UFC 156 saw several former Strikeforce fighters enter the UFC cage for the first time, and things went well for those men.
First up on the docket was Isaac Vallie-Flagg. He stepped in to the Octagon to battle UFC veteran Yves Edwards.
It was a close and competitive fight, but Vallie-Flagg came out on top against a tough opponent. The Strikeforce lightweight pressed the action and gave Edwards a variety of problems. Unorthodox striking and constant pressure did not allow Edwards to implement his style of offense.
The win moved him to 14-3-1 overall with five straight wins. He still has a lot of room to grow, but it was a great start to his UFC career.
The next fight brought in Bobby Green to the organization. He was taking on vaunted grappler Jacob Volkmann.
Green put on one of the more shocking performances of the night. He survived Volkmann's offense and Kim Winslow's poor refereeing.
The former Strikeforce fighter got Volkmann on his back and dominated him. When Green got on top he landed significant ground-and-pound, and that led to the finish. Green rocked Volkmann and ended the fight with a rear-naked choke just 35 seconds prior to hitting the scorecards. It was a big debut for the lightweight.
The last Strikeforce fighter entering the UFC for the first time at UFC 156 was Tyron Woodley.
Woodley was one of the organization's top prospects and one of the best 170-pound prospects in the world. Nate Marquardt knocked him out in his last bout, and now he would be taking on the ever-tough Jay Hieron.
It was not tough for Woodley.
Woodley clocked Hieron and dropped him. The immediate follow-up strikes came, and he finished him off on the ground with a brutal shot to the head. It only took 36 seconds.
One could count Alistair Overeem as a Strikeforce fighter on the card, but he had already debuted against Brock Lesnar. So, for the debuting Strikeforce fighters they went 3-0. A very good start to show that Strikeforce was a legitimate organization.
This is similar to how the WEC alums proved themselves early and often when the UFC brought them over.
Strikeforce fared well at UFC 156, and now that raises the expectations for future debuts as the UFC implements the new talent on future cards. Vallie-Flagg, Green and Woodley, however, put their mark on UFC 156.
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