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Welcome to Bleacher Report's live round by round coverage and analysis of Strikeforce: Houston, which is only live on free TV if you have Showtime as part of your cable package.
If you're watching the fights tonight on Showtime, the official main card will begin immediately at 9PM Central (10PM EST) at which point your play-by play overage of the event will begin!
From out of the frying pan into the fire, my name is Dale De Souza and I will be providing you with round-by-round coverage of the action as it happens right here on Bleacher Report!
Are you ready?
Unaired Preliminary Card Quick Results
Chad Cook Vs. Arteneus Young - Arteneus Young def. Chad Cook via unanimous decision
Humberto DeLeon vs. Chad Robichaux - Chad Robichaux def. Humberto DeLeon via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Jose Santibanez vs. Reynaldo Trujillo - Reynaldo Trujillo def. Jose Santibanez via TKO in the first round.
Kier Gooch vs. Adam Schindler - Adam Schindler def. Kier Gooch via submission (rear naked choke) in the first round
Vinicius Magalhaes vs. Rocky Long - Vinicius Magalhaes def. Rocky Long via unanimous decision
Sherdog.com Preliminary Card Quick Results
Andre Galvao vs. Jorge Patino-- Andre Galvao def. Jorge Patino via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 2:45
Notes: Patino had himself a good first round, forcing Galvao out of his element and controlling him when he could, but the first round looked to take a lot out of him, because he just wasn't able to mount any offense or present any defense in the next two rounds. Throwing that uppercut in the third and missing took something out of him for sure, because he couldn't configure an answer for that takedown that led to his demise. Good win for Galvao.
Daniel Cormier vs. Jason Riley -- Daniel Cormier def. Jason Riley via submission (strikes) - Round 1, 1:02.
Notes: Well this one didn't last too long, now did it? Anyone wondering about why people care about Daniel Cormier got their answer tonight. He let his hands explode on Riley, and gave Riley no room to defend. Don't be surprised if you see Cormier's name in the top 5 of Strikeforce's Heavyweight division anytime in the future.
And now, let the main card action begin -- Strikeforce Houston is now LIVE!
Mauro Ranallo, Frank Shamrock, and Gus Johnson are hyping up our two main event fights of the night, and they'll be on commentary tonight, as always.
Main Card Results
Bobby Lashley vs. Chad " The Grave Digger" Griggs
Bobby Lashley is still seen as a prospect at heavyweight and many think this man has a future, while many others are either not seeing what the fuss is about or they're just waiting for Lashley to face former WWE peer David Bautista Jr. in the cage.
Whether Lashley makes the move towards the upper echelon of Strikeforce's 265 pound division depends on what happens in his next few fights, but this fight against Chad Griggs might be a step in the right direction.
Griggs is in the cage oppostie Lashley. Griggs will be lighter, but the BJJ expert will give up a five inch reach.
Lashley is in black trunks, Griggs is in red trunks.
ROUND ONE: They touch gloves and they feel oeach other out before Lashley takes him down. Lashley gets side control and Griggs moves around, holding him down briefly. Lashley hits Griggs in the face but nothing major. Crowd starts to boo while both men struggle for control. Lashley eventually gets North-South position but after getting side control on the other side they stand themselves up.
Lashley takes Griggs down again but they both stand back up. Lashley and Griggs are against the cage. Ref breaks them up as both aren't being active and Lashley takes Griggs down again with a double leg. Before the double leg, Griggs uppercuts Lashley and cuts him open but the fight continues.
Takedown number four lands both on the floor again, and we're only about a couple of minutes into the action!
Lashley is in Griggs' half guard but Griggs moves a little bit and eats a right. They get away from the cage for a while where but eventually Griggs' head moves towards the cage. Serious ground-n-pound from Lashley to get Griggs away from the cage.
Lashley goes back and forth between holding Griggs down and delivering some ground and pound offense from the top. Griggs is still in the fight but both men are stood up by the ref.
Clock stops at thirty three seconds to check Lashley's eye out. Fight continues, and Griggs is standing, pounding away at Lashley. The ref stops the fight after a few strikes land, but Lashley looks winded at the end.
After the replay, it's shown that Lashley was just holding on to the leg while Griggs swung away.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Chad Griggs def. Bobby Lashley by TKO at the tail end of Round Two.
Griggs is classy in his postfight interview. This probably isn't Lashley's last run in MMA.
The Cyborg couple, Dan Henderson, and Herschel Walker are in the crowd.
Luke Rockhold is interviewed about his October 9th fight, and after all of that we are ready for our Lightweight bout on the main card as the prefight interview package is shown for Noons vs. Gurgel.
KJ Noons vs. Jorge Gurgel
Jorge Gurgel may be in for a tough test when he faces KJ Noons, who is going into this fight with all the hype surrounding his striking, especially his Boxing skills.
Can Gurgel neutralize this Boxing skill, or will Noons prove too much for the UFC veteran?
Gurgel comes down to pyro. He wll be in a pink battle-skirt, a la Melvin Mahoef. He will actuallu be fighting in black shorts, a la GSP.
Noons comes down calmy to the cage. I dont recall the name of the guy who reffed the last fight, but it appears as though Big John McCarthy will be handling this one.
Noons is two pounds heavier than Gurgel but only has a two inch reach on him.
Kerry Hatley will be reffing the fight tonight... so WHY was Big John out there again? LOL!
ROUND ONE: They touch gloves, and Noon leans in for a left but nearly gets caught by Gurgel. Noons answers back though. Gurgel circles around the cage and lands a good left straight followed by a kick. Lots of movement in the early going as the two very briefly exchange.
Gurgel finds himself backin up against the cage a few times even as he's circling the cage. A Nice leg kick by Gurgel and Noons returns the favor with a little more than a minute left in the fight.
At about fifty-five seconds a low kick attempt by Noons touches but doesn't hit. Noons counterstrikes every time Gurgel tries to land a shot up close. Round ends with a fast exchange and I see Gurgel on the ground as the round stops.
If that last shot wasn't considered "after the bell", put me down as 10-9 for Noons.
ROUND TWO: Noons superior boxing takes hold as almost twenty seconds into the fight, a left uppercut knocks Gurgel down and Noons lands a knee before Hatley stops the fight.
After the replay, this one could be a DQ win for Gurgel, but I'm not sure.
OFFICIAL DECISION:KJ Noons wins via TKO (strikes) at nineteen seconds into Round Two. Looks like the knee was clean.
A look at some ShoBoxing fights and Dexter shows on the screen. Time-filler? Maybe, but still a good way to keep the show going.
A look at Kennedy vs. Jacare show thanks to EA Sports' MMA game.
That's EA Sports, because THQ ain't payin' them nothin'!
Okay, now Kennedy gets a good swig of water in and the package for Kennedy vs. Jacare is on.
If you're betting on a good fight, you're going home a rich dude. I can promise you that.
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship:
Tim Kennedy vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza
I had the honor of interviewing Tim Kennedy a week after his win over Trevor Prangley and the man is nothing short of a classy guy. He also told me what he's said time and time again -- that he feels that most guys have a hard time keeping up with him as far as toughness and cardio are concerned.
Surely he'll look to push Jacare and either finish him or run his gas tank dry in twenty-five minutes, but look for Jacare to keep Kennedy in a number of dangerous situations on the ground as much as ppossible throughout the fight.
The winner of this will have earned the win for sure, because he'll have gone through some hell in order to get the win.
As the introductions happen, Jacare comes out rocking some fresh Throwdown apparel and man, is he fired up!
Some of Jacare's corner whisper last minute instructions to him as Tim Kennedy is out in Ranger Up apparel.
A guy who walks down calmly to the cage is a bad sign for the guy opposing him. Our Armed Forces and a number of people in Ranger Up gear are shown.
Kennedy's Kickboxing meets Jacare's BJJ.
This looks as though it's going to kick some major league ass.
Jacare is in white trunks, while the Austin, TX Army Ranger rocks the colors of the Lone Star State on his.
Big John gets this one.
ROUND ONE: They touch gloves, as Kennedy is cautious and Jacare is as well, but Kennedy is backing up a little bit against the cage. Three shots are thrown, two from Kennedy and one from Jacare. A leg kick from Jacare lands, as does a return kick from Kennedy.
A right head kick is blocked by Jacare. Kennedy counters a shot from Jacare with an overhand right after a few exchanges. Seems Jacare's striking is better than some anticipated.
An uppercut misses from Kennedy. Is he starting off slowly to make Jacare run out? It could be the plan. but the Jacare gets dropped by a left hook from Kennedy and after being against the cage for a little bit they stand, though nothing lands afterwards as the round ends.
I have it 10-9 Jacare, but it's earl to say he's got the fight.
ROUND TWO: THey circle the cage with a few shots landing in between. Both men are being cautious, as they don't want to let their hands fly too early. Kennedy comes forward with a combination that stuns Jacares for about two seconds, but Jacare thwarts an attempt at a push against the cage.
Kennedy eats afew shots before being caught momentarily in a dirty boxing clinch. Knees from Kennedy connect to the body but Jacare fires back with a quick right. Nice leg kick by Kennedy at almost a minute and ten left on the clock. Kenendy and Jacare get closer but shots go up in smoke, though Kennedy does manage to land a superman punch.
The round is about even, as a takedown attempt was stopped by Jacare and Kennedy respectively. Let's stay with that
ROUND THREE: A King Mo interview is aired and afterwards the two manage to circle and engage whenever possible. They go back into the middle of the cage, but now Jacare is backing up against the cage, keeping Kennedy waiting. A kick to Jacare's side lands and then Kenendy blocks some shots from Jacare.
Kennedy lands a right kick to Jacare's left leg, and then gets Jacare on the ground. They scramble out after a few seonds of action. Kennedy's left eye has a cut, possibly above it, but he's still going onward..
Big John stops the clock to check out the eye, and no way in hell is Kennedy backing out of this one.
Because of the cut, Jacare gets this round, 10-9.
He rests up and touches gloves with Jacare. They trade some shots and that trade ends with Kennedy kicking Jacare in the stomach Kennedy lands a kick at the same time that a left straight lands.
Footwork by Jacare and a wild overhand right hits the air for Kennedy. A superman right misses as well, but a body blow with the right for Kennedy hits Jacare, as does a nice combo.
Big John stops the clock because that kick that ended Kennedy's last combo hit a little bit low.
Jacare is resting up. Good move to take advantage of the rest period.
Fight continues on and Jacare goes wild but Kennedy Sprawls.
Nice body movements from Kennedy to avoid Jacare's shots and this round is over.
Jacare was 30-29 against Kennedy on my scorecard, but Kennedy just made it 39-39 even with this round. The next round is the decision maker
ROUND FIVE: Both men are going to have to finish to get the win because I think this one could be a razor-thin one.
Both men eat shots for portions of the first three minutes, stalking each other in between.
A shot connects from Kennedy, but Jacare gets back control and the two scramble to their feet. One hell of a takedown from a bloodied Kennedy ends the round.
The whole fight was close, but I don't doubt a partisan crowd affecting the decision.
The fifth went to Kennedy, 10-9, but I'm not sure the decision did.
OFFICIAL DECISION: All three judges saw the fight in favor of your NEW Strikeforce Middleweight Champion... Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza!
That being said, no one can say Kennedy didn't bring it to Jacare.
I think the Unanimous Decision's two major contributing factors were that ill-aimed kick from Kennedy and the cut he suffered. I give Jacare his, though. I wasn't expecting him to do what he did on the feet, although there may be some dispute over this decision.
Far be it from Kennedy to be anything less than classy, though. The man lost it to a better fighter and he's going out as if he did win the belt.
The Army Ranger ain't done and neither is Jacare, but you can bet the bulls-eye is very comfortably branded on the back of the new champion.
King Mo's first defense is up next, and this is the moment you've all been waiting for... Now, it's on!
King Mo vs. Feijao... Only one can be champion.
Strikeforce Light Hevyweight Championship:
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante
Feijao walks down to the cage and gets a nice reception. I swear Wanderlei Silva is in Feijao's corner... so I guess he's a Wand Fight Team guy.
I'm going to kick myself for this... I thought he was Black House.
Anyway, the fire, pyros and smoke all go off as Muhammed The King makes his way down with his own patented swagger, which turns quickly into a deep focus as he knows what's ahead of him.
Quick outlook: Feijao will be the better striker, but I don't really know how good he is off his back.
If he is a BJJ black belt, he'll need to show it against former Plano East Senior High standout King Mo, who is an explosive wrestler and will look to use it against Feijao.
Both men are introduced to the crowd, and Big John will ref this fight.
Mo will be in black and white trunks, while Feijao's are all black.
ROUND ONE: They touch gloves and Feijao goes in for a big right early but Mo tries to take down Feijao. Feijao defends the first attempt but can't do much against the second.
Both men are back ontheir feet pretty quickly but they go back to the center of the cage. Mo lands a nice right, and with about two mnutes left on the clock, caution is becoming key. Mo eats what appears to be a right uppercut and two knees from a Muay Thai Clinch, followed by one more right and one more knee almost afterward.
Another big shot is thrown by Feijao and they circle around. a left hook misses as the first round ends.
I give Feijao a narrow loss of the round , with Mo at 10-9, but those knees hurt like hell for Mo probably.
ROUND TWO: Feijao hits a nice leg kick to the left leg of Mo. Short jabs from Feijao land, but Mo is still in this. He has Feijao circling around the cage, where a wild high kick nearly rocks Mo, who still managed to take Feijao down.
Fight goes back to the feet and two rights miss Mo, but they get him to back up. Mo lands a couple of body shots against the cage but can't land too much after.
Mo hits Feijao a couple of times after Feijao misses an uppercut.
We're down to the last sixty of the round and Mo lands a body shot , then pins Feijao against the cage to end the round.
Mo wins another one, 10-9
ROUND THREE: Feijao lands a few shots aggressively on a seemingly tired Mo, who is getting beaten by strikes from Feijao. Mo can barely hang on to Feijao who is laying them in, and after a few more shots, Feijao is blemish numero uno on the record of King Mo!
OFFICIAL DECISION: As Feijao is rightfully overcome with emotion upon the win, the combination that finished off Mo is shown on the replay, and the announcer has the official tme of the finish.
Feijao dethrones King Mo at 1:14 of Round Three due to a TKO by strikes, and it appears on the fight stats that Feijao did more striking on the ground than what some might have seen.
Feijao is emotional after the loss, but the man ends the win, and I think he may make a great Light Heavyweight Champion.
Gus Johnson interviews King Mo and Mo has fallen, buthe adits he has some adjustments to make and takes nothing away from Feijao's efforts.
A texting poll shows 14% out of favor for a tournament format, leaving 86% in favor of it. The poll was probably referring to the possible eight man tournament, which I personally favor, but we'll see.
Well, that about wraps it up for this live blog of Strikeforce Houston, so from the Lone Star State, I'm your neighborhood Man On Fire, Dale De Souza, reminding you to keep tuning in to Bleacher Report's live ongoing MMA coverage on the Internet, and once again, thank you for joining me for this live play-by-play of what was certainly a night of surprises!
Farewell from Texas, Bleacher Report, but I'll be back soon.