FiveOuncesofPain.com will be on-site at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas to take in all the happenings at tonight’s “Strikeforce – Houston” event and report back live. Coverage of the show will begin prior to the first set of fighters touching gloves at approximately 6:00 p.m ET (4:00 PT). You can also watch the main card unfold on Showtime starting at 10:00 p.m. ET (7:00 PT).
“Strikeforce – Houston” features a pair of championship contests, as current 205-pound champ “King Mo” Lawal defends his title against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante in the main event, while middleweights Tim Kennedy and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza face off in hopes of laying claim to the promotion’s vacant 185-pound strap.
Also in action, lightweights KJ Noons and Jorge Gurgel will look to wow the crowd with what is sure to be a high-energy scrap and former professional wrestler Bobby Lashley looks remind fans of his legitimate MMA ability against 8-1 heavyweight Chad Griggs.
Five Ounces is officially IN the Toyota Center and I have finally arrived at the D-List…Section D of the media tables that is! First fight doesn’t kick off for 30-40 minutes so feel free to ask questions in the comments section and I’ll do my best to respond throughout.
(5:50) Seen so far in attendance – “Big” John McCarthy, Ed Soares backstage with a very-focused “Feijao”, Josh Gross, and the one and only Ariel Helwani!
(6:00) Jay Z pumping on the speakers. Sounds like they’ve opened the doors to the public.
(6:15) Gurgel warming up in the cage. His red sweatsuit would make Tony Soprano jealous.
(6:22) First fight in eight minutes. Fans still rolling in.
(6:26) A group with Cavalcante, Jacare, and Galvao just walked by me. All of the sudden every joint in my body started aching and I could barely breathe. Weird?!?
(6:28) First pair of fighters in the ring, Wu Tang’s “Triumph” on the speakers. Time to get this show on the road!
(6:40) Crowd looking decent for this early in the night.
(6:46) On his way backstage, Arteneus Young apologizes to media row and some fans for not scoring a knockout.
(7:01) Lots of fans wanting pictures with Herschel Walker who is sitting ringside.
(7:15) Christopher “Big Black” Boykins from “Rob and Big” just rolled into the arena. Suddenly I feel the need for a mini-horse.
(7:41) There has been a Dan Henderson sighting!
(7:53) The arena looks to be about half-full and I don’t see anyone new coming down the rows.
(8:39) Caught Cormier and Riley talking backstage. One of the things I love about MMA is the mutual respect that’s generally found between competitors. Was witness to it tonight.
(8:43) There is a line to take a picture with Dan Henderson at least 20 people deep. Still beloved by fans without a doubt.
(8:58) Jimmy Lennon points out a few fighters in attendance. Very nice response for Cris “Cyborg” Santos. Smattering of boos for Jason “Mayhem” Miler.
(9:00) Arena looks about 2/3 full. Not bad for a non-UFC event in a major venue.
(9:48) Word is surfacing that Lashley has been taken out of the arena on a stretcher and is headed to a local hospital.
A full list of results can be found below:
Chad Cook vs. Arteneus Young
Big John is reffing and gets a nice round of applause from the audience. Lots of local fans here to support Cook/Young.
Cook and Young start out exchanging. Cook shoots in for a takedown but Young fights it off against the cage, then reverses it to take Cook down. Young is in half-guard, moderately working to advance. Young toys with the arm-triangle, but gives it up and the fighters return to their feet. A little feeling-out occurs. Cook attempts another takedown but Young avoids it. The clock is frozen at 1:03 for some reason. Round closes with a successful takedown from Cook but he doesn’t have enough time left to do much other than hope it won him the round.
Round 2 opens with Cook closing distance and going for another takedown. He gets stuffed, then ends up tasting a bit of Young’s leather as a result. More feeling out, a failed takedown, and Cook pulls guard. Young not interested in engaging him on the ground. Both looking a little tired. Feeling out, failed takedown, and more pulling guard. Deja vu all over again as the second stanza ends.
McCarthy looks to have asked both men to let it all hang out during the third round before they start it. Some tentative stand-up is the result. Young is getting the better of the striking exchanges. Cook backs up against the cage but Young doesn’t attack. Cook pulls guard, then Young backs up and raises his hands as though he’s already won. The crowd disapproves of his showboating. I kind of like it. Cook pulls guard again as the round ends.
Winner – Arteneus Young via Unanimous Decision
Humberto DeLeon vs. Chad Robichaux
Lots of love from the crowd for Houston product DeLeon. Also a really nice response for Robichaux, Fight starts with a touch of the gloves, then a bit of stand-up. DeLeon jumps guard, then quickly gives it up. Robichaux ends up delivering a nice slam shortly afterward. More striking with DeLeon sending Robichaux to his back for a second, then backing away. Both men are now letting it all hang out. DeLeon catches him again, gets on top to land a few shots, and then stands back up. Round ends with DeLeon pressed up against the cage.
Robichaux attempts a takedown, fights for it against the cage, and finally gets DeLeon down. Lands some nice shots but can’t finish things. Maintains control until the two scramble and stand again. Robichaux gets another takedown and the clock expires. Looks like the two have split the opening rounds.
Fight stays standing in the third. DeLeon lands a good punch but nothing devastating. A few kicks from both. Robichaux pulls guard, doesn’t look like he wants to deal with DeLeon’s striking after a few lost exchanges. Third frame ends with a couple reckless punches from each fighter. They exchange a high-ten as the fight ends. I’d give it to DeLeon 29-28 if scoring things, meaning…
Winner – Chad Robichaux via Split Decision
Jose Santibanez vs. Reynaldo Trujillo
I predict the winner of this fight will hail from Houston (since they’re both from here). Going out on a limb here clearly.
Fight starts with both throwing reckless punches. Trujillo connects, drops Santibanez, and finishes things from the top. Not sure about the official time but definitely less than a minute.
Winner – Reynaldo Trujillo via TKO Round 1
Kier Gooch vs. Adam Schindler
Gooch is 1-6 while Schindler is 7-1. I wonder who is the underdog in this one?
Schindler takes Gooch down after absorbing a few shots to the chin. Schindler quickly advances position, though Gooch reverses position. Schindler moves back into side control, landing a few small shots while looking for a possible crucifix. Gooch escapes for a second, then Schindler takes his back. Gooch stands up, Schindler locks in a RNC, and before long it’s over.
Winner – Adam Schindler via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Rocky Long vs. Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes
HUGE response from the crowd for “Draculino”. Impressed with the Houston fans thus far.
The two feel each other out for a few minutes. The audience is anxious. Neither has landed any clean shots thus far. Long moves in, Magalhaes attempts a takedown, and almost gets a leg-based submission during a scramble. Looked like a kneebar attempt from this angle. Grappling exchanges on the ground with Magalhaes still on top. Presses Long up against the cage and lands a few knees to his body as the first round expires.
Similar start to the second. Neither seems interested in fully engaging the other. Leg kick from Magalhaes lands but does little damage. Same with a follow-up body kick a few seconds later. Audience wants to see more action as evident by patches of booing. Men lock up against the cage with Magalhaes delivering a few knees while utilizing double-underhooks. Fairly uneventful round. Long almost certainly needs to finish Magalhaes in the third if he wants to walk away the winner.
More tentative stand-up to start things out. Long looks slightly more aggressive this round but isn’t fighting with urgency. “Draculino” goes for a takedown, drags Long down, and then gets his back. Round ends with Magalhaes likely taking home a unanimous decision win.
Winner – Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes via Unanimous Decision
Andre Galvao vs. Jorge Patino
A few “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd as the pyrotechnics flare up for both entrances. Galvao is HUGE for a welterweight. Actions starts slowly with Patino opening up and attempting a head-kick combination. Galvao locks his body up and starts working for a takedown against the cage. The Brazilian rains down a few punches, postures up, then goes back down and attempts to advance position. Galvao ends up getting Patino’s back who toys with the idea of standing up. He falls to the ground and tries to shake Galvao off (which he’s successful at). The two stand back up and throw a few strikes. Patino lands a big strike that drops Galvao. He does a little more damage but Galvao avoids the stoppage. He makes a few lazy attempts to grab Patino’s legs. The two stand back up and Galvao gets rocked again. Patino climbs back on top, but can’t finish things before the round ends. Galvao looks to be sucking major wind at the moment and we’re only five minutes in.
Second round starts with a 10-11 year old kid yelling “C’MON!!! GET IN THERE!!!” from behind me. Who ever said MMA wasn’t a family sport? The two lock up against the cage after some sloppy striking. Galvao gets Patino down to the ground and peppers his body with shots. Still working from the ground, gets Patino’s back, and sinks in the hooks. Patino shakes him off and they’re back on their feet. Galvao attempts a takedown and Patino succesfully sprawls. More wrestling on the ground for position with Galvao getting the better of his opponent. Galvao drops some bombs from half-guard as time expires.
Both men look a little winded as the third round opens up. Galvao lands a takedown and continues his ground-based assault on Patino. He eventually gains back control and throws a few solid punches from the side. Patino doesn’t seem to have an answer, making me wonder if he might have blown his load in the first frame after the knockdown(s). Referee decides to end the fight based on Patino not fighting back, though the chorus of boos from the audience (and confused look on Patino’s face) the official seems to be the only one who knows exactly why. Not intelligently defending perhaps?
Winner – Andre Galvao via TKO Round 3
Daniel Cormier vs. Jason Riley
Rashad Evans in Cormier’s corner. Cormier goes for an early takedown but doesn’t fully commit and ends up clinching with Riley. They separate. The AKA product lands a huge shot, gets on top, and pounds Riley out for the win a little over a minute into the fight.
Winner – Daniel Cormier via TKO Round 1
Chad Griggs vs. Bobby Lashley
Keeping my head on a swivel for this one just in case someone else from the media decides to try and take me out with a folding chair in honor of the Lashley.
The crowd absolutely LOVES Lashley. Huge ovation from fans as he’s announced. Griggs jabs but gets taken down immediately. Lashley works from the top, moving quickly into side control. He lands a few punches and continues trying to advance position. A fan yells out, “Get up, Chad!” as though he’s choosing to be under Lashley. Griggs eventually goes up and throws some shots. Lashley works another takedown. Griggs grabs the fence to stop it, gets warned, and ends up on his back during the exchange. Lashley back on top controlling things until Griggs makes his way back up to his feet. Lands a big knee to Lashley’s body and the two clinch against the fence. Action stalls and the ref separates them. Lashley successfully works ANOTHER takedown and lands some more punches from the top. Lashley appears to be cut and starts painting the canvas. Ric Flair would be proud!
Lashley starts out the second with a big slam and is back to working from the top. Crowd wants to see more action and voices their disapproval. Lashley gets into mount and starts pounding away on Griggs. Griggs tries to buck but has no luck. Eats some more damage but Lashley opts to lean on him occasionally rather than remain postured up. Ref stands them up and has the ringside doctor check on Lashley’s cut. For some reason they are NOT restarted in the same position. EDIT: Word is he stood them up for inactivity, not just to check the cut. The former pro wrestler looks exhausted at this point but still works a takedown as soon as things fire back up. Griggs sprawls, stuffs him, and lands a few shots as the round ends.
After the round, Lashley struggles to continue and the ref decides he’s had enough so the fight is called.
Winner – Chad Griggs via TKO Round 2
Jorge Gurgel vs. K.J. Noons
Noons moves forward but Gurgel backpedals his way too safety. Gurgel lands an overhead shot but Noons is unfazed. Gurgel attacks with a few punches and a headkick. To the surprise of many Gurgel actually appears to be winding the stand-up thus far even though Noons has landed a few shots as well. Gurgel is using his kicks well to maintain distance when he wants to, then moving forward with combos to keep Noons guessing. Gurgel moves in again and eats a left and right from Noons. Round ends with a flurry that sees Gurgel get dropped a few seconds after the bell has sounded.
Noons blasts Gurgel to start off the second round, then follows up with a few strikes AND a soccer kick to end things. Crowd is excited, yet confused. Now they’re upset after seeing a few replays. Lots of boos being thrown in the direction of the former EliteXC champ.
Winner – KJ Noons via KO Round 2
Tim Kennedy vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Standing ovation for Kennedy during the introductions. Biggest reaction by far this evening. “USA” chants start up less than thirty seconds into the fight. “Jacare” lands a nice push-kick, then scores a few clean shots to Kennedy’s head. Kennedy resets and backs off a bit. Kennedy fires back a few punches of his own and lets Souza taste HIS power. The two continue to stand with each other. Kennedy rushes in. Souza trips against the cage when backing up. Fighters close out the round on their feet.
More stand-up throughout the first few minutes of the second. Kennedy leaps in and appears to get clipped. He works a takedown until “Jacare” attempts a guillotine, causing him to back out. Souza comes in and lands a few punches in the clinch but nothing substantial. Lots of patience here from both men so far. Souza tries a takedown but gives up after Kennedy fights it off. Frame ends with a few more striking exchanges.
More stand-up and very little ground-work from two men known for their grappling. Fighters clinch against the cage but separate shortly afterward. Action remains standing until Kennedy FINALLY scores a takedown. However, he is unable to break out of Souza’s guard, and “Jacare” scrambles out of the position within 30 seconds of being put on the mat. Ending of the third is similar to that of the first two rounds. Souza looks like the fresher fighter at this point. It also appears Kennedy has a cut over his left eye.
Fourth starts out as the other rounds have with both opting to stand rather than attempt to take things down to the ground. The fight is very evenly matched so far. Souza goes for a takedown but Kennedy sprawls and stuffs it. Kennedy lands an accidental shot to the Brazilian’s groin causing the referee to pause the action. The cut under Kennedy’s eye is looks bad, even from press row. Fight starts back up, and ends, with more of the same from earlier where striking is concerned.
Final round is here and there seems to be more of a sense of urgency from both men. Hard shots thrown by each but neither connects cleanly. Kennedy ducks under a punch and returns fire but misses. Kennedy tries a half-hearted takedown but backs off after “Jacare” takes a step backwards. Pace picks back up but still nothing speculator is landed. A little clinch-work takes place. Souza grabs Kennedy’s back after slipping a punch but the former Green Beret escapes. Kennedy’s face matches his red trunks at this point but he still closes out the bout with a nice slam. Should be interesting to see how the judges score things.
Winner – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via Unanimous Decision
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante
Big “King Mo” chant from the crowd to start things off. Lawal lands an early uppercut, then clinches “Feijao” and tries to take him down. He sacrifices the takedown attempt for his back, then scoops him up to deliver a beautiful slam. The two stand back up with Lawal kneeing Cavalcante’s thighs from behind. They separate and reset on their feet. They exchange feeler-jabs for a minute or so, then Lawal explodes for another takedown attempt but “Feijao” fends it off. Back to standing and “King Mo” ducks a punch, then showboats for a second. Round ends shortly thereafter.
Second frame opens up with more stand-up exchanges. Lawal lands a few nice shots but Cavalcante fires back with a knee. “Feijao” throws a punch with bad intent that barely misses Mo. Lawal ends up in the Brazilian’s guard after a quick scramble but Cavalcante gets to his feet easily. Lawal starts working on Cavalcante’s midsection with a series of body punches while mixing in an occasional head-shot. Lawal grabs Cavalcante and pushes him to the cage, attempting a takedown, but is unable to land it as the round expires.
Cavalcante lands a few solid shots at the start of the third and looks to have rattled Lawal. He lands a few more punches and sends Mo to the ground but the Strikeforce champ recovers and works a takedown. “Feijao” makes him pay for the position with a series of elbows to the head. The ref has seen enough and calls for the bell. Lawal loses for the first time and a second Brazilian champion emerges from this evening’s activities.
Winner – Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante via TKO Round 3