“Strikeforce HW GP Semifinals: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” took place Saturday night inside the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The show featured the semifinals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament. Daniel Cormier faced Antonio Silva in one semifinals matchup, while Josh Barnett fought Sergei Kharitonov in the night’s main attraction.
Middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will also defended his crown against Luke Rockhold.
Here are the results and play-by-play from tonight’s action:
(HDNet 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Dominique Steele Defeated Chris Mierzwiak via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
1stRound: Mierzwiak goes for a takedown and almost locks in an inverted triangle choke. Steele lands a jumping knee to the face. Mierzwiak answers and drops his opponent with a knee in the clinch. He immediately takes Steele’s back, attempts a rear-naked with a body triangle in place. Steele gets free and comes charging forward with punches. Close round, Mierzwiak 10-9.
2ndRound: Steele gets him to the canvas and is active on the mat. Mierzwiak fails on a triangle attempt. They work their way back up to their feet and Steele drops him with a short right hand. Mierzwiak looks exhausted. Steele, 10-9.
3rdRound: Steele immediately takes him to the mat and is smothering him once again, but not too much damage inflicted. Mierzwiak gets planted on his back again, but is able to reverse and takes his back. Steele, 10-9 and rallies to win the fight 29-28.
Alexis Davis Defeated Amanda Nunes via TKO (Strikes) at 4:53 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Nunes marks up Davis’ face early with some shots. Nunes gets her to the ground with a single-leg. Not too much action. Close round to score, Nunes, 10-9.
2ndRound: Davis takes command of the cage. Nunes gets her to the canvas, but Davis reverses and immediately advances to her back. Davis tries for a rear-naked choke to no avail. She will have to settle for a TKO victory instead, as she was pounding the side of Nunes’ head with countless shots.
Jordan Mein Defeated Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos via TKO (Elbows) at 3: 18 in the 3rdRound
1stRound: They exchange numerous leg kicks to start the scrap. Mein connects on a nice right hand. Santos lands a powerful leg kick that puts Mein on his back. Santos tags him with a nice body shot and another leg kick to boot. Santos, 10-9.
2ndRound: Santos still going to town on his Mein’s left leg, causing his opponent to switch between conventional and southpaw stance. Santos misses on a kick and Mein answers with countless punches to the body. Tough round to score, Santos 10-9.
3rdRound: Santos looks to be slowing and Mein is finding his range. Mein is unloading bombs and lands a nasty liver shot. He goes on the attack and unleashes a barrage of elbows (standing) until the ref puts an end to the assault. Great rally by the youngster.
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante Defeated Yoel Romero via KO (Punch) at 4:51 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Not much action to start the fight until Feijao lands a leg kick. Feijao has been in the center of the cage the entire fight, while Romero continues to dance on the outside. Crowd getting anxious. Feijao, 10-9.
2ndRound: Feijao tags him with a big body kick and Romero answers back with an accidental kick to the groin. Time is called, but the Brazilian is OK. Romero finally throwing leather and has Feijao covering up against the fence. Romero takes him down for a brief moment. Feijao misses with a roundhouse kick, but floors him with a spinning back-fist on the follow through. Romero gets back up, but Feijao smells blood and drops him with a left hook and one final shot on the ground to end things.
Mike Kyle Defeated Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
1stRound: Kyle winning the sparring session thus far. Kyle appears to stun de Lima with a shot, or he’s playing possum, but Kyle remains patient. Kyle scoring all day with his hands, as his opponent wobbles to his corner at the end of the round. Kyle, 10-9.
2ndRound: De Lima came to play this round, landing multiple leg kicks that are keeping Kyle off balance. Kyle losing the standup battle in this stanza, but he takes de Lima down for a brief moment. De Lima, 10-9.
3rdRound: De Lima takes the center of the cage and is scoring with leg kicks. Kyle gets a takedown with two minutes to go. He moves to half-guard, but not unleashing many punches. De Lima has a cut over his left eye that could influence the judges. Kyle, 10-9, and should take the scrap 29-28.
(Showtime 10:30PM ET/PT)
Patrick Healy Defeated Maximo Blanco via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:24 in the 2ndDound
1stRound: Blanco leg kicks Healy and puts him on his back. Blanco tags him with a head kick and unleashes some punches and a knee to the face in the clinch. Blanco puts him on the canvas, but Healy tries for a leg lock. Blanco illegally kicks him in the face countless times to get free. Time is called to check on Healy, who is bleeding above his left eye. Blanco gets a point deducted, as the scrap resumes. Healy gets a body lock and takes him down, but not much activity once it gets there. Draw, 9-9.
2ndRound: Healy is the aggressor to start the middle segment. He gets another body lock on Blanco and slams him to the ground. He immediately goes for a rear-naked choke, but Blanco is able to get free. However, Blanco eats a knee on the way out. Healy takes him to the mat again for a brief moment, but then he takes him back down again. Healy has Blanco’s arm trapped between his legs and locks in a rear-naked choke. It’s a wrap.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal Defeated Roger Gracie via KO (Punch) at 4:33 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Neither fighter has landed anything in the first three minutes. Lawal drops him with a vicious overhand right and Gracie goes limp with a follow up shot on the ground. Game. Set. Match, King Mo.
Luke Rockhold Defeated via Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Unanimous Decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47) (Rockhold captures Strikeforce middleweight title)
1stRound: Jacare lands a shot that seems to stun Rockhold and tries to follow up with a flying knee. Jacare nails him in the face several times while Rockhold attempts to prevent the takedown. The Brazilian finally get him down. They work their way back up and Rockhold unloads a barrage of highlight reel strikes, with some shots landing. Jacare, 10-9.
2ndRound: Rockhold is on the attack to the start the round, but Jacare tags him with a big right hook. Rockhold manages to survive. Jacare lands a short elbow in the clinch. Jacare finding a home for his right hand. Another close round to call, Jacare 10-9.
3rdRound: Rockhold accidentally kicks Jacare in the groin and time is called. Jacare catches a kick and trips Rockhold to the canvas, but the challenger easily makes his way back to his feet. Rockhold has been the aggressor for much of the fight, while Jacare appears more winded. The champ is having a tough time closing the distance. Rockhold, 10-9.
4thRound: Rockhold is more diverse with his strikes, while Jacare is looking for a right hand counter far too much. Nothing devastating landing from either fighter. Jacare gets another takedown stuffed. This stanza is tougher to score than the 2ndRound. Rockhold, 10-9 because he appeared to be more aggressive.
5thRound: The strap is up for grabs. Who wants it more? Jacare was a 4.5-to-1 favorite, BTW. The champion manages to get Rockhold to the canvas, but Rockhold quickly works his way back up. Rockhold comes out firing and lands a nice combination. Rockhold connects on a body kick. Jacare tries to flurry at the end, however landed nothing. The horn blares and your guess is as good as mine. Rockhold, 10-9, 48-47.
Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals:
Daniel Cormier Defeated Antonio Silva via KO (Punches) at 3:56 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Cormier drops Silva with an overhand right, but lets him get back up. Cormier is barely touching him with jabs and Silva comes out dazed. Silva is enjoying a significant size advantage, but there is a major speed edge for Cormier. The wrestler floors him again with a right uppercut and pounces. It’s over.
Josh Barnett Defeated Sergei Kharitonov via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 4:28 in the 1stRound
1stRound: They are exchanging leather early, with Kharitonov winning the standup war. Barnett isn’t liking it too much and takes him down and lands in full-mount. Nothing too devastating, but Barnett is unleashing some nice ground-and-pound. Barnett takes his back and is methodical in his attack. Barnett secures an arm-triangle choke and Kharitonov is forced to tap.