself. Neither the ref nor Noons talk to each other at that point KJ just stares at the ref. So is it more the ref’s fault absolutely. Could Noons just as easily have took one step back and had gurgel face plant into the mat upon getting up. All day. Gurgel was OUT and if KJ didnt want to hit him anymore stepping away and letting him return to his feet to finish him would’ve been a much more sportsmanlike thing to do than to hit him with an intententional neither knee was off the ground knee to the face.
    so yes Im calling him a bad sport. If you disagree with me you must be either blind, or a huge noons fan. That knee was blatant. Much worse than Cerrone’s knee to Varner in terms of how far his knees were off the ground.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  • Rece Rock says:

    Texas Athletic Commision should be ashamed of themselves…the officiating was more than questionable…

    Best of all the Commission doesn’t even require drug testing & SF didn’t bother to set a good example and do it anyways… guess there so worried about trying to turn a profit that it would have been too costly to test the fighters…

    What is this maddness about Paul Heyman signing on to SF in some capacity?? Wonder what that’s all about?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • ChuckW says:

    Kennedy didn’t get out struck…the stats show that he actually landed more shots and got more takedowns than Souza. I don’t have a problem with the decision, it was close and just from watching the fight on TV Jacre seemed to be more effective. My only problem with this fight was that one judge who scored the fight 49-46…what the FUCK was he/she watching.

    Mo looked horrible in this fight….he deserved the beating he took for not evolving his game. Just because you have heavy hands doesn’t mean you can get away with not learning to strike. It is sad to see Mo’s natural talent going to waist cause honestly I thought he should have lost the fight with Gegard too….Mo was had top control the whole fight and was getting beat up from the bottom.
    ***On a side note….Get some better Entrance Girls – Them bitches he had was BEASTLY***

    KJ looked good…that looked like an illegal kick IMO but I couldn’t tell if he actually hit him in the head or if the ref called the fight first. I’m excited to see him and Gilbert go at it in the future. Jorge needs to stop trying to prove he can bang and use he BJJ and takedowns more. Him boxing Mayweather is just dumb….just because you can out box the 155ers in SF doesn’t mean you can outbox the 2nd best pro boxer in the world.

    Bobby Lashley actually looked better than I thought he would. He needs to learn to finish the fight because anytime you have positional control for that long you should win. He’s young in his career and doesn’t look to have that Killer Instinct yet. If he ever gets it along with some better cardio, that boy could eb dangerous.

    All the Commissions need to really look at getting some better refs and judges if they are going to continue to regulate this sport because it is getting ridiculous. For an organization as big as SF to have obvious reffing errors and inconsistencies in judging is retarded.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Rece Rock touched on it, and this is something I’ve been scratching my head about for a while.

    Why has no one brought up the use of OXYGEN IN, actually INSIDE the cage!!! What the hell was that!! You might as well allow shot of vitamin B12 between rounds too!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • boomnutz says:

    poor SF, everyone though King Mo was a top ten LH, and Bobby Lashley might actually be legit…guess everyone was proved wrong. Look how disatrous this last year (maybe even less) has been, Fedor continues to play with them, or at least his management does, then he loses, Lashley loses, Shields beats Hendo then pieces, King Mo beats Gegard then loses…they release Jay Hieron???? what’s wrong with this organization

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    boomnutz says: “what’s wrong with this organization?”

    The answer is EVERYTHING.

    .

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    KJ Noons would be a nightmare for Frankie(run around the ring) Edgar and BJ (unpredictable)Penn-It’s time we start to realize just how talented these non UFC fighters are

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  • Dufresne says:

    If King Mo can get some better head movement and improved striking, he could be a serious threat. His wrestling is better than 99% of LHW’s out there, but until he gets some better striking he’s not going to be the beast he could be.
    Luckily he’s not even 30, so he has some time to work the kinks out of his game and hopefully develop into a stud.

    Lashley has some skills, but he really needs to work on his cardio and his choice of techniques or he’ll never be considered a legit fighter. His muscles are all nice and impressive, but until he learns to use them effectively and for longer than 4.5 minutes, he’s not going very far.

    Out of the two of them, Mo definitely has the bigger upside, and hopefully he’ll realize that and get to work patching the holes in his game.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Edgar would handle noones inside of two rounds, and B J would ko him in one. I think Noones is a good LW but will never make the top 10.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Blinded by the UFC-fanofthewhatthefuck-At the least spell it right-KJ would bring the “fight” back to the UFC-You saw what Takanori did to the lay and pray artists that pollute our MMA scene these days-My son who is 7-and will demolish these scary ass clockwatching sissys

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  • Rece Rock says:

    I don’t care what anybody says- Time and time again King Mo has his hands no higher than his abdomen at all times if not lower… an excellent striker who can stuff a take down would KO/ TKO him inside the first 2 rounds… Mo’s worst enemy is Mo. He thinks he’s better than he is…cockiness is not a skill.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I think Mo will come back better if he has any type of intelligence-If not- Oh well

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Your funny, but not funny ha ha.
    I did watch it again Noons did stop and wait for the ref and if he had of backed off he may have recovered you know, like people do. He may have face planted but neither the ref or Noons are psychic. You know he waited when a lot wouldn’t have. Therefore you are … funny, but not funny ha ha.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Not trying to make you an enemy Rece but all the SF bashing is getting old. You don’t like SF, cool, so stop watching it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    As I tell Liverpunch all the time… don’t read my posts and it won’t matter just keep it moving.
    If you are going to comment then debate the post because everything else is a waste of both our time. Thanks.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    It is just … never mind.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    What….? My point is I have no problem with you calling me out on stuff but then actually call me out… And debate the post and what you think is incorrect or BS….. Don’t just write oh you bash SF blah blah blah…. Make a point arguing against my posts and I’ll gladly hear u out and we can agree or disagree but atleast it’s productive and insightful…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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