Diaz claims title; Walker wins debut
Strikeforce was holding its first big card of the year Saturday in Sunrise, Fla. Inside Fights’ Nate Lawson broke down the round-by-round action from the main card.
Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis
Zaromskis comes right out with a kick. The two exchange and Diaz seems to be getting the better of Zaromskis. Diaz looks for a single-leg takedown and works some knees. And some more knees. Diaz continues delivering knees and gets a takedown, but Zaromskis stands up. Diaz continues with the combinations, but Zaromskis nails him with a big shot. Zaromskis ends up on top of Diaz, who is bleeding. The two stand and bang again. Diaz catches a kick and the two clinch.
The crowd begins to scream Diaz’s name, as the Stockton, Calif. native works the knees again. The two separate and Diaz continues to throw punch after punch. Zaromskis is getting abused by Diaz’s clear reach advantage. Diaz lands a huge shot and moves in for the kill. Zaromskis is extremely shaky on the feet and Diaz nails with another shot. Zaromskis hits the floor and is saved by the referee. What an incredible performance by Diaz, the new Strikeforce welterweight champion.
–Diaz wins by first-round TKO.
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos vs. Marloes Coenen
The two women come out swinging. The two clinch, throw some punches, and clinch again. Santos scores a takedown, and Coenen works for a submission. Santos jumps out of Coenen’s guard, delivers some bombs and falls back into Coenen’s guard. Cyborg continues to throw down on Coenen, who is up against the cage. Coenen continues to work for a submission, but nothing seems to be open. Coenen starts with the upkicks, as Santos stands.
The referee stands them back up, and Santos starts landing some big blows. Coenen needs to get a takedown if she wants to avoid these bombs. Coenen has Santos up against the cage and issues some knees and foot-stomps. Santos reverses the positions and starts with some knees of her own. Coenen exits the clinch with an elbow. Coenen continues to stand and bang with the superior striker, as the round ends with a spinning-back kick, courtesy of Cyborg.
Coenen gets knocked to the ground right off the bat. Cyborg goes in for the finish, but Coenen nails her with a vicious up-kick to the body. Santos moves to side-mount, but Coenen gets the full guard back. The two begin to go to work on the ground, and Coenen continues to look for a submission, as Santos issues a little ground and pound. Coenen is up against the cage in a closed guard. Santos stands up and calls Coenen up. Coenen misses with a big left hook. Santos lands a big shot. Coenen goes for the takedown, but Santos sprawls and avoids it. Coenen ends up on her back again and works for a submission, but fails to secure one. Santos dives back into Coenen’s guard and begins to throw down on her opponent. Santos pushes Coenen back up against the cage. The bell rings as Cyborg wins the second round of the fight.
Coenen goes for a takedown and drives Santos into the cage. Coenen has Santos up against the cage. Santos breaks out and begins throwing some big punches. Santos gets Coenen down and is in half-guard. Cyborg working some ground and pound. Coenen gets back to full guard and seems to be working at a submission. Santos jumps out of guard, and the two are back to their feet. Coenen lands a huge right hand, but Santos seems unaffected. Coenen is back on the floor, and Santos is throwing down some bombs. Coenen clings to Cyborg’s leg as the referee stops the fight.
— Santos wins by third-round TKO.
Herschel Walker vs. Greg Nagy
Each fighter lands a quick jab, as they circle around the ring with Walker in the center. Walker lands some leg kicks and begins to do a little dance. Walker tries to get Nagy into an exchange, and Nagy shoots. Herschel stuffs the takedown and gets on top of Nagy and works toward the back. Walker gets the mount and begins throwing heavy shots down onto his opponent. Nagy seems to be looking for a submission, which is probably his only chance at victory.
Walker is still on top, but Nagy appears to be working toward a leg lock. Nagy moves for the heel hook, but Walker is able to move out of it and immediately resumes his position of top control. Walker moves to north-south position and back to side control. Nagy is getting smothered, but doesn’t appear to have taken any excessive damage. Walker traps Nagy’s right arm and begins to throw down some ground and pound. Nagy struggles for a better position and is saved by the bell. Round 1 was all Walker.
Nagy and Walker begin the second round with a "feeling out" process. The two clinch in the center of the ring, and Walker gets a powerful takedown. Walker is smothering Nagy, who is simply covering up. Walker takes the back and works for some hooks. Nagy is completely flattened, as Walker patiently works. Walker gets a high mount, and Nagy tries anything to work him off, but to no avail. Nagy gets out, but Walker quickly gets back on top. The crowd screams for a knee, and Walker gladly obliges.
The two hit the mats again, and, you guessed it, Walker is back on top. Nagy struggles, while Walker effortlessly moves around on the ground, controlling Nagy every second of the way. Walker flattens Nagy out and issues some ground and pound. Nagy is going to have to do something, or the referee is going to call a stop to this one. Nagy gives Walker the mount, and the former professional football player goes back to work. Walker finishes another solid round on top of Nagy, who is definitely down on the scorecards.
Walker clinches with Nagy and the two are up against the fence. The two end up on the ground once again with Walker on top. Walker takes the full mount effortlessly and traps Nagy’s left arm. Nagy tries to walk the cage, but Walker continues to dictate the fight. Walker takes Nagy’s back once again. Nagy is doing little to defend the ground and pound, as the referee stops the fight. Walker dominates in his mixed martial arts debut.
— Walker wins by third-round TKO
Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
The two spend the first thirty seconds without much action. Both men start the action with some kicks, but immediately go back to the feeling out process. Manhoef lands a nice body kick, followed by a solid left punch to the body. The two continue to exchange kicks. Lawler takes a shot and looks a little shaky, but it certainly could have been a mind game of sorts. Manhoef continues to bring the strikes with some incredible combinations. Manhoef moves in, as Lawler has his back to the cage, and continues to throw kicks. Lawler is getting completely outclassed on the feet. Out of nowhere, Lawler lands a huge shot that puts Manhoef to the floor. Lawler finishes the fight and limps around the octagon with what appears to be an injured leg.
— Lawler wins by first-round KO.
Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims
Sims begins with some mind tricks, perhaps attempting to make up for the poor shape he is in. Lashley throws a flurry, but no punches land. Lashley gets a takedown and gets peppered with some short right hands. Sims attempts a submission, but comes nowhere close.
Lashley continues to pound away on the ground with Sims on his back in the full guard. Sims takes some huge bombs, as Lashley continues to pound away. Lashley takes his back, issues some blows, and the referee pulls Lashley off, ending the fight at 2:06. Sims is clearly upset with the stoppage, and, for what it’s worth, he may actually have a case.
— Bobby Lashley wins by first-round TKO.