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Melendez out-works Masvidal, Santos dominates Yamanaka at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal”

It has been a tumultuous year for Strikeforce but the promotion is poised to close 2011 out on a high-note. Emanating live from San Diego it’s Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal, an event featuring a pair of title-fights in the form of Gilbert Melendez putting his lightweight strap on the line against always-tough Jorge Masvidal and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos returning after an eighteen-month layoff to face 12-1 grappler Hiroko Yamanaka.

The lineup is also highlighted by bouts like Gegard Mousasi vs. Ovince St. Preux and K.J. Noons vs. Billy Evangelista.

As always Five Ounces of Pain will be watching from the start and ready to relay live results back to readers. Preliminary pairings start at 8:00 PM EST with the Showtime broadcast firing up at 10:30 PM EST

Here is a full list of results including play-by-play for televised bouts:

PRELIMINARY CARD:

Herman Terrado def. Chris Brown via Submission Round 3 (Armbar)
Eddie Mendez def. Fernando Gonzalez via Split Decision
Devin Cole def. Gabriel Salinas-Jones via Unanimous Decision
Roger Bowling def. Jerron Peoples via KO Round 1 (Punches)
Caros Fodor def. Justin Wilcox via KO Round 1 (Strikes)

MAIN CARD:

Billy Evangelista vs. K.J. Noons

Round One: Noons got an early takedown but Evangelista was immediately back up and he responded with a takedown of his own, although Noons was back up immediately as well. Evangelista is the aggressor, initiating clinches and pressing forward but not really doing any damage. Evangelista scored with a knee to the body followed by a elbow after taking a knee to the body. Noons working the jab while both using the inside leg kick to keep/find their distance. Evangelista scored at the end of the round with a nice flurry in the clinch, but Noons hung tough a fired back. Close round with both men getting their shots in but a slight 10-9 edge to Evangelista based on damage, aggressiveness, and control.

Round Two: Noons tagged Evangelista early in the round and did a nice job going to the body. Evangelista is doing the pressing but Noons is doing the connecting. Noons continued to look for the uppercut, which either connected for got counter with an overhand right. Both guys tried and failed on the multiple takedown attempts. Evangelista doing a nice job with knees in the clinch and scoring on the break. Another close round that had more action. A 10-9 edge to Noons based on damage and effective striking.

Round Three: Both men landed some good strikes to start the round. Evangelista kept connecting with his right hand while Noons scored with the uppercut. Noons landed a very quick head kick after setting it up with his hands. Noons looking a lot more comfortable this round, settling into a rhythm and fighting at his pace and not Evangelista’s. Evangelista turned up the aggression but couldn’t quite find the chin of Noons. Evangelista nearly locked on a standing guillotine but Noons escaped. Both men very tired with about a minute left and just throwing arm punches. Noons still getting the better of the exchanges although Evangelista landed a good elbow near the end. Good scrap. I have the final round 10-9 for Noons and the fight 29-28 for him, but all three rounds were relatively close.

Result: KJ Noons def. Billy Evangelista via Unanimous Decision

Gegard Mousasi vs. Ovince St. Preux

Round One: Mousasi controlling the center of the cage early and landing a good straight right while OSP having trouble getting anything going. Mousasi actually got a takedown off a body kick, stood in the guard of OSP, and landed some good ground and pound before passing to side control. Mousasi tried to lock up a kimura but OSP powered out of it and ended up on top. Mousasi swept him though and rained down with punches. Mousasi got the mounted crucifix in the final seconds and was pounding away but time ran out. Excellent round for Mousasi and he takes it easily 10-9.

Round Two: OSP immediately went for a takedown but Mousasi stuffed it and then tripped him down to the mat. Mousasi stayed active in the half guard with strikes for nearly three minutes but the ref decided to stand them up. OSP managed to get a takedown into side control but couldn’t do anything as Mousasi worked to his feet. Mousasi stuffs a takedown at the end of the round. Another clear 10-9 round for Mousasi.

Round Three: OSP quickly got up from an early takedown and then put Mousasi on his back and into side control. OSP achieved mount and tried to land some strikes but Mousasi easily bucked him off, got up, and took down OSP but didn’t do much. OSP managed to escape and end up on top as round ended, working for a d’arce choke. A back and fourth round but the action was pretty slow. A slight edge to OSP though as he did have the better positions throughout the round, but I still have Mousasi winning 29-28.

Result: Gegard Mousasi def. Ovince St. Preux via Unanimous Decision

Cristiane Santos vs. Hiroko Yamanaka

Round One: Santos immediately dropped Yamanaka, swarmed on her, and nearly finished her but Yamanaka survived, got up, got dropped again, took more punches, and the ref stopped it. It was quick and painful for Yamanaka but not unexpected. Stoppage could be argued, but that poor girl was going to get killed if it went on any longer.

Result: Cristiane Santos def. Hiroko Yamanaka via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)

Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal

Round One: Melendez having success with the one-two combo early in the fight. Every time Masvidal gets hit, he smiles and waves Melendez on. Masvidal started to pick things up and put together some combinations but Melendez hung in there and fired back. Masvidal lands a nice combo and then started working the jab. Melendez got a takedown off a body kick and nearly locked on a guillotine on the scramble but Masvidal escaped. Both men landing some good shots as the round ends. Good round of action with a 10-0 edge to Melendez based on more effective striking.

Round Two: Melendez starts the round going to the body and mixing things up. Masvidal having a tough time getting off with his strikes as he’s allowing Melendez to fight at his pace. Melendez continues to be the busier of the two with the strikes, mixing things up with his hands and throwing in some leg kicks. Melendez landing a good counter right whenever Masvidal throws a kick or knee. Another good round for Melendez, who looks very comfortable on his feet and is landing more effectively. 10-9 to Melendez.

Round Three: Masvidal stuffed a takedown and landed a good right but Melendez came back with a right of his own. Melendez continues to land the more effective strikes, landing a good one-two and controlling the pace. Masvidal finally shows a little life, landing a jumping knee and right that knocked the mouth piece of Melendez out. Melendez came right back with some good flurries though. Masvidal with a beautiful left to the body but against Melendez comes back with a nice combo. Masvidal doing a nice job with the jab but Melendez is still the aggressor overall. The best round of the bunch of Masvidal, but I still think Melendez took it 10-9 as he landed the better and more damaging punches.

Round Four: More of the same from Melende to start the round. A lot of one-two and one-one-two combinations along with good right hand counters when Masvidal kicks. Masvidal’s only success is the jab, but it’s only one average striking compared to the two and three strikes with power of Melendez. Crowd growing restless in this round and start booing a bit. Melendez continues to out-box Masvidal, although his eye is swelling a bit from the cumulation of jabs. Masvidal lands a right as the round ends. Another 10-9 round for Melendez.

Round Five: Masvidal continues to have success with the jab but that’s about it. Masvidal wins a nice exchange with a body shot and a couple of lefts. Melendez keeps landing the straight right behind the jab. Masvidal picking things up more in this round. Like most of the fight, Masvidal is one and done while Melendez is putting together combinations. A good exchange to end the fight where both men landing some clean shots. Masvidal actually got the back of Melendez briefly on a scramble but Melendez was easily up and out. Masvidal may have taken that round because his jab was very good but Melendez still landed the harder punches. I have a clean sweep for Melendez, 50-45.

Result: Gilbert Melendez def. Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision