The Official Scorecard - Strikeforce - Diaz vs. Cyborg

Originally appeared on www.thegarv.com

Nick Diaz continued to emerge as one of crown jewels of the Strikeforce promotion as he put his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship on the line against tough journeyman Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in the main event of Strikeforce’s second card of 2011. While the card also featured a second title fight in Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defending the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, it was former NFL star Herschel Walker competing in only his second professional fight at age 48 who generated the most mainstream attention in the build up to the event.

The final bell has rung and the judge has made his decision, so let’s go to the scorecard!

Jenna Castillo (0-0) vs. Charlene Gellner (0-0)
A pair of ladies making their professional debuts at 120lbs kicked off the night of fights in a proverbial striker versus grappler tilt. Castillo, the better striker of the two, took control of the fight early mixing up knees to the head and body of the mohawked Gellner, who eventually was able to pull guard and work for a triangle. In the second round, a weak double leg attempt from Gellner paved the way to the fight ending sequence of strikes, punctuated by a pair of Castillo knees bouncing off Gellner’s head.
Jenna Castillo wins via KO – Round 2, 3:57
Fight Score: 5.5

Welterweight Fight
James Terry (8-2) vs. Lucas Gamaza (4-1)
Lucas Gamaza is a tall lanky fighter from the same mold as his Cesar Gracie teammates, Nick and Nate Diaz. Against Cung Lu student, James Terry, Gamaza wasn’t able to use his reach to his advantage as Terry was able to get inside and batter Gamaza, dropping him twice and swarming on top of him, earning a referee stoppage victory that perhaps came a few seconds too soon but one that falls far away from the dreaded “robbery” zone.
James Terry wins via TKO – Round 1, 3:26
Fight Score: 6

Women’s Welterweight Fight - 135lbs
Germaine de Randemie (1-1) vs. Stephanie Webber (1-1)
It was another striker versus grappler theme in this female bout with de Randemie and Webber cast as the striker and grappler, respectively. Webber charged in right away to close the distance and press de Randemie into the fence. Webber got de Randemie on the ground and fought off a loose triangle from the 45-0 kickboxer. An awkward scramble brought the women back to their feet and it was there that this fight ended the same as the earlier women’s match: a pair of knees connecting with the grappler’s head.
Germaine de Randemie wins via KO – Round 1, 4:25
Fight Score: 5

Middleweight Fight
Ron Keslar (5-3) vs. Eric Lawson (9-3)
Lawson worked for an early takedown and scored with a single leg that Keslar was able to turn out of, taking Lawson’s back in the process. From there, Keslar quickly transitioned into a triangle-armbar position and took home the quick win with an armbar.
Ron Keslar wins via Submission (Armbar) – Round 1, 1:57
Fight Score: 4

Lightweight Fight
Isaiah Hill (5-6-1) vs. Bobby Stack (8-1)
The fight was off to wild start as Hill attacked right away with a pair of head kicks, a spinning heel kick, and a few flying knees. Hill rag-dolled the overwhelmed Stack to the ground and wrapped him up in a loose triangle that managed to secure a tap for the upset win.
Isaiah Hill wins via Submission (Triangle Choke) – Round 1, 1:02
Fight Score: 6.5

Welterweight Fight
Nate Moore (6-2) vs. Nathan Coy (8-3)
Generally speaking, when you match up a pair of excellent wrestlers, the result is often a stand up fight where neither fighter makes much effort to utilize their wrestling. This wasn’t the case between Moore and Coy who spent the first round largely in a positional battle with some great counter wrestling between the two. In the second round, Moore opted for the hands and wasted no time in dropping a bomb on Coy’s chin.
Nate Moore wins via KO – Round 2, 0:25
Fight Score: 4.5

Light Heavyweight Fight
Roger Gracie (3-0) vs. Trevor Prangley (23-6-1)
The records may indicate a mismatch, but Gracie’s jiu-jitsu pedigree, highlighted with ten world championships at The Mundials, more than balanced the marquee. As soon as Gracie got the fight to the floor, he worked on Prangley like a Boa Constrictor getting tighter and tighter until the inevitable finish.
Roger Gracie wins via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1, 4:19
Fight Score: 6

Heavyweight Fight
Herschel Walker (1-0) vs. Scott Carson (4-1)
In the category of MMA What If’s, Herschel Walker is going to be the one name that gets tossed around for years. Walker proved once again that despite the naysayers’ musings, he’s not the freak show they want him to define him as. Instead, he’s a great ambassador for the sport and a talented prospect that has shown great improvement in only a pair of fights . . . and who just so happens to be doing so at 48 years “old.” As far as the fight went, Carson scored with an early head kick that only managed to morph Walker into Hulk Smash mode for the next two and a half minutes. Walker pounced on Carson and unleashed a furious assault on Carson, who could only cover up and wait for the ref to end it.
Herschel Walker wins via TKO – Round 1, 3:13
Fight Score: 6.5

Co-Main Event
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (c) (13-2) vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6)
It didn’t take an expert to breakdown this fight: Souza wanted to get the fight to the mat and Lawler had to keep it standing. The fight opened up with some good back and forth exchanges between the two which led to, surprise, surprise, Lawler sending Souza to the canvas. Then, in a genuine surprise, Lawler followed Souza to the ground going into Souza’s full guard. On the mat, there’s high-level blackbelts and then there’s “Jacare.” Lawler proved that he’s no slouch by escaping a pair of slick armbar attempts, but Souza’s constant action and tight top game proved to be too much in the end for Lawler who was worn out by the third round.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza wins via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 3, 2:00
Fight Score: 8

Main Event
Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
Nick Diaz (c) (23-7, 1 NC) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (18-13)
Santos stepped into the cage for his shot at Strikeforce gold is only his third fight in under the Strikeforce banner, a loss to Joey Villasenor and a win over Marius Zaromskis. While not having an impressive resume of wins over other top contenders, Santos has put together a career of exciting fights dating back to 1997. Right away Santos made it clear what his gameplan was against the champ as he unloaded on Diaz’ legs in hopes of slowing down the Stockton native. Diaz ate the kicks and in turn wore down Santos with his patented barrage of punches. Santos continued his attack on the legs in the second round and scored a takedown towards the end which proved to be his undoing as the champion reminded everyone within a matter of a few seconds that going to the mat with Nick Diaz isn’t a good idea either.
Nick Diaz wins via Submission (Armbar) – Round 2, 4:50
Fight Score: 8.5

Total: 60.5 out of 100
Average Fight Score: 6.05
The main card of Strikeforce - Diaz vs. Cyborg scored very well, but it was the undercard that hurt the overall score for the event. The score may seem a bit low for a card with no decisions and two title fights, but I think the overall score for the entire event seems fair. As Strikeforce continues to build its roster by deepening the talent pool in their weight divisions and title contenders emerge from the pack, the bottom of the cards are going to quickly catch up to talent and excitement at the top. By comparison, UFC Fight for the Troops 2 had an average score of 6.09 and UFC 125 – Resolution scored a 6.95.

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