We are live, watching Strikeforce Challengers 16 on Showtime. The action is coming from the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. Our announcers are Mauro Ranallo on play-by-play and Steven Quadros and Pat Miletich on color.
1. Ladies 145 pounds - Germaine de Randamie (2-1) vs. Julia Budd (1-1)
These two have fought before in Muay Thai, with Randamie winning. In fact, Randamie won 46 Muay Thai fights in a row and won 10 kickboxing titles. Impressive!
Budd does not want to get her head kicked in again, so she is sticking to Randamie, first against the cage and then on the mat. Budd goes for the armbar, but Randamie spins out.
Announcers say neither fighters is ready to challenge Chris "Cyborg" Santos for the Strikeforce women's welterweight belt. Give that round to Budd.
Round 2: Budd is outgrappling Randamie but can't take her down. Finally she does. Randamie walks the cage to escape side control. Budd with another takedown, refusing to let Randamie use her striking skills. Budd wins Round 2 as well.
Round 3: Finally, Randamie outslugs Budd and is on top, dropping some bombs. Budd back with another takedown and needs to run out the clock. Randamie tries for a triangle with no luck. Ref stands them up, Budd eats a knee but lands right back on top.
Winner: Julia Budd by unanimous decision (29-28)
2. Welterweights: Quinn Mulhearn (15-1) vs. Jason High (13-3)
Mulhearn comes out to "Seven Nation Army" by White Stripes. High is rockin' the KC Royals hat and gold chain. Mulhearn is 6-3, with a six-inch height advantage.
High with a pair of takedown but then steps away to avoid Mulhearn's Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Third takedown for High but Mulhearn is going for a heel hook. High escapes. Have to give Round 1 to High with all the takedowns.
Round 2: More of the same as Mulhearn runs into a GIANT takedown by High. Miletich stuffs a Steven Seagal reference by Ranallo on commentary. Round 2 goes to High, who can't finish Mulhearn but can take him down at will.
Round 3: Mulhearn keeps getting dumped on his head. His only hope is to hit a BJJ submission on his back. Can he do it? No.
Winner: Jason High by unanimous decision (30-27)
3. Light heavyweights: Lorenz Larkin (10-0) vs. Gian Villante (7-2)
We see highlights of Larkin's win over Scott Lighty on the last episode of Challengers on April 1. Larkin came out to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" after that song was mistakenly played for Villante.
Villante starts with leg kicks and then a nice takedown. He controls the action for the rest of the way. That's a 10-8 round for Larkin.
Round 2 features more standup, which should favor Larkin, who is up against the cage but is landing knees and punches to the legs of Villante. Larking opening the offense with kicks, uppercuts and a big knee that Villante shrugs off.
With 11 seconds left, we get a timeout as Larkin lands a kick to the groin. Villante should have taken the full five minutes because he's just been standing there. Villante gets cussed out by his cornerman at the break.
Round 3 starts with another break for an eyepoke? No, the ref says fight on. Slower pace as Villante is having a hard time pulling the trigger. Nice jabs by Larkin. He's going to win this fight as he ends it with a takedown.
Winner: Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision (all 29-28)
Lightweights: Ryan Couture (2-0) vs. Matt Ricehouse (4-0)
Ricehouse comes out to "The Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel as we see highlights of his win in December 2010 over Tom Aaron. Big ovation for Couture, and then we see clips of his victory over Lee Higgins in February.
Both men evenly matched in the early going. Couture channels his dad (who is in his corner) by working Ricehouse over against the fence. Ricehouse responded in kind. Couture on his back but Ricehouse not coming in to take the bait. Even 10-10 round.
Round 2 and neither man can get a clear advantages, and they are both switching from righty to lefty stances and back. Both men stop takedown attempts as well. Ricehouse steals the round at the end with a superman punch and liver kick.
Round 3 sees Couture land some more strong strikes as he knows he's behind. Ricehouse dumps Couture with two minutes left. Both men fighting for that last big punch as time runs out. Couture won the round. I score it a draw, but I think Ricehouse will win the fight by a hair.
Winner: Matt Ricehouse by unanimous decision (29-28)
MAIN EVENT: Lightweights: Caros Fodor (8-2) vs. James Terry (10-2)
We hear Nirvana (YES!) play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as Terry comes out and we watch him KO Josh Thornburg on the last Challengers show. Fodor is from Kirkland, Wash. and the crowd loves him. We see clips of him also winning on the last show over David Douglas.
Terry controls the action early against the fence, but Fodor turns things around with constant forward movement and aggression. Terry is bleeding, and Fodor wins Round 1.
Round 2: Terry fights for a takedown and finally gets it and goes for an arm-triangle. Fodor pushes him off. Fodor outstriking Terry in quality and quantity.
Round 3: Terry's striking is looking a lot better. Low knee by Fedor leads to a brief timeout. Another low knee. "Come on, man! Terry says. Battling and brawling at the end, but Terry, I believe has run out of time.
Winner by unanimous decision: Caros Fodor (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
All decisions. Good fight and good night!
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