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Fireworks at “Strikeforce: Evolution”: Smith stuns Le, Melendez and Thomson go to war & King Mo destroys Whitehead

Strikeforce evolution“The Comeback Kid” pulled the cat out of the bag once again this evening during “Strikeforce: Evolution” as Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith displayed exactly how he earned his nickname, knocking former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le out in the third round after absorbing a ton of punishment at the hands, and feet of the San Jose based San Shou expert.

Also on the card was a bout that has potential to grab the 5 Oz. Fight of the Year award, as Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson waged absolute war for the Strikeforce lightweight crown. When the dust had a chance to settle at the end of five ultra-violent rounds, it was Melendez who had his hand raised in victory; Grabbing the 155 pound title and setting up a possible rubber match in the process.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza showed that he will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with at 185 pounds in the future as he made submitting a world class wrestler in Matt Lindland look easy, slapping on an arm-triangle choke from the top position to force the tapout in the very first round.

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal showed exactly why he is widely touted as one of the fastest rising prospects in the game, improving his record to 6-o with a devastating first round knockout over the vastly more experienced, and normally extremely  durable Mike Whitehead.

A full list of the results from Strikeforce: Evolution are below:

ALEX CRISPM def. A.J. FONSECA via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

JUSTIN WILCOX def. DAISUKE NAKAMURA via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANTWAIN BRITT def. SCOTT LIGHTY via TKO – Round 1

MUHAMMED “KING MO” LAWAL def. MIKE WHITEHEAD via TKO -Round 1

RONALDO “JACARE” SOUZA def. MATT LINDLAND via submission (arm-triangle) – Round 1

GILBERT MELENDEZ def. JOSH THOMSON via unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 49-46)

SCOTT SMITH def. CUNG LE via knockout – Round 3

25 COMMENTS
  • danw84 says:

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, at the outcome of Le vs Smith. Well not that shocked, because if it’s someone who would come out of getting destroyed that bad and pull a win out of his ass, it’s Smith.

    Thomson vs Melendez is one of the best fights I have ever seen. Top 5 definitely.

    King Mo is just awesome, can’t wait to see who he wrecks next.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Yeah thought it might happen to Le, I know he was dominating but the way Shamrock rocked him and gave him trouble during their fight gave me the impression that Le was not as good as some people thought. Melendez v Thomson was good, Mo’s boxing is looking a little better although I wish he would keep his hands up more (lets face it, he is no Ali). Pleased to see Jacre pull off a sub, it would be great to see him fight Filho or Maia.
    Mo vs Sobral or Sokadjou, Melendez vs Aoki and Thomson vs Hansen or Sakurai next please.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Or Mo vs Randleman (if possible) would be interesting.

  • Makington says:

    It looked like Le’s cardio got the better of him out there. He kept dipping his head to the right everytime Scott shot to the point where he got predictable with it. I was mentioning how easy it would be for Scott to time it and hit him an ironic 10 seconds before he landed the big hook, which he then followed with what I dubbed ‘the Nose Crusher’

    However, If I were to end the night with only one thing on my mind, it would have to be, ‘Holy god damn, I absolutely can NOT for the rubber match between Thomson and Melendez.’

    By the way, an amazing show of class after the fight by The Punk. Strikeforce really needs to get a good post fight interviewer, these guys are terrible! Why would you interview the loser more than the winner? It was Gilbert’s night, let him enjoy it.

  • Makington says:

    And I apologize Logic. I was one of the people on here who praised his striking so highly 😛

    I thought he was doing great, but he looked a little too tired for that last round. Great comeback for Smith, but I haven’t given up on Le. I still believe he is one of the most gifted strikers in MMA, but he’s at his most gifted in the first round 😉

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Makington I did know what you were saying. But he did show he was vulnerable vs Shamrock and I thought people underestimated Smith a little (Maybe Le included). Le will be back I’m sure. If he was to fight Lawler, Manoef or Smith again I would be very interested but I would say he might fight a lesser opponent first. I wonder if that rubber match between Thomson and Melendez will happen next or if they will try and work an Aoki or someone in first.

  • sexy-yama says:

    omg king mo is the real deal and squeezed that whitehead out LOL,also scott smith must have a horseshoe up his ass, his abiltity to win a fight he is losing is impressive to say the least but cung t hats what happens when you wanna be a movie star,u do the acting and the get smashed in the cage,, times not on your side dedicate your self to mma for a while

  • dpk says:

    What a great night of fights.

    Gibert v Aoki will be awesome when they make it happen. Both guys came into the fight in great shape and delivered an instant classic. I’m looking forward to the 3rd fight probably at the end of summer or next fall.

    Mo did what he had to, and looked pretty good against a rough looking Whitehead. Soku would be a good next fight for him. especially if they have the SF v Dream theamed card they are talking about.

    jacare’s game is developing, and he is going to be a great fight for Hendo/Shields/Miller or anyone in the SF MW division.

    Le’s striking didn’t let him down, his gas tank did. His striking pounded Smith for 13 minutes, and then bam.

  • mu_shin says:

    Ring rust is for real. Amazing victory for Scott Smith, great finish, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat…

    I’m sure we’ll see Cung Le again, in better shape, and able to finish what he started.

  • fraz says:

    It wasn’t just Le’s gastank that let him down, it was his poor strategy.

    If you are THAT far out in front of your opponent after 12 minutes, that’s not the time to keep taking big risks. You need to stay aggressive and alert but you don’ t need to keep seeking out the flashy highlight reel moves.

    Kudos to Smith for coming back after that beatdown he took (especially in the 1st when he looked like Le’s practice bag).

  • Unabomberman says:

    I would think that Le’s wife must be feeling awful, she went from jumping around and clapping to watching his hubby get the snot punched out of him in just a few seconds.

    Thomson must have bricks for hands. That was insane.

  • submit662266 says:

    Formula for building MMA superstars: 2 iron chins, 4 quick, powerful hands, and enough cardio for 25 minutes. Good kicks are a big plus. Milendez v. Thompson was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen!!

    It is the most remarkable for this reason: I can’t remember seeing such fast and wild flurries in the FIFTH F_ _ _ING round!! From where I was sitting, I’d have to call that fight of the year.

    Cung Le’s loss should worry Rampage.

    I also agree with the comment above that SF DESPERATELY needs new announcers/commentators (I think Frank is good, but the other two guys SUCK). Jimmy Lennon: nooo senseof Voice caaaadence; Renaulo: wanna-be comedian; the other guy: seems like a fish out of water if he is interacting with people.

    I’ve been very impressed w/ SF lately. Great fights this year. One of the best things about SF is that if I met Scott Coker on the street, I wouldn’t recognize him. He doesn’t have the “Look at me, I’m a powerful promoter” complex that Dana has. Great great event.

  • BigDave says:

    Am I the only one here who still thinks Mo hasn’t fought anyone worth a damn yet? Ya, he looked good against another guy who came in drastically out of shape and then talked afterwards like he was the best thing in MMA which he is so clearly not even in any sort of top 20 list yet. When he goes in there against a real opponent then we will see what he has but until then he is just a big talker that hasn’t got any respect for his opponents or the sport. I say hand him a fight against Mousasi and lets see how much talking he does when he wakes up staring at the lights trying to remember his name and where he is.

    Jacera looked good against a guy who although has a ton of heart just can’t hang with the top level guys anymore. Lindland needs to seriously think about calling it a career and going into being a trainer for young guys trying to make it in the sport.

    Melendez/Thompson, What can I say. That fight was just great to watch and no matter whether you like them or not they went to war. I certainly hope there is a third in the series because I think it would be another war.

    Cung Le got tought a lesson last night and that is the MMA cage isn’t a movie set. He had the fight wrapped up in a nice bow but got cocky and was looking for that highlight reel KO when he should have just focused on not keeping out of range and winning the fight by decision. He also showed he has no ground game and he is to late in the game to begin to learn. Go make movies and leave the MMA to guys that are dedicated to the sport.

  • gueda says:

    awsome card.they can look for m1 as well for good fighter replacement. they have some good prospect too.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Good night of fights. They need to at least get rid of the guy who interviews the fighters afterwards. There was a couple times he pulled the mic away before the fighter could finish what he was saying, plus his questions weren’t that good.

  • Great fights. Can’t wait to see more of Jacarae. His standup looked very good for the ammount of time hes been doing it. Give him one more year and he could be in the top 10.

  • Makington says:

    AlphaOmega: Good night of fights.They need to at least get rid of the guy who interviews the fighters afterwards.There was a couple times he pulled the mic away before the fighter could finish what he was saying, plus his questions weren’t that good.

    Saying he sucked is a serious understatement. He pulled the mic away like 4 times before they were finished speaking, asked the most pointless questions, talked to Thomson more after he lost to Gilbert than Melendez himself, and why the hell would he tell Jacare to yell jiu jitsu 3 times in his own terribly done brazilian accent?

    That was my only real problem with the entire night, so that’s pretty good altogether. Melendez/Thomson made a late pick for Fight of the Year imo.

  • neijia says:

    BigDave: He also showed he has no ground game and he is to late in the game to begin to learn.

    With some decent guard passing and gnp he shoulda ended it in rd 1. 37 is still not too old to improve those two aspects. Who knows if he has a bottom ground game tho

  • edub says:

    Makington: Saying he sucked is a serious understatement. He pulled the mic away like 4 times before they were finished speaking, asked the most pointless questions, talked to Thomson more after he lost to Gilbert than Melendez himself, and why the hell would he tell Jacare to yell jiu jitsu 3 times in his own terribly done brazilian accent?That was my only real problem with the entire night, so that’s pretty good altogether. Melendez/Thomson made a late pick for Fight of the Year imo.

    Yea thats Quadros for ya. An old school guy in the game who everyone has a lot of respect for. I know he’s done this for a long time and all but get that guy away from a microphone. From inside mma to these interviews I think he proved he isnt worth a shit behind the mic.

    Mauro did a good job tho. I have to give him his props because i did not expect that.

  • Bullylover says:

    Man this fucken sucks i missed the fights becuase me and my roommates dont get showtime. Sounds like i really missed out. Anybody know a website were i could see some of the fights. It sounds like the melendez?thompson fight was awsome. and thank god for smith holding it down for the real mma fighters and showing what happens to those who think they could leave mma for acting and comeback and think that they would still be on top.Good job smith.

  • Makington says:

    Are we allowed to post links to other sites that broadcast fights once they’re on tv? If we aren’t then feel free to delete my post staff.

    But let’s say hypothetically that Bullylover were to go to google, and type ‘melendez thomson mma tko’ in the search bar, the first option juuuuust might be the one 😉

    All hypothetically speaking of course.

  • Makington says:

    woops, make mma and tko one word. mmatko.

    Still hypothetical obviously

  • GassedOut says:

    Makington: woops, make mma and tko one word. mmatko.Still hypothetical obviously

    S’okay, the search still worked. 😉

    Try this site as one wordand a dot com at the end (hypothetically of course): mma linker

    They hypothetically didn’t get the WEC stuff though. Which sucks, because I missed it. Not hypothetically. :(

  • joe mo mma says:

    Makington:
    Saying he sucked is a serious understatement. He pulled the mic away like 4 times before they were finished speaking, asked the most pointless questions, talked to Thomson more after he lost to Gilbert than Melendez himself, and why the hell would he tell Jacare to yell jiu jitsu 3 times in his own terribly done brazilian accent?That was my only real problem with the entire night, so that’s pretty good altogether. Melendez/Thomson made a late pick for Fight of the Year imo.

    I could not agree more.. his interviews and commentary killed it for me while watching this (frank’s isnt that great either).. and was it just me or was he completely one sided in the beginning of the fight with thompson/melendez. he kept praising thompson of his abilities up until it was crystal clear that melendez was the better fighter that night. btw those leg kicks from melendez were vicious..

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