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A Look Back at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2

No extra security was needed this past Saturday night in San Jose as the big grudge match ended with a friendly hug. Unless of course you count the security needed to once again protect judges from fans. In that case, all MMA organizations need to hire a riot squad because it doesn’t appear like things will be fixed anytime soon.

Nick Diaz defeated KJ Noons by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-47, 49-46) to retain the Welterweight title

When Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons 2 was announced, everyone waited in anticipation not only for the fight, but for the build up as well. After all, these two hated each other a few years ago and things were never settled following their first fight. While the build up was lacking thanks to Diaz’ seemingly lack of interest in fighting Noons, the fight delivered.

This wasn’t one of the greatest five round title fights ever as claimed by Mauro Ranallo at the end of the night but it was a very good fight. It may have come off like a low-level boxing contest to some, and maybe it was, but their activity level was enough to keep interest at a high level. Diaz did what he always does on the feet, pepper away with the jab, follow with the straight right, mix things up to the body, rinse and repeat. He ended up rocking Noons in the first round and managed to wrestle him down into side control, where he proceeded to do nothing before Noons was able to get up. Noons landed his fair share of punches on the feet as well, particularly the jab and the left hook. He looked to be swinging a bit too wildly with his strikes though, which allowed Diaz to move away before getting hit. By the end of the fight both men were bleeding but neither looked all that tired despite throwing over 1,000 combined strikes. Diaz was awarded the decision, which was the right call, and they hugged it out when things were all said and done. It was a very touching moment. Unless of course you’re Scott Coker and you were hoping to promote a rubber match.

There aren’t many options right now for Diaz at welterweight. Tyron Woodley needs one big win before getting a title shot and then you’re left with Paul Daley, who still needs to beat Scott Smith before we talk about him challenging Diaz. Obviously the fight everyone wants in Diaz vs. Jason Miller but getting them to agree to a comfortable weight will be harder than Diaz’ head. Come on homies, don’t be scared. Credit Noons for moving up to 170 but his home is at 155. Hopefully he takes some time off after fighting 4 times in 8 months, cuts his hair, and comes back at lightweight.

Predicted Next Fights: Diaz vs. Miller – Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal

Josh Thomson defeated JZ Cavalcante by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Strikeforce once again brought in talent from DREAM in hopes of giving them some American exposure and a paycheck. It also presented fans with another interesting match up between not only two top lightweights but according to Josh Thomson, two of the top three lightweights in the world.

This was an excellent back and forth fight. JZ came out strong in the first round, dropping Thomson with a right hand and almost finishing him with an arm in guillotine choke but Thomson was able to survive and get his head out. Thomson ended the round with an attempted arm triangle but JZ held on until the buzzer sounded. The second round was all Thomson. He managed to get an early takedown where he controlled the entire round and battered JZ with punches and elbows to the body. The third round was all JZ. This time he managed to get an early takedown and proceeded to control and batter Thomson with strikes. Thomson tried a few submission attempts and even mugged for the camera while holding rubber guard but nothing looked to come close. Both men raised their hands as the fight ended and it could of gone either way depending on how you scored the first round. Of course anyone with eyes knows that a knockdown and a close submission is greater than just a close submission so they rightfully scored the fight 29-28 in favor of JZ. But when it comes to MMA judging, you’re better off hiring the three blind mice instead of three commissioned judges. The three judges scored things in favor of Thomson including one judge giving Thomson all three rounds, a score so absurd that not even Thomson agreed. Thanks to more incompetent judging, my enjoyment of a great fight was taken down a notch. Thanks guys.

Knock knock? Who’s there? Thomson. Thomson who? Thom-son for you to fix your broken hand so we can do this rubber match. My terrible joke aside, it’s obvious that Thomson will meet Gilbert Melendez for the third time and I can’t wait for it. Their first two fights were great and this time we’ll be getting a more healthy Thomson instead of one that was just coming off knee surgery and a long layoff. I hope JZ will be back in Strikeforce but I have a feeling that he’ll be heading back to Japan for his next contest.

Predicted Next Fights: Thomson vs. Melendez 3 – JZ vs. Kawajiri 2

Marloes Coenen defeated Sarah Kaufman by Submission (Armbar) at 1:59 in Round Three to win the Women’s 135 lb Title

After retaining her title against Roxanne Modafferi, Sarah Kaufman complained about not being on the “big show.” Well she finally got her chance against “big show” veteran Marloes Coenen. Unfortunately for Kaufman, because of the way Strikeforce works, she’ll likely be headed back to the small show.

There wasn’t much to this fight for the first two rounds. Coenen did a great job at using her long reach and leg kicks to stay out of Kaufman’s range and avoid her great boxing. Kaufman did a lot of clinching to try and wear down Coenen, who was dropping to 135 for the first time in her career. Then in the third round the fight hit the ground with Kaufman on top and in the guard of Coenen. From there she landed out of control punches and hammerfists that didn’t seem to faze Coenen, who was just biding her time until locking up an armbar. Kaufman tapped out but but the ref was a little late in jumping in, which may have caused Kaufman to dislocate her arm. Coenen was extremely classy in victory though. Instead of celebrating like she just won a world title, she immediately apologized and hugged Kaufman and had a genuine look of concern on her face for her opponent.

Next up for Coenen is top contender Miesha Tate in a fight not only for the 135 lb title but also my heart. That’s right, I’m putting my heart on the line for these two. If that doesn’t make them train and fight harder, I don’t know what will. Back to the drawing board for Kaufman. Her boxing is still outstanding but she either needs to be more controlled on the ground or work on her submission defense. Better yet, just stay off the ground.

Predicted Next Fights: Coenen vs. Tate – Kaufman vs. Carina Damm

Tyron Woodley defeated Andre Galvao by TKO (Strikes) at 1:48 in Round One

Tyron Woodley is the first fighter to work his way up through the Challengers Series and make it to the “big show” in Strikeforce. After a good amount of hype, he certainly delivered.

From the moment he was hit with the first right hand, Andre Galvao didn’t want to fight. He spent the rest of the fight going for desperation takedowns that had no chance at working and being punished with punches on his attempts. At one point he got up off the ground wobbly and it just seemed like a matter of time before things would be over. The ref quickly stopped the fight after Galvao failed on another takedown and took two punches on the ground. Maybe the stoppage was early but Galvao clearly didn’t want to fight past the 10 seconds so I had no problem with it.

Hopefully Woodley continues to be nurtured a bit by Strikeforce rather than fast tracking him to the top. He’s an outstanding wrestler, his striking looks improved with each fight, and he has power to go along with everything. Galvao may have fought himself out a job with this performance. At the very least I’m sure Strikeforce wouldn’t mind loaning him to DREAM for his next fight.

Predicted Next Fights: Woodley vs. Joe Riggs – Galvao vs. Hayato Sakurai


    The compustrike numbers for the Noons/Diaz fight were way off-Fightmetric showed the much more accurate stats-Still thought Diaz won hands down, but it was a good fight to watch-MMA judging needs a serious overhaul ASAP-Coenen fought smart and well-Tyron is a beast, very interested to see how good he gets

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    i enjoyed watching Diaz/Noons but fuck Nick needs to work on takedowns and using his knees, he should have finished KJ and had plenty oppurtnity.
    Thmoson/JZ was great fun, one judge was on acid but that aside it was a great grappling match.
    Woodley looked good again but Galvao looked awful

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Watching the kaufman fight, and replay. I don’t think it was that the ref took too long, I think it was that he got there, instantly put more pressure on the hold by pushing coenen’s leg down, then shoving them both over. If you watch, as soon as he pushes them over is when her elbow pops. Classy on both women though, Coenen for being upset about it, and Kaufman congratulating her and telling her not to worry. All in all good fights, the Diaz/Noons fight was a little boring rd 3 and on, but other then that good card.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I also want to say that Thomson’s post fight interview was great.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    Credit Diaz and Noons for game performances, but for crying out loud, the sport is MMA. There was no mix at all, which is really hard to justify since Diaz is a Gracie BJJ black belt. His few take down attempts were telegraphed and awkward, and if he hadn’t had a four inch reach advantage, Noons would’ve taken him apart. It was a good fight, especially for Strikeforce, but not great.

    JZ got robbed. And Coenen’s arm bar was the highlight of the evening. At least the women knew it was a MMA fight.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    It didn’t help Noons that he kinda forgot how to move his head I think.

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  • TerribleT says:

    I have to give props to KJ Noons bcuz I never thought he’d give Nick Diaz a rematch much less move up to 170 LBs to do it.I thought for sure he’d hide at 155 thinking Diaz could never make that weight again and just keep runnin’ his mouth knowing he’d never have to face him again but I was dead wrong.He stepped up to the plate and fought 1 hell of a fight and although he lost he gained much respect for the class he showed after the decision was announced.He didn’t make any excuses and conceded that he lost the fight.Hats off to Noons. He certainly impressed me.B4 the fight I couldn’t stomach him. I thought he was all hype and luck but after this fight I think he’s the real deal.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Don’t know if it has been covered in other posts but 30-27!?. How a judge can give Thomson the last rd is beyond comprehension. He lost rd 3 full stop, it was not even close. This is the worst case of judging I have ever seen. I was outraged at the judging in Lyoto vs Shogun 1 but at least there could be an argument for Lyoto winning no matter how flawed it would be in my opinion but this instance where a judge gave Thomson the last rd must have been a mistake. I am a fan of judging the fight as a whole and only awarding take downs with points if it is a damaging throw or “slam” and not just because a fighter choses to go there because he can’t match up in the striking. Damage done and finishing attempts (sub and KO attempts) are all that should count. Fuck this octagon control and take down shit. You can win a fight by avoiding one as it stands, just ask Rashad Evans.
    Noons vs Diaz was a good fight, JZ vs Thomson also good. The production values of SF are on par with the UFC now and apart from Mauro Renello the com team was OK.

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    i couldn’t agree with you more MMA-LOGIC-The judge should be fired for incompetence-I had the fight between JZ and Thomson a draw

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