Hello everybody, Chris Roberts here bringing you live play by play action for the semi-final rounds of the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix. Showtime has five high profile fights lined up for us tonight. Here is the card we will be witnessing tonight.
Josh Barnett (261) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (256.5)
Daniel Cormier (247) vs. Antonio Silva (264.5)
Jacare Souza (185) vs. Luke Rockhold (185)
Roger Gracie (205) vs. King Mo Lawal (205)
Maximo Blanco (155) vs. Pat Healy (155)
Pat Healy (25-16) vs. Maximo Blanco (8-2-1)
Round 1– Blanco throws early but Healy ties him up. Big leg kicks knocks Healy off his feet and he crawls into Healy’s guard. Blanco goes for some elbows but doesn’t land them clean. Blanco into half guard. Blanco still on top trying to work the short elbows. ealy gets up and Blanco catches him with a jab. Healy doesn’t look very confident in the stand up tonight. Big head kick from Blanco, followed by a jab and a Muay thai knee. Blanco back on top inside Healy’s guard. Healy looks to go for an armbar but Blanco remains in control. Blood starts to flow from Healy’s head. While on the ground Blanco lands a kick to the head and the ref steps in to stop the action as that blow could only be classified as illegal. The doctor steps in and checks on Healy. Blanco has a point deduction for kicking the head of a downed opponent. Blanco still has fire in his hands and is throwing all sorts of kicks. Healy catches a leg and carries him across the cage before taking him down. Healy has the back but seems to be struggling to make it work for him. Healy lands a few shots to the face of Blanco and the round comes to a close. 9-9 Draw despite the strong comeback from Healy post-illegal blow.
Round 2– Blanco misses a looping shot early on but hits a jab shortly there after. The two continue to box with neither taking advantage. Blanco hits a nice uppercut. Jab from Blanco. Blanco continues to land with more accuracy. Healy lands a jab that drops Blanco for a second. Healy gets a takedown to follow and quickly goes for the rear naked choke. Healy seemed to have it pretty well but Blanco escaped nonetheless. They get to their feet and exchange some shots. Body blow from Healy. Healy charges him into the corner and gets an awkward looking takedown. Healy continues to fixate on the armbar. Healy starts landing some punches to the side of Blanco’s head. Healy rolls through with a crucifix and goes for another rear naked choke. He can’t ideal position but chokes Blanco to the point of submission scoring a pretty big upset.
Pat Healy def. Maximo Blanco via Submission (Rear naked choke)- Round 2, 4:24
Light Heavyweight Bout
King Mo Lawal (7-1) vs. Roger Gracie (4-0)
Round 1– The 2 feel each other out for the first minute or so. Mo starts throwing jabs to the body but the action really isn’t taking off here. Gracie comes in for the take down but Mo brushes him off. Mo throws a lightning fast hook that glances Gracie. Gracie throws a kick, blocked, Mo tries to hammer him but has limited success. Jab from Gracie, Mo fires back but misses. Mo throws some huge punches but isn’t really even coming that close. They keep dancing around some more. Mo is trying but isn’t really having any success. Then out of nowhere Mom wallops him with hook and he goes right down. Gracie seems stunned. Mo comes in and lands another big shot, Gracie seems to be donw, but the ref lets it go and Mo lands one more before the fight is called. Mo gets a very important win in his comeback fight.
King Mo Lawal def. Roger Gracie via TKO (strikes)- Round 1, 4:33
Middleweight Title Bout
Jacare Souza (c) (14-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (7-1)
Round 1– Jacare opens with a nasty kick. Leg kick from Rockhold. Jacare goes for the takedown but Rockhold sprawls and possibly catches him in the face in the process. Jacare breaks free and hits Rockhold directly in the face which causes him to stumble backwards. Jacare charges and leaps but does no damage. They work their way to the mat and Jacare takes a dominant position. Jacare catches him clean with some big shots to the face. Rockhold stands up but Jacare takes him right back down. Another blast to Rockhold’s face. Rockhold stands up and Jacare clips his chin with a knee. Another knee to the face from Jacare while they were in the clinch. They break and a leg kick from Rockhold. Big right from Jacare. Kick blocked by Jacare. Jacare charges again and manages to get in a few shots on his opponent. Textbook switch kick from Rockhold is blocked but then he opens up with a massive flurry that brings Jacare to the brink. Jacare goes for a desperation takedown and eats some more shots. They grapple and the round ends. 10-9 Jacare.
Round 2– Rockhold goes back to the leg kicks and they are connecting. Big kicks from Rockhold seem to be bothering the champ. Jacare nails Rockhold that drops him but he recovers right away. Jacare tries to capitalize but can’t finish the fight. Big elbow from Jacare up against the cage. Big left for Rockhold. Head kick blocked by Jacare. Rockhold is surely the aggressor right now. Leg kick from Rockhold. Big combo from Rockhold. Jacare ties him up, hoping to slow his momentum. Jacare does seem to be gassing ever so slightly. Rockhold turns the position and now has Jacare against the cage. A few knees from Rockhold land. Jacare reverses and lands a shot to the facial area. Rockhold comes in and Jacare unloads with a big hook and a body kick. Overhead right from Jacare. Rockhold with a combo and the round comes to a close. 10-9 Rockhold.
Round 3– Rockhold sticks with the kicks and why not as they worked beautifully for him in the last round. Head kick from Rockhold is blocked. Jacare delivers a few kicks of his own, all blocked. Jacare catches a shot below the belt and is really upset about it and seems to get the timeout based on his complaints. The instant replay shows that the kick landed nicely. The action restarts. Jacare goes for a single leg, he uses a sweep and lands a shot on Rockhold’s way down. Rockhold stands up, Jacare attempts the kimura but to no avail. More leg kicks from Rockhold. Jacare gets a few punches in. Flush shot from Rockhold to Jacare’s jaw. Big inside leg kick for Jacare. More boxing though nothing of significance goes down. Jacare does seem to be very tentative here tonight. Rockhold goes for a spinning kick to end the round, it misses. However he still keeps the round. 10-9 Rockhold.
Round 4– Jacare gets a shot in early and Rockhold responds with a flurry of punches. Straight right from Rockhold. The actions slows to a crawl here in the 4th. Jacare blasts him with another hook. How many of those can he sustain? A nice kick/punch combo from Rockhold. Jacare ties him up against the cage. Rockhold slides a knee in there. There’s now blood in the cage on Rockhold’s leg and I’m not sure whereit is coming from. Jacare unloads with a series of strikes. The blood seems to be coming from the face of Rockhold. The two exchange shots to the chin. Jacare blocks a kick. Jacare gets him up against the cage again. Rockhold reverses it. Knee from Rockhold. They tie up along the fence and the round ends. Ultra close stuff here but I’ll give the nod to the challenger by the slightest of margins. 10-9 Rockhold.
Round 5– More body kick from Rockhold. Jacare has not been able to get Rockhold down at all this fight. Kick from Jacare lands on the chest. Straight from Rockhold. Both seem winded pretty bad. Leg kick from Rockhold. Inside leg kick from Jacare. Rockhold responds with some of his own. Jacare pushes him up against the cage. Jacare gets something of a takedown. Rockhold stands up and Jacare gets a knee in. From there Jacare gets a takedown. He’ll have 2 minutes to save his title. Rockhold gets back to his feet. Rockhold nails a 1-2 combo. Jacare tries a front kick but it has no gas behind it. 360 kick from Rockhold. The two continue to spar as the round and the fight come to a close. Jacare tries to steal the round with a hard charging flurry at the end and I’ll buy what he’s selling and will give him the round but not the fight. 10-9 Jacare. We here at Inside Fights have the fight scored 48-47 for Rockhold.
Luke Rockhold def. Jacare Souza via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final
Daniel Cormier (8-0) vs. Antonio Silva (16-2)
Round 1– Greg Franklin is reffing this fight tonight. Leg kick from Cormier but Silva plunges ahead throwing straights the whole way. Cormier lands a BIG shot that drops Silva flat on his back. Cormier moves in for the kill but Silva regains his composure and Cormier doesn’t have a lot of interest in hanging out in Silva’s guard. They stand up and Cormier lands a few big lefts that keep Big Foot dazed. Cormier goes for a takedown, Silva sprawls. Cormier tries to wrestle with him and looks to take his back but cannot do so. Silva throws a kick once they get to their feet, but Cormier catches in and executes a big sweep that once again finds Silva in a very vulnerable position. The round starts to draw to a close. Silva throws and lands a crisp shot. But Cormier comes back with another one of his own than causes Silva to collapse on his side. He looks to be in massive trouble. Cormier comes in and lands a hammerfist that definitely puts him out. Franklin is slow on the draw and Cormier lands another hammerfist and this time the fight is over for sure. Another big upset on this card and alternate Daniel Cormier is moving on to the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Daniel Cormier def. Antonio Silva via KO (strikes)- Round 1, 3:56
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final
Josh Barnett (30-5) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (18-4)
Round 1– Both fighters come out swinging. Barnett lands a nice counter right after eating a few from Kharitonov. Barnett moves in and lands a series of uppercuts. Barnett decided to go for the takedown and gets it thanks to a sweep that lands him directly in full mount. Barnett starts in on the ground and pound. Kharitono tries to shake him off but it isn’t to be. More ground and pound with some elbows mixed in for extra flavoring. The announce team is being rough on Kharitonov for his mount defense. More shots from the top for Barnett which forces Kharitonov to roll and Barnett gains the back. Khairtonov goes with the turtle defense while Barnett tries to find a spot to get some shots in. Barnett tries to flatten him out but again Kharitonov rolls and again Barnett sees an opportunity to lock on a triangle choke. He does just that and wins this fight the exact same way he won the one over Brett Rogers.
Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitono via Submission (Side Choke)- Round 1, 4:28
Tags: Antonio Silva, daniel cormier, Jacare Souza, Josh Barnett, Luke Rockhold, Maximo Blanco, Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Healy, Roger Gracie, Sergei Kharitonov