Our first televised fight is in the lightweight division: Bryan Travers vs. Pat Healy.
Healy comes out to a good response from his hometown crowd. Two college wrestlers here, Tavares (Cal St. Bakersfield) vs. Healy (Southern Illinois). Since it’s two wrestlers, we can probably expect some good stand-up as well. That’s always how it seems to go.
Both guys showing some good boxing early. Not too much landing for either guy, but some strong jabs both ways. Travers forces Healy to the cage, Healy reverses, and Travers punches his way out. Travers stuffs Healy’s shoot with some nice takedown D. Travers again punches his way out of the clench, good separation. Travers eats a right, then hits with a double leg. Healy’s huge at 155. Travers controlling Healy against the cage again. Healy’s trying to work the knees but Travers doing a good job of avoid those with the double underhook. Good first round, I give Travers the edge on aggression and the only takedown.
Healy back to the clench on the fence, staying busy. Travers with the takedown and Healy gets up and takes Travers down! They work back up, Healy controls him on the fence. Travers avoids a takedown and takes control and we square off again. They’re back to the fence and Healy’s looking for an ankle pick, and has Travers’ back. Tried a suplex and gets the takedown. Healy got a hook in, but Travers gets back to his feet. Travers is leaving himself open this round in the clench. Healy with another strong takedown, goes for the guillotine, and Travers slids out. Back standing. Healy working some strong knees in the clench. Healy rides out the round and takes it from bell to bell.
Healy comes out firing! Travers eats a right hand. HUGE DOUBLE-LEG BY HEALY! Travers working the fence trying to get up and we’re back to the clench. More knees in the clench along the cage by Healy. Travers now looks gassed. He threw a few punches, but they’re didnt look to be too much behind those. Travers gets a takedown, takes the side, and Healy’s working on a kimura against the cage. Travers has control but he needs to get his right arm back. Travers trying for the switch and pulls out of the kimura. Back to the feet and Travers with a trip. Healy comes right back up, Travers on the waistlock and another takedown. Back up, Travers with another takedown, Healy rolls through, looking for the rear naked. BIG GERMAN BY HEALY! And we just got a Gordon Solie reference! Back to standing, trading punches to the bell! Outstanding fight!
Travers got some needed points with all the takedowns, but I think Healy looked stronger and had more impact this round.
Overall: Healy 29-28
Official Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 Pat Healy (Unanimous decision)
Nate Moore vs. Tarec Saffiedine – welterweight
Right off the bat, I don’t know how I feel about Saffiedine’s nickname. There is just nothing about “The Sponge” that strikes fear in the heart of anything larger than a germ. Bad jokes aside, he’s got a good pedigree training and teaching at Hendo’s Team Quest.
Moore, another strong NCAA D-I wrestler at Purdue.
I can’t spell Saffiedine quick so he’ll be the Sponge from here on out. Sponge opens with some strong leg kicks. Moore trying to keep his distance, but shoots in for the takedown, Sponge able to pop out. After a short stay on the cage, we’re standing again. Jabs are flying. Moore looks good on his feet, tries a superman but its blocked. Moore’s time at AKA is paying off. Sponge catches him with an uppercut, stuffs a takedown, and he’s got both hooks in on a standing Moore. Moore trying to shake him off, a couple of shots to Sponge’s face, and he comes off the top. Great balance from Moore. Strong kick from the Sponge. Another good exchange of hands, didn’t look like much landed on either side though. Push kick to Moore’s face! Flying knee by the Sponge! Moore responds with a big combination and they throw leather to the bell! Great finish, and a close round. Moore’s stand up form looks good, but he’s not landing too much. Sponge able to stuff Moore both times he shot in.
Good combos from both to start off. Sponge finishes with a strong leg kick. Big overhand right from Sponge, stuffs a takedown attempt and lands a big uppercut. Moore trying to recover on the ground. HUGE OVERHAND RIGHT! Moore is out! Moore did not see that coming as Sponge came in with the left jab, planted the left foot and threw the power.
Saffiedine KO’s Moore at 1:21 of Round 2
Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker – welterweight division
Bowling making his Strikeforce debut with an undefeated record, 7-0. Most of his fights have ended inside the first round. Expecting to see some big shots getting thrown early.
Huge rights from both! Bowling takes down Voelker and controlling from the half guard. Bowling with some body shots and a good left to the head. Up they come. Voelker is cut over the left eye. Big right uppercut, Bowling has some scary power. Bowling with the body lock against the cage. Voelker dodges a huge right hook. Bowling connects with a vicious body kick. Bowling floating between the stand up and the grappling seamlessly. Bowling throwing kicks that are on CroCop’s level in strength. Voelker is walking into right hands. Voelker scores a big knee, Bowling is stunned but connects with a double leg. Bowling in the half guard again. This has been a fast paced round. Bowling moves into Voelker’s guard, he’s got some good defense going. And there’s the horn. This one was dominated by Relentless.
They start off throwing again. Bowling connects with a big right hand and Voelker is down. Bowling working the ground and pound and Voelker pulls him into his guard. Bowling walks him to the fence, Voelker’s controlling Bowling’s left arm, trying to keep him close. Looking for a kimura. Bowling escapes and stands up. Voelker takes a vicisous jab and another huge body kick! Another left hook. How is Voelker still awake? Another double leg by Bowling. Bowling is just swarming. He hasn’t turned the pressure off since the opening bell. The veteran just looks like he doesn’t know what to do with Bowling. Back in Voelker’s guard, going for a guillotine but Bowling escapes with a shot to the side of the head. Body shots from Bowling. Ref stands them up, don’t know about that. Bowling eats a left hand, then forces Voelker to the fence. Voelker with a takedown, side control, now north-south, and up to the cage in a body lock. Bowling works around and another takedown. Bowling is headed to the 3rd round for the first time in his career and at this point its only a matter of how he wants to win. Voelker worked his way back into the fight, but is taking waaaaay too many shots and cannot stop Bowling’s takedowns at all.
They’re throwing haymakers to open, Bowling got rocked, comes back and answers with a right hook! Voelker with the takedown. He’s got to take advantage while he’s on top because he needs to finish. Bowling stands back up and holds Voelker on the cage. Good knees from the body lock. Ref breaks them up. And it looks like Bowling may have been poked in the eye on the break. Time out. From the replay it looks like the side of the glove scrapped across his eye as Voelker brought his hand up to cover his own face in the break. Doc is checking out Bowling. He’s a winner if they have to go to the scorecards now, though. He wants to continue. He said it feels like there’s something in his eye. His eyelid is swelling up a bit. Bowling says he can’t keep his eye open. It doesn’t look good. The fans are booing and that’s absolutely unacceptable. Bowling is frustrated and yells that he’s fine, but he can’t keep his left eye open. He apologized to the fans and he has nothing to apologize for. I don’t understand the fan that boos in this situation at all. It’s too bad that those that are the least educated about the sport are sometimes the loudest. Official decision is coming, but I’ve got Bowling winning both rounds easy.
Official decision: all 3 judges score it 29-28 for Roger Bowling
Portland boos the decision and the ISKA president explaining the ruling. Bowling is apologizing and is asking for a rematch. Ranallo is right he’s got nothing to apologize for. Bowling put on a show for them and they are disrespecting him big time. It’s kinda sickening from the perspective of a fan and writer.
Nathan Coy vs. Tyrone Woodley – welterweight division
Woodley puts his undefeated record against the hometown favorite. The Portland crowd taking a page from Allen Fieldhouse and reading the paper during Woodley’s intro. Kinda funny, but after what they did to Bowling, it just seems even more disrespectful. Coy says he’s looking to end it quick and knows he’s going to have to work on the ground. Again, two All-American wrestlers going at it.
Here we go. Woodley comes out fast with right hands and a fast takedown. In Coy’s guard, passed to half. And now in a full mount. Looked for an arm triangle, but back to the feet. Big counter-right body shot drops Coy. Coy recovers and is back to the feet. Woodley stuffs a takedown attempt and takes Coy’s back. Woodley’s got a hook and flattens out Coy. Coy defends and gets back up. Coy with a kick-punch combo and shoots in. Woodley stuff that too. Clenched up against the cage. Coy looking for the takedown again, but Woodley’s got incredible balance. Ref seperates them and restarts the action. Woodley with the overhand right and Coy goes back to the body lock on the fence. Woodley swings around and lands a big knee. Coy with a nice left hand. Woodley keeps stepping away almost trying to bate Coy to shoot in. And the round ends. Close round, Woodley did his damage early
Hands fly, both guys land some good shots. Back against the cage as Coy throwing knees. Woodley lands a soild knee to Coy’s chin. We get another restart and now Woodley’s got an eye problem but we kept going. Big kick from Coy and he slips down. Woodley takes advantage. Has the mount and Coy is trying to defend the rear naked. Woodley gets an armbar and the bell saves Coy!
Woodley is doing splits in the break. Sick flexibility. Coy comes out strong, Woodley has to cover up and back away. Coy throwing leg kicks to keep Woodley back. Woodley with the takedown and is on Coy’s back. One hook in, Coy rolls around and through and takes control. He’s got a leglock on Woodley against the cage. Woodley works out but Coy is controlling his body. Coy raining down body shots, now a few to the head. Passes to side control and now north-south. Coy makes a statement in the last round and dominates but I think it’s too little, too late.
My Card: 29-28 Woodley
Official Decision: 29-28 Coy, 29-28, 29-28 Woodley (Split decision)
Main Event Time
Kevin Casey vs. Matt Lindland – Middleweight division
I’m not sure what to expect here out of either guy. Lindland’s on a 2-fight losing streak and needs something to revived his career as he just turned 40. I’m afraid that he’s slid down to gatekeeper status for Strikeforce middleweights. It should be an interesting fight, BJJ vs. wrestling. Casey calling out the internet marks and bloggers, saying that they just don’t know him. I like that…hey, you don’t think he meant us, do you?
They square off, Casey looking for an opening for the takedown. The first shoot comes from the Law and Casey immediately goes for the closed guard. Lindland smothers him against the fence, looking for posture up, getting a wide base. Casey pulls him into half, looking for a sweep nothing doing there. And they’re back up. Casey holding the Law against the fence. Lindland going for the guillotine, Casey slides out and takes the Law down, inside his guard. Lindland scrambles, but Casey gets his back. Casey’s got a hook, the Law trying to turn and is blocking the rear naked. Casey’s got the body triangle on, his arm across Lindland’s chin. The Law pulls his arm away, firing back punches. Body triangle broken. The Law sits up and has control of Casey’s right wrist. Slides out and Lindland is in Casey’s closed guard. Postures up and fires. Pulls Casey up and Lindland unleashing knees to Casey’s head. Amazing escape out of the rear naked and body triangle!Too close to call this one, but since Casey had control for much of the middle of the round, I think I give it to him.
The Law opens with knees out of the clench. Now they’re back up against the cage. Lindland has his back and throws knees to the legs of Casey. Lindland has side control and is pining him against the fence. The Law posturing up and throwing hard shots down. Lindland pulls Casey back up. Casey goes for a takedown, The Law clamps on a headlock and maneuvers on top of Casey. Casey looking for anything to slow the Law down. Lindland again with repeated shots to the head. The Law controlling Casey’s leg with his shins and hips. Again postures up and starts laying into Casey’s head and body. Casey has spent most of this round bent in half. Now into full guard. Got to give it to Casey for still staying in it. Casey goes for the armbar, but Lindland slips out pretty quickly. Lindland with another guard pass into the crucifix. Unloading left hands into Casey’s face! The horn stops it as Casey reverses and works up to his feet. The Law owned Casey for those five minutes. There can be no doubt who this round belongs to.
Casey looking tired as he comes out to start the final stanza. Much respect though for surviving this long. Lindland moves in and gets another takedown out of the body lock. Again in side control and pinning Casey’s back against the fence and raining down punches. They don’t look hard but they’re getting their message across. Lindland in a modified mount and now The Law is pounding away. Casey sill able to cover up well enough to continue. The Law has one of Casey’s arms pinned under his leg and he’s eating lefts. Lindland trying to posture up and it looks like Casey just wants to survive the round. 90 seconds left. Casey still covering up, Law gets a good right through and now repeated shots. And that is it! Lindland ends his slide and absolutely dominated Casey. Casey looked to be relying too much on his BJJ skills and just let Lindland get too much going in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Good to see a veteran get a much-needed win. Can The Law become Strikeforce’s Randy Couture?
Official Decision: Lindland wins via TKO at 3:41 of Round 3
It’s been a pretty good night of fighting (aside from the Bowling booing) and this is what Strikeforce is about. Too bad that the audience for this isn’t big enough to change too many minds away from the image of Nashville. This liveblogging thing is pretty fun. Thanks to those that stayed up with us. I’ll definitely try to keep doing this. We’ve got 2 Strikeforce events next month, as well as Rampage vs. Evans next Saturday night. Also, expect us to finally start blogging on a more consistent basis. We have plenty of thoughts bouncing around our kinda empty heads so you’ll be getting even more from us now.