We are live watching Showtime—it's Strikeforce Challengers 18 from The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joe Duarte will face Jorge Gurgel in our main event.
Lead announcer Mauro Ranallo greets us along with analysts Pat Miletich and Stephen Quadros. Here we go!
1. LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS—Roy "The Wolf" Jones (6-1) vs. Derrick "Caveman" Mehmen (11-3)
Mehmen is a wrestler out of America's Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. Jones is fighting out of the Imperial camp in Boca Raton, Florida.
Jones delivers two huge knee strikes, but Mehmen somehow survives. A low blow from Jones gives Mehmen a well-needed break, and then he scoops Jones off his feet and slams him down. Mehmen dominates the rest of the round with wrestling. Jones wins the round.
Round 2 begins and Jones throws another huge knee. Mehmen is busted WIDE open. He is gushing blood, but wants to continue. A doctor checks him out, but Mehmen fights on. It's down to the mat where Mehmen dominates again. Blood is everywhere, but Mehmen is winning the round!
In Round 3, Jones tries a guillotine, but Mehmen is too slippery and Jones is stuck on the bottom again. Announcers are second-guessing that strategy. Jones is back to his feet, but can't hit anything else dramatic.
Winner by unanimous decision: a bloody Derrick Mehmen.
2. WOMEN'S 145-POUNDERS: Sarah "The Monster" D'Alelio (4-1) vs. "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey (2-0)
D'Alelio was supposed to fight Gina Carano next, but that bout fell through. Rousey is a judo artist whose two wins are both by submission.
After 25 seconds, the fight is stopped. Why? Nobody knows. Replay shows NO TAP. Why did the ref stop the fight?
Here's the post-fight interview:
Ronda: She said "Tap."
Sarah: I said "Ahh."
Ronda: She said "something."
Clearly, it's a she said-she said.
Winner by submission: Ronda Rousey (tap out that we didn't see).
3. LIGHTWEIGHTS: Pat "Bam Bam" Healy (26-17) vs. Eric "Little Lee" Wisely (17-5)
Healy is coming off a win over Lyle Beerbohm, becoming the first fighter to beat "Fancy Pants." Wisely is named after his own middle name and Bruce Lee.
Healy is on top after a leg sweep, but Wisely almost wins it with an arm bar from the bottom. Wisely is very impressive on the back and almost gets a heel hook as well. It's a very even round with Healy's cage control and top control giving him a slight edge.
Round 2 starts with a surprise knee-bar attempt by Wisely as the announcers reminisce about Oleg Taktarov. Healy finally passes Wisely's guard. Wisely fires up another arm-bar attempt, but Healy slips out. I have Healy up 20-18, despite Wisely's great defense and surprising submission attempt.
Healy is in control in Round 3 with some steady ground-and-pound. Nothing fancy, but Healy is totally controlling the action, and he should win this. The size disadvantage was too much for Wisely to overcome.
Winner by unanimous decision: Pat Healy.
4. MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Danillo Villefort (13-3) vs. Nate James (12-7-1)
It's even striking in the first two minutes. Villefort wins a stalemate against the cage with a big judo throw—he's going for a rear-naked choke. James is trying to survive and he does. A Villefort judo throw and RNC attack win him the round.
Cartwheel by Villefort! Fun.
James is keeping it standing—until Villefort maneuvers a big double-leg take down and lands inside control. Villefort goes for the RNC but slips, and James takes over. He's scoring on top, and he may win the round.
It's a fun striking battle until Villefort hits the double-leg and sinks in a guillotine, but can't put him away. James is back on top and scoring again. He could steal this win. Ref Herb Dean stands them up. James takes him down again and that could be enough for the victory.
Winner by unanimous decision: Nate James (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
PROMO: Barnett vs. Khartonov and Silva vs. Cormier on Sept. 10. Also, Jacare vs. Rockhold, Roger Gracie vs. King Mo and Josh Thompson vs. Maximo Blanco.
5. LIGHTWEIGHTS: Jorge Gurgel (14-7) vs. Joe Duarte (9-2)
I used to announce fights with Jorge Gurgel's students for "Fightfest" on Sports Time Ohio, and they knew what they were doing. Gurgel comes out to "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. Nice!
There's lots of stand up in the first three minutes before Gurgel finally tries a take down. No dice. Duarte hits a take down to end Round 1 and that could give him the round.
Winner: Joe Duarte.
Good fight and good night!