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The Scorecard – Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal

The Scorecard hits the highs and lows of the latest big event offering in MMA. Points are assigned completely at random but stay between ten and negative ten because I hate math.

The final Strikeforce event of the year featured the best fighter not in the UFC and the best female fighter on the planet and yet it felt like any random MMA event on HDNet. Maybe it was because the San Diego crowd was too busy getting prepared for the Chargers Sunday showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on NBC or the Showtime crowd was too busy getting prepared for Sunday’s Dexter and Homeland season finales, but things just didn’t feel important on Saturday night.

Lets go to the scorecard:

*While I didn’t turn it to Showtime at 10:30 because I watched the boxing fight, I’m sure some people did and they didn’t see MMA. I fully blame Showtime for poor time management, knowing that the Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch fight could run into the Strikeforce start time if it went to a decision but they still took 30 minutes to get the guys in the ring. MINUS FOUR

*I hate the Strikeforce highlight video that runs prior to all their events. Half the people they show in the video don’t even compete in Strikeforce anymore. Hopefully they update it or get rid of it next year. MINUS TWO

*According to Mauro Ranallo, Saturday was the biggest night in combat sports history due to the Super Six Final and Strikeforce. It wasn’t even the biggest night in combat sports in the last 2 months. November 12 (UFC on FOX & Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 3) says hello. MINUS THREE

*Frank Shamrock’s braces. Nothing else needs to be said. MINUS TWO

*Big fan of the “Encore/Numb” mash-up by Jay-Z and Linkin Park so I salute Billy Evangelista for making it his walk out song. PLUS TWO

*K.J. Noons tops Evangelista though by using “All Eyez On Me” by 2Pac. You can never go wrong with 2Pac. PLUS THREE

*It’s not obligatory to mention Chuck Liddell on the Strikeforce broadcast but I’ll give them the obligatory points. PLUS THREE

*I think Pat Miletich provides great insight, but I’m not fully convinced that he knows how to score fights. MINUS ONE

*Fun scrap between Noons and Evangelista. I’m not very high on either guy but I take nothing away from what was a fun fight. PLUS FOUR

*Extra points to the fighters for putting on a nice scrap to kick off the main card. PLUS THREE

*”I have that fire back,” says Noons. Yes. That’s why you lost to Nick Diaz and Masvidal. It’s due to a lack of fire. MINUS ONE

*These backstage interviews always suck. The fighters never say anything important and you know they don’t want to do them. They should be done away with. MINUS TWO

*Really Ovince St. Preux, “We Fly High” by Jim Jones? That was cool five years ago. MINUS TWO

*Kudos to Mauro for working in a Tim Tebow mention during the broadcast even though Shamrock and Miletich completely no sold it. PLUS TWO

*Nice slip of the tongue by Mauro saying, “F*cking bronco” and not “bucking bronco.” PLUS FOUR

*I think the announcers only said “St. Pierre” and “GSP” twice during the OSP fight, so I’ll actually give them credit for not slipping more than that. PLUS TWO

*Even though I thought Gegard Mousasi vs. St. Preux was kind of lackluster, I give credit to Mousasi for really improving his wrestling. PLUS THREE

*That said, St. Preux clearly isn’t as good as people thought he was. His striking looked atrocious and he failed to capitalize on a number of dominant positions. MINUS TWO

*Although I appreciate Mousasi knowing that his performance wasn’t good, don’t ever pull out an excuse card. MINUS ONE

*What an awkward interview with Josh Barnett. However, it was refreshing change from his “I AM A WARLORD!” promo and I thought his analysis on the two title fights was good. PLUS TWO

*If you thought Cristiane Santos vs. Hiroko Yamanaka was going to go any other way, please stop reading. EVEN

*Mrs. Cyborg is a bad woman. I realize that her competition isn’t good (although Yamanaka was the #2 ranked woman in the division, if that means anything) but it still speaks volumes about her skill, power, and killer instinct that she dominates like she does. PLUS FIVE

*Extra point to Santos for getting that chick out of the cage quickly. PLUS THREE

*Also extra points to her for working on and improving her English. PLUS THREE

*Why hello there Ronda Rousey. PLUS THREE

*All the Social Media segments were utterly pointless and made worse by the fact that Heidi Androl isn’t very good. MINUS TWO

*I don’t know what it is, but Strikeforce main events never have that “big fight feel” that UFC bouts have. Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal should have felt like a big fight but it just didn’t. MINUS ONE

*Very impressive performance by Melendez. While Masvidal was very underwhelming, I give credit to Melendez for mixing up his attacks and really improving his striking over the years. PLUS FIVE

*Extra points to Melendez because he played Masvidal’s game for 25 minutes and cruised. PLUS FOUR

*That said, Masvidal brought nothing to the table except a jab until the final minute of the fight. MINUS THREE

*My favorite part of the entire fight was Miletich owning Mauro and Shamrock on commentary in the fifth round with the whole “Masvidal is marking up Melendez’s face and landing a better percentage of strikes” argument. PLUS THREE

*Not a good post-fight promo by Melendez. Maybe he was told beforehand not to go all Nick Diaz, but there wasn’t much passion in his voice about fighting in the UFC. MINUS FOUR

*According to sources, Showtime was going to show some preliminary fights if they had time. Unfortunately they didn’t have time, and you know why? Because they started the show 10 minutes late due to boxing. MINUS THREE

*And finally, Mauro and Pat fumble the ending with the stupid Facebook poll question. What a fitting ending. MINUS TWO

*Overall, I didn’t think the fights were bad, but everything just felt so underwhelming. It’s pretty clear that, no matter what anyone says, Strikeforce is the secondary promotion and to think otherwise is just stupid. An event should be judged by the fights though and none of the fights were terrible, so I’ll give them some positive points. PLUS FIVE

Final Score: 24

For a more in-depth look at this Strikeforce event, make sure to check out tomorrow’s Five Ounces of Podcast with Samer Kadi and myself.