Strikeforce: Miami - Compelling but Uncompetitive
Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims
This was the mis-match everyone thought it would be. From the beginning, Lashley took this fight down and controlled position and was really letting his hands go. Finally got Sims back and pounded him out in under two minutes.
This fight proved two things: Bobby Lashley needs much tougher competition, and Wes Sims should never be on a card people pay to see ever again. According to Josh Gross's twitter account, Sims got paid $30,000 to get pounded on for two minutes. If you're looking for a heavyweight to get beat up for 30 grand at the next event, sign me up!
Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
Earlier in the week, Lawler had said in an interview with mmafighting.com that he wanted to stand with Manhoef. We all took this as crazy pre-fight hype that everyone says. We were wrong. Lawler decided he was going to stand with Manhoef, and for most of the short fight, it proved disadvantageous.
Manhoef was throwing heavy hooks that were landing and was using left leg kick to really tear Lawler apart. Lawler was clearly having trouble standing on his front left and Manhoef was pushing the action until Lawler caught Manhoef clean on the temple. All it took was one punch and Lawler walked away proving everyone wrong.
The talk has turned to what happens next for both of these fighters. The commentators had discussed a possible rematch with Shields. We will have to see just what Shields can do against the toughest competition of his career come April. There are lots of fights at middleweight, however. Perhaps a Jacare vs. Lawler No. 1 contenders fight could be in the works?
As for Manhoef, I personally cannot wait to see what he does next. His striking offense was clean and crisp, but he clearly needs to be a little more careful. Lawler said in his post-fight interview he recognized Manhoef dropping his hands when going for the kill. Wait for Manhoef to go for the kill is a risky strategy, but you can't argue with results.
Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
Well, I guess this would be considered an impressive performance. Walker controlled the action from the opening bell. His leg kicks were effective but hilariously awful. His stance was jittery and uptight, but as I said before, you can't argue with results. Walker showed good take down defense and had a really nice take down himself in the second round.
Walker had everyone advantageous position you could have during the fight. Back mount, mount, side control...he had them all. The problem was that Walker seemed extremely gunshy, and the punches he did throw were not powerful or ill-intentioned.
After the fight, Walker was unsure what would be next for his career. I don't mind him trying the sport, but I don't want to pay to see it at this point. His was obviously green and will need to work much harder if he wants to return to a main card Strikeforce fight.
145 lb Women's Championship: Cris "Cyborg" Santos vs. Marloes Coenen
With North American fans fairly unfamiliar with Coenen, there were a lot of questions coming into the fight. Santos had not to this point had her submission defense or cardio tested. Santos answered both questions soundly. Santos showed great striking and no fear when on the ground in a third round ground-and-pound victory.
Coenen showed heart by staying in the fight as long as she did and had her right straight working well for her, landing it numerous times but Cyborg's overwhelming style proved too much. She stayed in Coenen's face the entire fight and gave her no room to move.
What could possibly be next for Cyborg? They brought up the possibility of Erin Toughhill and I suspect she will get the next shot. Toughhill does hold a victory over Coenen and would be the first legitimate 145lb fighter Cyborg has faced to date; however, I do not see her doing any better than any of Cyborg's other victims.
This fight brings up the question of whether or not Cyborg is the top pound-for-pound female fighter yet again, and I still would argue no. Fighters such as Megumi Fujii have been destroying opponents for much longer, but Cyborg again proved she is well on her way.
170 lb Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis
The common consensus among fans and journalists I talked to was that Diaz would likely have to take this fight to the ground if he wanted to be successful. We were wrong. Diaz used both his reach and unorthodox boxing style to slowly tear apart Zaromskis and wear him out. Diaz again proved to have some of the best body punches in mixed martial arts and used them to soften Zaromskis up for an overwhelmed KO late in the first round.
Despite the one-sided affair, Zaromskis nearly knocked Diaz out himself with a left hook. The biggest challenge for Zaromskis appeared to be his lack of reach. His punches simply were not reaching Diaz, and he got picked apart.
No guess work is needed for whats next for Nick Diaz. Jay Heiron defeated Joe Riggs in what was apparently a lackluster affair on the pre-lims (thanks EA Sports...). Although Heiron seems to be cursed from ever appearing on television, he is up next for a fight against Diaz. An interesting fight indeed.
Overall the card proved entertaining and compelling, but it was also one of the most uncompetitive cards in recent memory. Not one of the fights was even close. If nothing else, at least we received a few answers. We seemed to have forgotten about Lawler's KO power, but he brought it out.
Herschel Walker will never hold a world title. Cyborg Santos has both great top work and good conditioning and continues to appear unstoppable. Last but not least, Nick Diaz's well rounded game makes him a top-five welterweight in my opinion. His boxing is among the sports best and his ground game is always something to fear.
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