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Cormier and Barnett punch tickets to GP finals, Rockhold upsets Souza

There are no jail sentences being served or threats of retirement in Cincinnati tonight as the semifinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix are set to go down at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. As always Five Ounces of Pain will provide complete results, including a round by round recap of all the live televised action.

It was an exciting night of action in Cincy, highlighted by the two Strikeforce Heavyweight GP semifinal bouts. In the main event, Josh Barnett out-classed Sergei Kharitonov on the ground, submitting him with a side choke late in the first round. The bout was back and forth early, with both men trading punches, but once the catch-wrestling got ahold of the K-1 striker, he immediately put him on the ground and moved right into mount. From that position, Barnett controlled and roughed up Kharitonov before locking on the choke for the victory.

In the other semifinal bout, Daniel Cormier stunned Antonio Silva, knocking the big Brazilian out-cold in the first round. The olympic wrestler caught “Bigfoot” with an overhand right early, and Silva was never the same. Cormier continued to pick apart Silva with his hands and tossed him on the ground anytime he decided to get close. The end came when Cormier caught Silva with an uppercut, knocking him down, and finished him on the ground with a couple of hammerfists.

The biggest upset of the night came in the Strikeforce middleweight title fight, where Luke Rockhold, who hadn’t fought in 19 months, defeated Ronaldo Souza to capture the title. The bout went 25-minutes, was a back and forth battle, and was highly competitive for all five rounds, but Rockhold’s aggressiveness and diversity on his feet was enough to sway the judges. A very emotional Rockhold was in tears after the bout as he was being awarded his new title.

Read below for full results:


Chris David Mierzwiak vs. Dominique Steele

Round One: Steele came out quickly and stuffed a takedown. After a scramble that saw Mierzwiak go for an inverted triangle, Steele managed to escape to his feet. Mierzwiak keeps working hard for takedowns and they’re resulting in some very good scrambles. Steele getting the better of things on the feet as Mierzwiak keeps working for takedowns. Mierzwiak ends up tagging Steele with a flurry of punches that rocks him. Mierzwiak gets the takedown and jumps on the back, locking on a body triangle. Mierzwiak worked hard for the rear naked choke but Steele defended, turned into the guard, and got to his feet. Steele with some big punches but Mierzwiak answers right back. They round ends in the clinch. Very entertaining first round, non-stop action. Slight edge to Mierzwiak because he did more damage and had the more dominant positions. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Mierzwiak.

Round Two: Steele with an opening flurry and then popped right up on a takedown. Steele answered with a takedown of his own. Steele with a lot of control on top and slammed his way out of a triangle attempt. Mierzwiak worked his way to his feet, where both men engaged in a slugfest with both connecting. After a stalemate in the clinch, Steele dropped Mierzwiak with a short right. Steele got on top of Mierzwiak and pounded away for the final 40 seconds of the round but the punches weren’t major and Mierzwiak survived. Another entertaining round. Definitely Steele’s round based on damage on the feet and control on the ground. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Steele.

Round Three: All in the clinch early before Steele scored with a takedown. Mierzwiak got up but Steele put him right back down. Steele not very active this round as both men are very tired. Steele passed to side control but Mierzwiak scrambled and got the back of Steele with a minute remaining. Steele turned into the guard with 20 seconds left and finished the round on top. A lackluster round to end the fight but Steele took it with his wrestling and control. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Steele and the fight 29-28 for Steele.

Result: Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak via Unanimous Decision

Amanda Nunes vs. Alexis Davis

Round One: A lot of swinging and clinch by both women. Davis doing a good job throwing on the break and not allowing Nunes to load up by clinching. Nunes is controlling all the clinch situations but she’s not doing much damage. Davis avoided taking any big punches, but she didn’t really do a whole lot offensively. Slow round but an edge to Nunes as she did control the clinch. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Nunes.

Round Two: They clinch almost immediately and Nunes continues to show her strength by putting Davis against the cage. Davis managed to turn things around and land some short knees and punches. When they break, it’s never for more then a few seconds, where Nunes swings wild and misses, and Davis immediately clinches. Davis doing a lot better in the clinch now though with control and knees. Nunes hit a throw but Davis immediately swept her over. Davis got full mount and Nunes gave up her back. Davis unleashed a flurry of punches and the ref jumped in to stop things with just under 10 seconds remaining.

Result: Alexis Davis def. Amanda Nunes via TKO Round 2 (Punches)

Evangelista Santos vs. Jordan Mein

Round One: They trade leg kicks early with both men landing some hard ones. Mein sneaking through with his left hand. Mein landing the better punches but Santos is doing some damage with his leg kicks. Mein standing gingerly on his lead leg and briefly switching stances. Santos cut down Mein with a leg kick but Mein quickly regained his balance. The counter left is there for Mein all fight but Santos is taking it well. More big leg kicks by Santos. Close round but the leg kicks by Santos were the difference makers. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Santos.

Round Two: Santos working the inside leg kick to start this round. Santos continues to burry his shin into the leg of Mein. Mein keeps landing good counter punches though. Mein with a very good flurry after Santos missed a leg kick. Mein now finding his rhythm in this round and it’s come mostly from the southpaw position. Santos has really gone away from the leg kicks in the latter portion of the round. Mein checks some kicks at the end of the round. Another close round but Mein settled down and started picking apart Santos a bit. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Mein.

Round Three: Mein starts southpaw and picks up where he left off in the last round, picking apart and countering Santos. Mein landed a big flurry including a big body shot. Santos got backed into the cage and Mein unloaded with a series of short elbows. The ref stepped in and stopped the fight, even though Santos hadn’t gone down.

Result: Jordan Mein def. Evangelista Santos via TKO Round 3 (Elbows)

Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante

Round One: Not a lot happening early and when they do engage, they both miss. Feijao landed a big leg kick and Romero shook his head like it didn’t hurt. A lot of nothing happening as Romero is staying on the outside and Feijao is in the center waiting to engage. The ref halted the action and I think warned Romero for his lack of action but it wasn’t clear. Romero went for a late round takedown but Feijao stuffed it. Terrible round but Feijao took it because he actually landed a strike. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Feijao.

Round Two: Feijao lands a leg kick and Romero returns fire with a groin kick, which brings a quick break to the action. Feijao fights on though. Romero finally engages with a flying knee, clinches, and then swings wildly on the break. Feijao covers well and then responds with a big elbow when Romero stops throwing. The elbow backs Romero up and then his takedown is stuffed. Every time Feijao lands a strike, Romero shakes his head and taunts a bit. Feijao stuffs a takedown and then puts Romero on his back. Romero right back up though. Feijao lands a spinning backfist after missing a head kick that rocks Romero. He follows it up with a flurry of strikes, including a knee that puts Romero down. One more shot on the ground and Romero is. Great finish.

Result: Rafael Cavalancte def. Yoel Romero via KO Round 2 (Strikes)

Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Mike Kyle

Round One: Kyle presses forward early and lands a couple of good right hands. Lima responds with some good leg kicks. Kyle doing a good job mixing up his strikes, going to the body and then to the head. Lima having a lot success with the leg kicks, but that’s about it. Kyle pecking away with the jab. Kyle landed a good right that appeared to hurt Lima but Kyle stayed patient. Kyle continues to pick Lima apart with the jab followed by a straight right. Lima stumbling backwards as the round ends. All Kyle in that round 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Kyle.

Round Two: Lima opens up with a series of leg kicks and appears to be refreshed after the one minute rest. Lima now countering when Kyle throws his right hand. Lima throwing a very nice leg kick-left hook combo. Kyle finding his range once again with the jab. Kyle ended up getting a trip takedown but Lima got back up quickly. Lima appeared to complain about a low blow but Kyle took him back down. Then Lima tried to up kick Kyle while he was down but Kyle blocked it and fought on. Close round but the takedowns secured the round for Kyle. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Kyle.

Round Three: Kyle starts the round with some good left hooks. Lima continues to chop down Kyle with leg kicks, but that’s about the only strike that he’s landing with any consistency. Kyle has really slowed down though since the first round but Lima isn’t really turning it up. Kyle keeps pecking away with the jab, but is no longer putting the right hand behind it. Kyle gets a takedown with 2 minutes remaining and grinds out the rest of the round. Kyle takes the round again based on the takedown. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Kyle and the fight 30-27 for Kyle.

Result: Mike Kyle def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Unanimous Decision


Pat Healy vs. Maximo Blanco

Round One: Blanco sweeps Healy off his feet with a leg kick and gets on top. Healy ate some elbows but worked to his feet. Blanco landing a good straight right. Blanco lands a couple of big head kicks that rock Healy. Healy tries a desperation takedown but Blanco stuffs it and gets on top. Healy goes for an omoplata and to get out of it, Blanco lands a series of illegal kicks to the head of Healy. The ref stops the action and the doctor comes in to check on Healy. Healy gets cut up pretty badly from the kicks. The ref takes away a point from Blanco. Healy is good to fight on. Blanco lands a big flurry of strikes but Healy walks through them and gets a takedown. Healy ends the round on the back of Healy, landing short punches. Good round for Blanco but he was docked a point. Healy came on strong late but not enough to steal the round. 5OZ scores the round 9-9.

Round Two: Healy keeps pressing forward with the jab and walking through the punches of Blanco, who is landing his fair share of very solid punches. Healy drops Blanco with a short left. Blanco tries to get up but Healy jumps on his back and slams him down. Healy goes for the rear naked choke but can’t lock it up. Blanco escapes. Healy roughs him up with some knees before taking him down again. Healy traps the arm of Blanco on the back, rolls through, and locks on a rear naked choke from a side control position. Very impressive finish.

Result: Pat Healy def. Maximo Blanco via Submission Round 2 (Rear Naked Choke)

Muhammed Lawal vs. Roger Gracie

Round One: Slow start to the fight. Gracie staying outside with the jab and Lawal trying to find an opening. Gracie using the push kick now, following by a jumping knee. Lawal looking for the left hook but not finding Gracie’s chin. A fair amount of booing during the round as the crowd wants action. And they get it, as Lawal connects with two big right hands, the second one drops Gracie. One more on the ground and Gracie is out.

Result: Muhammed Lawal def. Roger Gracie via KO Round 1 (Punches)

Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo Souza

Round One: Rockhold sprawls on the takedown attempt but eats a right that stumbles him on the break. Souza right back on the takedown. He gets it and lands a couple of nice rights as Rockhold tries to get up. Rockhold works his way up but Souza puts him right back down. Rockhold up again but Souza stays on him in the clinch. Rockhold finally works his way out. Rockhold looking for the body kick but Souza landing a counter right when he throws it. Rockhold lands a nice flurry that started with a switch kick. Souza immediately shoots and puts Rockhold against the cage as the round ends. Pretty close round but Souza had a lot more control. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Souza.

Round Two: Rockhold looks a lot more comfortable to start this round. A lot of kicks from Rockhold early. Souza lands a couple of big right hands, the second one buckles Rockhold, but he’s right back up. Souza lands a nice elbow in the clinch before breaking. Rockhold continues to work the kicks while Souza continues to land his right hand. Souza controls the clinch for the bit before they break and Souza lands some more right hands. Rockhold presses forward to end the round. Another good and close round but Souza landed the more damaging strikes and had some clinch control. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Souza.

Round Three: Rockhold starts the round strong with some good straight punches. Rockhold keeps slamming the his legs into the arms of Souza as Souza blocks the head kick. Rockhold catches Souza with a groin kick, which causes a short break. Souza fights on. Rockhold really turning up the aggression this round. Souza gets a nice trip takedown but Rockhold gets up quickly. Souza really slowing down in this round. Rockhold really mixing things up with his striking, landing a good straight left and ending combos with leg kicks. Souza looking for nothing other than the counter right. Very good round for Rockhold, who out-struck Souza the entire time. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Rockhold.

Round Four: Souza lands a right but Rockhold fires back with a left to start the round. Rockhold putting three punch combinations together while Souza is only throwing the right. Souza finding a home for the right again this round though, but it doesn’t quite have the starch behind it that it did early. They clinch and Souza fends off the takedown. Souza lands a nice series of right hands. Rockhold starting to slow now. Souza goes for a takedown but Rockhold stuffs it. The round ends with Rockhold controlling the clinch and landing short knees. A close round but a slight edge to Rockhold based on control as the damage was about even. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Rockhold.

Round Five: Rockhold starts the round strong with his striking as Souza is slow to get off. A couple of rights by Souza allows him to get inside and clinch. Souza gets a takedown. Rockhold gets up but eats a right. Rockhold lands a flurry that seems to stumble Souza. Souza comes back with a right and a front kick, he still seems wobbly though. Rockhold trying to turn it on but Souza standing his ground with the counter right. Souza presses forward and puts Rockhold against the cage as the round ends. Extremely close fight. Could go either way and I expect some crazy scores. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Souza and the fight 48-47 for Souza.

Result: Luke Rockhold def. Ronaldo Souza via Unanimous Decision to win the Strikeforce Middleweight Title

Daniel Cormier vs. Antonio Silva

Round One: Cormier lands a big overhand right that drops Silva. Cormier pounces on him but Silva recovers and Cormier backs off, allowing Silva to get up. Quick combo by Cormier stumbles Silva, followed by another right. Cormier sprawls on a takedown, Silva pulls guard, and Cormier lets him up. Cormier catches a body kick and trips Silva down. Again Cormier lets him up. Silva lands a couple of good punches but Cormier comes back with an uppercut that drops Silva and lands a couple more punches on the ground. Silva is out. HUGE win by Cormier.

Result: Daniel Cormier def. Antonio Silva via KO Round 1 (Punches)

Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov

Round One: Barnett comes out and lands some good punches, especially the right hand. Kharitonov comes back with a couple rights of his own. Barnett lands some uppercuts before clinching and tripping Kharitonov down right into the mount. Barnett shows great control on top and pounds away on Kharitonov with short punches and hammerfists. Kharitonov gives up his back and Barnett continues to lands short punches as Kharitonov just covers up. Kharitonov rolls back into a mount and Barnett quickly locks up an arm triangle. Kharitonov taps.

Result: Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov via Submission Round 1 (Arm Triangle)

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