Strikeforce takes center stage for the first time since early April with the continuation of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Coming to us from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, it’s “Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum”. As always, FiveOuncesOfPain.com will provide complete results including a round by round recap of all the televised action.
The event kicks off at 8PM EST on HDNet with the broadcast of the entire preliminary card. Then at 10PM EST, the main card goes live on Showtime.
“Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” is headlined by the final two Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal match-ups. In the main event, top striker Alistair Overeem battles top grappler Fabricio Werdum and in the co-main event, the charismatic Josh Barnett takes on heavy hitter Brett Rogers. Also on the card is a lightweight showdown with title implications as KJ Noons will trade leather with Jorge Masvidal.
Brian Melancon vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Round One: Melancon landed some huge strikes and then just threw Flagg to the ground. Melancon dominated on the ground, roughing up Flagg with strikes before getting the back and looking for the rear naked choke. Flagg was able to escape and get to his feet though. Flagg started to have success with kicks to the legs and body but Melancon did a good job countering with the right hand. A lot of clinching in the final minute and a half of the round with neither man gaining control but Flagg doing more damage. A strong first half of the round for Melancon. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Melancon.
Round Two: All in the clinch early in the round. Flagg landed some good knees to the body and thighs and looked for the takedown but Melancon managed to stay on his feet. Every time they were at a striking distance, Melancon would land big counter punches with power but Flagg constantly got the fight to the clinch, controlled the position and did damage with knees and elbows. Very close round but a slight edge to Flagg based on all the clinch control and damage. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Flagg.
Round Three: Flagg opened up early with some kicks and then stuffed a takedown attempt by Melancon. Flagg continued to have success in the clinch with knees and elbows but Melancon was able to throw him to the ground.Melancon had mount and did some damage with strikes but Flagg worked his way to his feet, where they were right back in the clinch. Melancon had more cage control in the clinch but Flagg continued to have success with elbows and knees. The ref broke them, which led to a takedown from Melancon and back control as the round ended. A close round but that takedown at the end may have swung things in Melancon’s favor even though Flagg did more damage. Since I judge more on damage, I’m giving the nod to Flagg. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Flagg and the fight 29-28 for Flagg.
Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Brian Melancon via Split Decision
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Joe Ray
Round One: Burrell got an early takedown and avoided an armbar on the ground. Burrell got to half guard but Ray threatened with a kimura. Burrell was able to escape though and remain on top. Ray almost locked up another armbar but Burrell escaped again. Every time Burrell was able to escape, he attempted to make Ray pay with hammerfists but Ray covered well. Ray got to his feet, went for a takedown, and almost got stuck in another kimura, which Ray turned into a very tight armbar on the ground but Burrell somehow escaped again. The round ended with Burrell on top. Ray was attacking the whole time off his back and almost locked up a number of submissions. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Ray.
Round Two: Burrell really picked apart Ray on the feet early with quick combinations but then went for a takedown. He got it but Ray was immediately attacking with a kimura. Burrell avoided it and landed some good strikes on the ground. Ray got up and went for a takedown of his own but Burrell reversed it and ended up on top. The ref stood them up but Burrell put Ray on his back again. Burrell spent the rest of the round on top landing short strikes. A good round for Burrell. Ray seems very tired and was a lot less active off his back in this round. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Burrell.
Round Three: Burrell picked apart Ray on the feet early with his speed and accuracy. Ray looking very tired. Ray got cut near the right eye due to the jab of Burrell. Burrell got a takedown but Ray grabbed a guillotine. Burrell managed to escape though and stay on top. Burrell spent the final minute or so on top, landing hammerfists and elbows before letting Ray up and hitting him with a right hand. Another good round for Burrell on the feet and with the takedowns. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Burrell and the fight 29-28 for Burrell.
Nah-Shon Burrell def. Joe Ray via Unanimous Decision
Conor Heun vs. Magno Almeida
Round One: Heun got an early takedown and Almeida immediately went for a variety of leg locks but Heun survived them all. Almeida ended up on top after a scramble and Heun immediately went to the rubber guard. Heun used the rubber guard to rough up Almeida with short punches and elbows before the ref stoof them up. Heun landed some good kicks back on the feet while Almeida was a little too wild to land anything. Close round but an edge to Heun based on activity and damage. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Heun.
Round Two: Almost all in the clinch early with Heun controlling but doing no damage. Almeida landed a knee on the break and then knocked the ref down as he got shoved away, which drew a big cheer. Almeida caught Heun with a left hook that had Heun turning his back. Almeida tried to jump on him and grab a rear naked choke but Heun survived and got a takedown. Almeida gained guard on the ground and locked on a very tight armbar but Heun somehow didn’t tap out. Heun somehow got out and ended up in reverse cowgirl on the back of Almeida, where they remained for the final few seconds. Very good round for Almeida, rocking Heun a bit and locking on a close armbar. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Almeida.
Round Three: Almeida’s punches coming very slow to start this round while Heun is moving better but isn’t really finding the target. Heun got a takedown and Almeida immediately went for an armbar. Heun escaped but Almeida ended up on top. Almeida moved to side control and locked up a d’arce choke. It looked deep but Heun again found a way out and ended up on top and in guard. Heun really turned it in the final minute and a half with punches and double hammerfists. The round ended with Heun on top swinging away. A very close round. I think Heun may have stolen it by turning up in that final minute but Almeida’s two submissions were so tight. Heun’s arm might be broken. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 Heun and the fight 29-28 for Heun.
Result: Connor Heun def. Magno Almeida via Unanimous Decision
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox
Round One: Both guys trying to find their range early. Wilcox got a takedown off a kick but JZ popped right back up. Wilcox more active with his hands but nothing landing too clean for him. JZ not really getting anything going on the feet. Wilcox had a lot success with the jab-cross combination. Not many highlights in the round but a solid round for Wilcox. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Wilcox.
Round Two: JZ caught Wilcox with a finger to the eye very early in the round and Wilcox immediately went down holding his eye. The doctor came in to check Wilcox. Wilcox says that he can’t see and the doctor waves off the fight. The finger was accidental as Wilcox was moving in and JZ was backing away with his hands open.
Result: Justin Wilcox & Gesias Cavalcante fight to a No Decision (Accidental Eye Poke)
Todd Moore def. Mike Bronzoulis via Unanimous Decision
Valentijn Overeem vs. Chad Griggs
Round One: Griggs hit an early throw from the clinch and ended up in half guard. Overeem tried for an americana but Griggs pounded his way out. Griggs continued to pound on Overeem, who turned and covered up, until the ref jumped in and stopped things. On replay we see Overeem tap out from the strikes but they rule it a TKO.
Result: Chad Griggs def. Valentijn Overeem via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson
Round One: Cormier much quicker on the feet early, doing a nice job slipping and countering with his hands. Monson ended up with a cut on the top of his head early, possibly from an accidental head butt. Cormier doing a really nice job mixing up his strikes, throwing kicks and going to the body with his hands. Monson not offering much on his feet other than a jab. Great first round for Cormier. Monson having a lot of trouble with Cormier’s speed. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Cormier.
Round Two: Cormier opened up with a couple of big flurries that had Monson backing up but surviving. Monson landed his best strike of the fight in the middle of this round, a short right hand off a clinch break. Monson still having success with the jab but for every jab Monson throws, Cormier returns fire with two or three punches. Cormier just continued to dominant Monson on the feet with his speed and diversity as the round closed. Another great round for Cormier. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Cormier.
Round Three: Cormier again lighting Monson up on the feet. Cormier rocked Monson a couple of times but Monson hung in there. Monson went for a takedown but Cormier easily shrugged him aside. Cormier rocked Monson with a right hand but once again managed to survive and Cormier didn’t want to follow him to the ground. More speed and accuracy on the feet by Cormier as the round ended. Clean sweep for Cormier and all on the feet. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Cormier and the fight 30-27 for Cormier.
Result: Daniel Cormier def. Jeff Monson via Unanimous Decision
K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal
Round One: Masvidal came out quickly with his hands by Noons responded with some good strikes of his own. Noons trying to work the body early. Masvidal trying to time Noons ducking with a knee and caught him a couple of times but Noons hung tough. Masvidal scored with a takedown and Noons looked for a kimura but Masvidal got out. Noons managed to get to his feet. Noons cut on the forehead. Noons landing a good left hook and body shots while Masvidal having success with the jab and straight. Big head kick dropped Noons. Masvidal pounced on him and tried to finish but Noons survived until the end of the round. Big round for Masvidal. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Masvidal.
Round Two: Noons going to the body early while Masvidal doing a nice job with leg kicks. Masvidal got a takedown but Noons was immediately back up. Masvidal got another takedown though and this time was able to keep Noons down and rough him up with elbows and punches a bit before Noons got up. Masvidal scored with another takedown but ended up on his back after he slipped trying to get up. He got up though and landed another big knee before the round ended. Another good round for Masvidal with the takedowns. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Masvidal.
Round Three: Noons dictating the pace early in this round, pressing forward and letting his hands go while Masvidal is just moving away. Noons continues to be the aggressor and he’s landing some decent strikes but Masvidal doesn’t seem fazed. Masvidal scored with a takedown, and while he didn’t do too much damage, he stayed on Noons and didn’t allow him to his feet. Close round but the takedown and late round control probably swung it in Masvidal’s favor. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Masvidal and the fight 30-27 for Masvidal.
Result: Jorge Masvidal def. KJ Noons via Unanimous Decision
Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers
Round One: Barnett went for an early takedown off a kick and Rogers fought it off for a bit but eventually Barnett picked him up and slammed him down. Barnett worked his way to mount but Rogers did a nice job controlling his posture and not taking too much damage. Barnett landed some short punches but didn’t do a ton of damage despite being on top for almost the entire round. Still a dominant round for Barnett. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Barnett.
Round Two: Barnett landed a left hook early that had Rogers clinching. In the clinch Barnett immediately threw Rogers to the ground and mounted him again. Barnett locked on an arm triangle and forced Rogers to tap out.
Result: Josh Barnett def. Brett Rogers via Submission Round 2 (Arm Triangle)
Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum
Round One: Werdum comes out striking early. Werdum looking for the takedown but Overeem sprawling and just allowing Werdum up. Overeem going to the body with punches and knees. Werdum trying to pull guard but Overeem gets right back to his feet. Werdum falls to his back after eating a left hook and then invites Werdum down. Overeem throws Werdum down and then he begs Overeem to follow him down but Overeem doesn’t. Overeem finally follows Werdum to the ground with 15 seconds left in the round and nothing happens. I have no clue how to score that round. Werdum actually landed the better strikes but all his takedowns were stuffed, even though Werdum was fine with that. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Werdum
Round Two: They trade knees in the clinch. Werdum lands a good combo and then Overeem throws him to the ground. Werdum gets up and gets a takedown off a kick but Overeem is right back up. Werdum presses forward with strikes and lands some good dirty boxing before going to his back. Werdum getting up very slowly. Overeem landing some big punches now. Werdum pulls guard and has Overeem in the guard but can’t do anything. Overeem eventually gets up and lands a big knee. Knee to the body by Overeem and Werdum pulls guard again Nothing happens on the ground and the round ends. This time Overeem did some damage and Werdum couldn’t do anything with him on the ground. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Overeem.
Round Three: Werdum comes out strong with punches and knees but Overeem hangs in there. Werdum trying to get the takedown but Overeem stuffs it. Werdum again landing well, then he gets up, and Werdum goes down but I’m not sure that he’s actually hurt. Nothing happens on the ground and Overeem gets up and allows Werdum up. Werdum again tagging Overeem on the feet but the second he gets hit, he goes down and allows Overeem to fall on top of him. Werdum trying to work on the ground but nothing happening. They stand and Werdum continues to tag up Overeem with punches before pulling guard and trying a kneebar as the round ends. I once again have no clue how to score it. Gotta go with Werdum as he was more active and seemed to do more actual damage. No clue how this fight goes though. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 Werdum and the fight 29-28 for Werdum.
Result: Alistair Overeem def. Fabricio Werdum via Unanimous Decision