Good evening, MMA fans. Tonight, Strikeforce presents a big card from Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. In the main event of the evening, Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez takes on Jorge Masvidal in what should be a fantastic encounter. Also on the card, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos faces Hiroko Yamanaka in the co-main event. Chris Roberts and I will be bringing you all the main card action beginning at 10:30 PM ET.
KJ Noons vs. Billy Evangelista
Round 1 – Noons throws a few leg kicks early. Then another. Noons charges with a takedown, gets it, but Evangelista stands right up out of it. They tie up. Leg kick for Noons. Evangelista ties him up against the cage. They trade knees. Evangelista lifts him up and gets a takedown. Noons stands up, Evangelista goes for a choke but can’t secure it. Evangelista throws some punches and then tries for another takedown. Leg kick for Evangelista.Jab from Noons. Inside leg kick for Noons which is returned. Evangelista gets a few knees from the clinch. Big right from Evangelista. Inside leg kick from Noons. Leg kick for Noons followed by a nasty right hook. They tie up near the end of the round. Evangelista goes for a takedown but it is blocked. Evangelista hits an elbow at the bell. 10-9 Evangelista in a very close round.
Round 2– Leg kick for Evangelista. Noons is tentatively throwing leg kicks. Then Noons begins to find his range finding a hook. Left hook for Evangelista. Leg kick for Noons. Noons starts to pepper his body with shots. Right for Noons. Noons goes for a takedown but can’t get it. Uppercut from Noons. Big right hook from Evangelista. Evangelista gets a knee to the head. Noons resorts to putting his hand down to stave off any more. Leg kick for Evangelista. Evangelista throws a few more shots and backs Noons up. Noons eats another shot to the face. Two jabs for Noons lands. Noons misses a big uppercut and has to withstand a knee to the body. Noons tries for a last second takedown but it isn’t meant to be. Another very close round ends though again we are going to go 10-9 Evangelista.
Round 3– Leg kick for Noons to start. Right for Evangelista finds a home. Noons hits a vicious right uppercut. Leg kick for Noons. Jab for Noons. Big right head for Noons. Evangelista goes for the takedown but his is stuffed as well. Leg kick for Noons. Another uppercut from Noons lands. Straight from Noons. Now Evangelista tries to tie him up along the cage. Noons keeps finding a home for his punches. Evangelista tries for another choke but again Noons escapes. Evangelista comes from nowhere and gets a nice loking standing choke but Noons escapes and lands another uppercut. Both fighters have slowed dramatically. Noons throws a few jabs and Evangelista responds with a bomb. Noons comes back with another big shot. Evangelista throws an uppercut of his own. The fight ends. We see the final round 10-9 Noons meaning that the final Inside Fights scorecard finds Evangelista winning 29-28.
KJ Noons def. Billy Evangelista via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gegard Mousasi vs. Ovince St. Preux
Round 1– Big kick from St. Preux is mostly blocked. Leg kick for Mousasi. And another. The fighters exchange kicks. A spinning back kick for St. Preux misses. Body kick for Mousasi. Mousasi stalks St. Preux across the cage. A right from Mousasi lands. Leg kick for Mousasi. Mousasi charges in with a big combo of punches. St. Preux lands another body kick but Mousasi catches it and uses it to score a takedown. Mousasi lands a few punches in the ground and pound. Mousasi stands up but keeps the pressure on and really starts wailing on St. Preux. Mousasi moves in to half guard. Mousasi starts to land elbows from side control. St. Preux powers up to stand up but Mousasi caught him and dumped him back to the ground. Mousasi lands a nice elobow. Mousasi goes for a kimura but St. Preux rolls through. Mousasi holds on and tries to break his arm but St. Preux escapes. St. Preux ends up on top but not for long. Mousasi gets back on top and lands some more huge shots. He gets St. Preux in the crucifix but cannot finish as there are only ten seconds left. 10-9 Mousasi in a very dominant round for the former champ.
Round 2– St. Preux opens with a big kick that is blocked. He goes for a takedown but Mousasi blocks it and then gets a takedown of his own. St. preux has him in the full guard. Mousasi keeps pushing down on him and tries to pass guard. Mousasi goes back to the ground and pound and he is having tons of success with it. St. Preux is able to secure a half guard but it is doing very little to stop the onslaught. A little bit of stalling from Mousasi as the action slows down. Mousasi is still absolutely in control of this fight. The referee orders a stand up, very questionable. Leg kick from Mousasi. St. preux catches Mousasi with a kick to the head. They wrestle to the ground and St. Preux ends up on top. He takes side control and starts landing elbows. The ref is already giving him an earful about staying busy. Mousasi stands up. St. Preux goes for a takedown but Mousasi easily sprawls away from it. Mousasi wins another round despite the comeback from OSP. 10-9 Mousasi.
Round 3– Leg kick from Mousasi. St. reux goes for a flying knee but it does very little damage. St. Preux lands a nice knee. Mousasi grapples him to the ground. St. Preux stands up but Mousasi grabs his back. St. Preux shakes him off of that and pins Mousasi up against the cage and gets a beautiful takedown. St. Preux gets side control and then full mount and starts to pound on Mousasi. Mousasi slips out but eats a few more shots before getting all the way to his feet. Right away he scores a sloppy looking takedown and takes St. Preux’s back. They wrestle around and after a quick stand up Mousasi is back on top. Both fighters look to be out of steam but Mousasi is on top and more than likely well ahead on the judges scorecards. St. Preux gets up and lands a brutal lunging punh. With 30 seconds left St. Preux is desperate to finish and lands some nice shots but doesn’t seem to have a clear path to victory. St. Preux starts looking for a D’Arce choke but it is all too late. We will give him the round though. 10-9 St. Preux but Mousasi wins the fight on the Inside Fights scorecard 29-28.
Gegard Mousasi def. Ovince St. Preux via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Strikeforce Featherweight Title Bout
Cris Cyborg [c] vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Round 1– Cyborg drops her immediately with a big right. Cyborg tries to pound her out but somehow Yamanaka stands up, stumbles back against the cage and Yamanaka gets pounded in the face again. She falls backwards and instantly the ref steps in and calls the fight. Maybe a bit premature but keeping the fight going would have only been delaying the inevitable.
Cris Cyborg def. Hiroko Yamanaka via KO (strikes)- Round 1, 0:16
Strikeforce Lightweight Title Bout
Gilbert Melendez [c] vs. Jorge Masvidal
Round 1– Both fighters throw light jabs to start. Leg kick from Masvidal. Two punch combo for Melendez. Jab for Masvidal. Hook from Melendez and then another 2 punch combo lands. Leg kick from Melendez. Melendez keeps hitting him in the face. Melendez working the straights and they keep landing. Unorthodoxed combo from Melendez. Masvidal tries for a flying knee but it is blocked. Jab for Melendez. Another flying knee from Masvidal misses. Jab from Masvidal. And another. Masvidal tries for a kick but it is blocked and Melendez takes him down with it. Melendez tries for a guillotine choke. He can’t get it on tighly but uses it to land a few knees to the head. Masvidal throws a kick at the bell. Easily 10-9 Melendez.
Round 2– Melendez tries to find his range early but nothing lands for either combatant. Beautiful 3 punch combo for Melendez. He hits a few soft jabs afterwards. Masvidal eats a nice counter punch. Left hook from Melendez. Head kick from Masvidalis blocked. Leg kick from Melendez and then a series of punches which hurt Masvidal. They exchange punches with Masvidal getting the better of it. Leg kick for Melendez followed by a body kick. Masvidal gets one back. Melendez hits a sharp uppercut. Leg kick for Masvidal. Melendez charges in with some soft punches and then a haymaker. Melendez keeps working the jab as best he can. Masvidal has had very little offense this round. The round ends on a slow note. 10-9 Melendez again.
Round 3– Melendez goes right back to the jabs. Masvidal is still sitting back and letting Melendez dictate the pace. Melendez goes for a takedown, Masvidal stuffs it but, of course, Melendez makes him pay for it. Melendz throws three huge straight rights in a row. Masvidal goes for and lands a flying knee, Melendez shows no ill effects. Melendez works his way through Masvidal’s jabs and pounds him with some incredibly heavy punches. Masvidal comes back with a nice combo including a brilliant body shot. Melendez keeps working his boxing. He backs Masvidal up against the cage but Melendez is unable to unleash a real flurry on him. Nice kick from Masvidal is blocked. Body kick hits Masvidal. Again the action slows near the end and again the round belongs to Melendez though this one was a lot closer. 10-9 Melendez.
Round 4– Melendez continues to pound away on the challenger early on. His boxing skills are all on display here tonight. Melendez works a double jab and thn follows it wth a big shot. Melendez is relentless in the way that he is throwing punches here tonight. Nice hook for Masvidal lands. Massive straight right lands for Melendez. Masvidal insists on playing a passive role in this fight. Leg kick for Melendez. He chases Masvidal across the cage along the fence. Masvidal slips a nice shot in. Melendez throws a big straight but it is blocked. Melendez comes with a series of 1-2 combos. It is almost comical the way he throws it time and time again and how effective it is remaining. Melendez does have some swelling on his eye that could be causing vision problems. Masvidal lands a knee near the end of the round. Again we are sticking with Melendez 10-9 though this was Masvidal’s best thus far.
Round 5– To judge by their faces it would look as though Masvidal was up 4 rounds to none. Melendez throws a weak shoot, backs out of it and throws a big hook. Uppercut from Mascidal. Jab from Masvidal. Masvidal then hits a series of knees. Jab from Masvidal. Melendez uncorks a great 3 punch combo. Melendez does seem to be tiring. Jab from Masvidal. Jab from Melendez. Big straight lands for the champ. Melendez sticks with the 1-2 combo and maybe in this round they aren’t being as effective. Hook from Melendez. A sharp jab slips through for Masvidal. Masvidal keeps the pressure on but he doesn’t seem to be going for the kill. Jab for Melendez. He then clocks Masvidal with 3 more. A slugfest breaks out in the final 30 seconds. With 17 seconds left Masvidal goes for the takedown, gets it and grabs Melendez’s back for a quick second before losing it. The round and fight ends shortly thereafter. We’ll give this one to Masvidal though I may be wrong about that. 10-9 Masvidal meaning that the final score on the Inside Fights scorecard is 49-46 for Gilbert Melendez.
Gilbert Melendez def. Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision to retain the Strikeforce Lightweight Title (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Tags: Cris Cyborg, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, Gegard Mousasi, Gilbert Melendez, Jorge Masvidal, KJ Noons, Mixed Martial Arts, Ovince St. Preux, Strikeforce