It’s the first Strikeforce show under Zuffa’s reign and while it’s not a major event it is the beginning of a new era in MMA. Taking place from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California it’s Strikeforce Challengers 15. As always FiveOuncesofPain.com will bring you complete results as well as a round-by-round recap of all the live televised action.
The Strikeforce Challengers 15 main card kicks off at 11:00 PM EST on Showtime (11:00 PM PST tape-delayed on the West Coast).
The event is headlined by lightweights Justin Wilcox and Rodrigo Damm battling it in order to take the next step for the main show. Also on the card is Cesar Gracie standout David Douglas taking on Caros Fodor.
Ronald Carillo def. Adam Antolin via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Tristan Arenal def. Tommy Peterson via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Bobby Escalante def. Raul Sandoval via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Anthony Avila def. Rafael Rios via Unanimous Decision
MAIN CARD (Showtime – 11:00 PM EST)
Damian Douglas vs. Wayne Phillips
ROUND ONE: Fighters take to the center of the ring before locking up. Philllips attempts a throw but ends up taken down for his efforts. Douglas works from the top and pushes Phillips up against the cage. Douglas adjusts position and ends up on Phillips’ back. He attempts a Rear-Naked Choke but is unsuccessful with Phillips eventually standing back up and escaping. The two separate temporarily and then clinch back up. Douglas pins him back against the fence, then moves around and goes for another RNC. He gives up the position and the men go back to standing. Phillips fires a telegraphed head-kick towards Douglas who defends. A few brief exchanges follow before Phillips wraps up Douglas’ waist and tackles him to the ground. Douglas goes for a Kimura from the bottom causing Phillips to scramble, then jump on his opponent’s for the RNC attempt. He yanks Douglas to the ground but the round expires before he can sink it in fully. Close round with Phillips stealing things at the end.
ROUND TWO: Douglas seems to be a bit tired with his punches looking sloppier than in the first frame. He lunges in with a few strikes but can’t land. Philllips goes for a takedown but ends up in a Guillotine Choke. Douglas fails to seal the deal and has to start working from his back. Phillips controls from the top but has to defend a Kimura from half-guard. The referee stands them up and re-starts after a few moments of stalling. Phillips starts to serve as the aggressor with Douglas starting to breathe from his mouth. Phillips clinches and throws a knee to Douglas’ body. The round ends with decent exchanges from both. Likely another 10-9 frame for Phillips on the scorecards.
ROUND THREE: Fighters circle and throw occasional strikes for the first few minutes of the third. Neither looks particularly crisp or “pot-invested” on scoring a finish. Things pick up midway after the crowd voices its disapproval. Douglas moves in and out while mixing in combos. He lands a stiff straight that backs Phillips up but isn’t able to follow up on the damage. Douglas continues to circle backwards for the most part but connects with a few punches while lunging in. Round ends with some showboating from Douglas for some confusing reason. Douglas likely gets the round but Phillips should get the fight.
Winner – Damion Douglas def. Wayne Phillips via Majority Decision
EVENT NOTE – Strikeforce announced Keith Jardine will step in to replace Mike Kyle next weekend against Gegard Mousasi.
Josh Thornburg vs. James Terry
ROUND ONE: Fighters start out standing with some crsip exchanges thrown from Terry. Thornburg seems to be having trouble adjusting to Terry’s movement and takes a few shots for it. Terry leaps in with a Superman Punch and keeps doing a nice job mixing up his strike-selection. Thornburg still looks lost three minutes in but is able to land a punch that produces a small cut over Terry’s eye. In the end the mini-gash doesn’t matter, as he sets up a perfect overhand right and floors Thornburg. The ref jumps in and calls for the stoppage with less than a minute left in the round.
Winner – James Terry def. Josh Thornburrg via Knockout Round 1
EVENT NOTE – Urijah Faber is in attendance and sitting ringside. Also, Terry humorously decided to call out Ronnie from Jersey Shore after his win over Thornburg citing the fist-pumper’s decision to stick with Sammi for so long as his reason for wanting the scrap.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Scott Lighty
ROUND ONE: Larkin shows up in Melvin Manhoef’s gladiator-style trunks and with a pink designed dyed into his hair. Larkin starts off hot with some swift shots and a jumping headkick. Lighty ends up on his back after getting tripped by a legkick, pops up, and absorbs a few punches for his trouble. Lighty presses forward and fires away but can’t land anything cleanly. Lightly looks to be getting his range and throws a nice headkick that almost finds its target. Larkin pushes Lighty back to the fench with a pushkick, then follows up shortly thereafter with a number of stiff strikes that drop Lighty a few times. However, he toughs it out and survives the final thirty seconds of the fight. Round is Larkin’s without a doubt.
ROUND TWO: Larkin starts with more of the same, countering a takedown attempt from Lighty and dropping him with a punch. Larkin throws another left after Lighty recovers and puts him back on the canvas. Larkin takes Lighty’s back as he attempts to stand back up but can’t do much with the position and separates. The stand-up slows down from both as fatigue sets in. Lighty fires away with a combination but gets caught with a left, then dropped for the finish with a follow-up strike after backing away from the damage.
Winner – Lorenz Larkin def. Scott Lighty via TKO Round 2
Caros Fodor vs. David Douglas
ROUND ONE: Douglas #2 comes in and clinches right off the bat. Fodor backs him up to the cage and attempts to rip Douglas down to the mat. Douglas maintains his balance but Fodor holds on other than during a brief moment where each fires away with punches. They clinch again with Douglas scooping Fodor’s legs out from under him. He rains down strikes from the top but Fodor survives and gets back to his feet. Fodor goes back to the clinch in perhaps an effort to test Douglas’ conditioning. Douglas presses forward and gets momentarily locked in a Guillotine Choke. Fodor adjusts position and gets on top of Douglas where he starts to drop elbows. Douglas absorbing a good deal of damage from above. Fodor locks in a Kimura from side control with Douglas holding on to his own shorts to prevent Fodor from putting his arm in a finishing position. Round ends with a 10-9 effort from Fodor.
ROUND TWO: Douglas comes out with a kick that looks a bit slow. Fodor immediately takes Douglas down and works from his guard before easily maneuvering into side control. After a brief scramble the two end up standing again. Fodor leaps in for a Guillotine Choke but can’t finish it, then adjusts and takes Douglas down into mount. Fodor goes back to elbow-laced GNP. Douglas holds on but is in deep water at this point. Fodor continues having his way with “Tarzan” from the top going into side control and then working a number of submission attempts while also landing the occasional punch. Possibly a 10-8 round for Fodor given his dominance in the frame.
ROUND THREE: Douglas looks stiff and winded even as things open up. Fodor clinches and presses him up against the cage, then starts delivering stout knees to the face and body. Fodor continues his assault against the fence. The ref has apparently seen enough as Douglas isn’t defending anymore and calls for the bell. No argument here.
Winner – Caros Fodor def. David Douglas via TKO Round 3
Justin Wilcox vs. Rodrigo Damm
ROUND ONE: After an awkward pause while waiting for CSAC officials to get in place the action starts with Damm circling towards Wilcox’s power before landing a solid leg kick. Wilcox recovers after falling down for a second and lands a headkick that wobbles Damm. Wilcox continues to stalk Damm who is backing up and circling in a singular direction. Damm absorbs another headkick, then gets dropped by a straight right a few seconds later. Wilcox pounds away from the top on a blooded Damm who is ice-skating his way towards attempted recovery. Damm’s DNA splatters across the canvas while Wilcox continues to work from a dominant position. Wilcox backs away, then picks his shot and throws at a kneeling Damm. Round ends with Wilcox in half-guard. A 10-8 frame for Wilcox on the 5 OZ scorecards.
Ringside physicians stop the fight based on cuts though from a viewer’s standpoint it’s difficult to tell exactly why as none look particularly bad.
WINNER – Justin Wilcox def. Rodrigo Damm via TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage)
PHOTO CREDIT – ESTHER LIN / STRIKEFORCE