Strikeforce Grand Prix: Round-by-round
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva
Leg kick from Silva misses. Fedor misses with big wild hooks. Fedor doesn't keep his chin out there, but eats a punch from Silva. Fedor in the center of the cage looking down at Silva, but Silva grabs the clinch and presses him against the fence. Fedor cannot shake free, so he knees to create space. After a lack of progress, they are separated, but Silva is attacking. Both fighters are landing and taking what the other has so far. Front kick from Silva leads to his charge and pressing Fedor against the cage wall. Dirty boxing from Silva, who is trying for the takedown, but Fedor, uses a guillotine to break the clinch on the wall, as Silva tries to scoop for a slam, but Fedor gets him on Silva twice gets out of danger in side control. Fedor tries for a kimura, which Silva defends. Silva uses that to sweep and lands a big right hand. Fedor and Silva are exchanging punches against the fence, but Silva gets the takedown to end the round.
Fedor misses a big right hand to start round 2 and Silva shoots under and gets the takedown. Silva in half guard and Fedor with most of the striking. Silva postures up to rain down some long punches. Silva into side control and he walks about into full mount. Fedor takes a few shots, but tries to escape out the back door. Silva rolls him back over, but he is doint little more than eating big punches from Silva. Arm triangle from Silva and Fedor have allowed him to pass to side control. He's still in it and hasn't gone to sleep. Fedor gets back to half guard and Silva looks up at the clock. This place is electric right now. Long punches from Silva and Fedor is struggling on the bottom. Kneebar by Silva and Fedor is rolling through and fighing out of it. Fedor counters with a heel hook of his own that Silva is riding out. He wags his fingers as if it isn't bothering him at all.
Fedor's right eye is almost completely closed. The doctor comes in to inspect his face and calls a stop to the fight. Sucky ending after such a heroic effort in the second round by Fedor to remain in the fight. Silva had the size advantage and used it, weighing down and tiring out Fedor and preventing him from finishing the fight. Silva didn't look challenged at any point during the grappling portion.
Winner: Antonio Silva by TKO (R2, doctor stoppage)
The fans in East Rutherford are livid. Honestly, Fedor couldn't continue either way, but they feel cheated. The two most popular fighters on the card lost tonight. Not a good evening for the Strikeforce Grand Prix when such drawing power is lost.
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson
Johnson connects as Del Rosario comes forward with a kick. In the grapple, Johnson asserts control and gets a sweep takedown. Both fighters are back to their feet. Body kick from Del Rosario, followed by some straight punches. Against the cage, Johnson eats some short hooks to the ribs. Del Rosario works free of Johnson's Muay Thai clinch and gets the mount. Shane begins to wail on Johnson with left and right hooks, but Johnson keeps moving. Johnson almost gets out the back door, but Del Rosario squirms back on. Del Rosario rolls through for an arm bar. Johnson tries to stack Del Rosario to escape, but is rolled to the mat and the armbar is tight. Johnson taps before his back hits the mat.
Winner: Shane Del Rosario by submission (R1, armbar, 4:31)
Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo
Will Cooling filling in here while Shawn Smith waits for Strikeforce to sort out some internet issues at the show. Laughably bad fight, almost a parody of a kickboxer vs. MMA fighter contest. They stand, have some standup exchanges and then Overeem shoots in with a sloppy looking takedown and Sefo allows himself to be pushed back against the cage and taken down. Overeem gets a neck crank and Sefo taps. Yet another quick finish in one of Strikeforce's patented mismatches. Btw the announcing in this fight was just the absolute worst with the whole promotion coming across totally bush league with the commentators incessentaly talking about Vitor Belfort and treating the UFC as more important than their own product. We also had a bizarre rant from Mauro Ranello about brothers fighting brothers ... bizarre.
Winner: Valentijn Overeem at 1:37 of the first round via submission (neck crank)
Chad Griggs vs. Gian Villante
Fun little fight with Bobby Lashley nemesis Chad Griggs just coming out swinging and overwhelming Villante with the sheer volume and power of his punches. Not much technique shown but its fun smashmouth stuff as Griggs just lays into Villante, with Villante soon showing of a sustained beating. Villante goes for a desperation takedown but can't get. Griggs resumes the onslaught and despite a short break when Villante loses his mouthpiece Griggs soon gets the TKO. Villante's ear in particular is a mess after taking a beating from Griggs.
Winner: Chad Griggs at 2:49 of the first round via TKO (ear explosion)
John Cholish vs. Marc Stevens
Marc Stevens with the big ol' first columns for the main prelim? Awesome touch, peeps.
OK, Cholish got them too, but I noticed it with Marc first.
High kick misses by Cholish. Outside leg kick from Stevens. Cholish ends up in Stevens' guard, but stands up and avoids an upkick. He tries for the guillotine, but Stevens pops out against the fence. Big punches by Cholish on the grounded Stevens. Stevens slips to his feet and assumes control against the fence momentarily. Cholish grabs the Thai plum and hits knees onto the gloves of Stevens. Outside leg kick from Cholish is counter by a missed head kick from Marc. Marc is taken to the mat by Cholish, who is in side control. Cholish peppers Stevens with short right hands after Marc gets him back into half guard. Cholish stands up out of full guard. The round ends with Cholish standing over Stevens, looking for a way around his legs.
Cholish in Stevens' closed guard. Cholish in half guard, he walks Stevens over to the cage and lands some hooks to the face. Cholish stacks Stevens and drops two punches. The referee has decided to stand the fighters up. Not sure why, as Cholish was still trying to advance with his striking. Both fighters miss with big punches and Stevens shoots for the takedown. Cholish rolls through and grabs the kneebar. Stevens taps out.
Winner: John Cholish by submission (R2, kneebar, 3:57)
Igor Gracie vs. John Salgado
Leg kick from Gracie, countered by a missed hook from Salgado. Salgado is pressed against the cage by Gracie and hits him with a knee. Gracie scoops Salgado up and slams him to the mat. Gracie transitions and takes his back. Salgado defends the rear naked choke and throws a reverse headbutt for which the referee stops action to warn him. Gracie locks on a tight body triangle and takes mount with it. He can't get the finish, but continues to squeeze Salgado and work for the submission from the back. Salgado defends intelligently and maintains control of Gracie's wrists. Salgado takes Gracie in a headlock while still in that body triangle and punches Gracie in the head. The round ends with Gracie transitioning back to mount to rain blow.
Salgado misses a kick, but Gracie connects with a leg kick. Gracie shoots and gets the takedown, but Salgado grabs a guillotine that Gracie pops out of. Igor get the mount but Salgado pulls him in and will not let Gracie get space to strike. After a brief scramble, Gracie is kneeling behind Salgado with hooks, he moves to mount and takes an arm triangle. Salgado passes out instead of tapping.
Winner: Igor Gracie by submission (R2, arm triangle, 3:04)
Josh LaBerge vs. Anthony Leone
Outside leg kick from LaBerge lands clean. Leone grapples with LaBerge against the cage, landing two quick knees to the body before releasing him. Both fighters miss on some punches. Outside and inside leg kicks land clean from Leone. Leone shoots and gets a single leg, but LaBerge fights it off and lands two knees to the skull of Leone. Leone goes to the mat, but drives through Josh and tires for another takedown. Leone is bleeding, but we can't see the cut. Slam and takedown into half guard from Leone. Side control from Leone. Leone ends the first round in side control and we finally get a view of his nose. Nasty break with huge gashes.
After the first round, the referee hits the cage and checks Leone's nose. The referee begins waving the fight off. Stinks for Leone, but his nose is jacked.
Winner: Josh LaBerge (R1, doctor stoppage)
Jason McLean vs. Kevin Roddy
Leg kicks from both fighters as they feel one another out. Solid left connects from Roddy. Roddy presses the action in the corner, but McLean circles out. Body kick from McLean misses, and both fighters miss on strikes. Roddy with the jab and a one-two combo Roddy, catches a leg kick, but McLean stays on his feet. Roddy presses McLean against the cage, but he's free within moments. Outside leg kick from Jason is countered by an inside leg kick from Roddy. Body punch and body kick from McLean. McLean misses on a combo and Roddy presses, catching McLean with a kick to the jaw. McLean shoots and takes Roddy down against the cage. The round ends with McLean on top and Roddy seated.
Inside leg kick from McLean. Roddy paws the jab, but McLean misses with a body kick and a spinning body kick. Inside leg kicks land for Roddy. Right hand lands from McLean and it wobbles Roddy momentarily. Leg kick glances off McLean. Two big punches land for McLean. Accidental kick to the cup on McLean and he walks it off. Tough dude as it looked painful. High kick from Roddy is parried. Roddy comes in and McLean presses the action with 6-7 big punches. Roddy eats canvas but recovers quickly. McLean tries to punch in the guard of Roddy, but Roddy scrambles back to his feet. Roddy comes in with punches. McLean handles easily and lands a big right. Head kick from Roddy misses. Body kick from Roddy lands and Roddy hits another low kick to the groin as the round ends.
McLean swings with two big hooks that don't land. Jab and a headkick from Roddy touch gloves. Leg kick from McLean is checked, but followed up with a strike to the jaw of Roddy. McLean shoots for the double leg, but Roddy gets right up. Roddy gets a takedown of his own and McLean is stuck on his back against the fence. Roddy is working some ground and pound in the half guard. Roddy transitions to full mount and lands some punches before telegraphing an armbar that McLean avoids. Roddy gets McLean's back and is hammering away, softening him up for the rear naked choke. McLean rolls through and begins to hammer on Roddy, who tries to grab an armbar. The round expires with Roddy controlling the wrists.
Winner: Jason McLean by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)