Sobral Defeats Lawler At Strikeforce: Los Angeles

Photo by James Law for Heavy.com

LOS ANGELES, Ca. — Heavy.com is live on the scene for tonight’s “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” event at the Nokia Theatre. The event is headlined by a catchweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.

The Showtime-televised broadcast is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Join us for live results and commentary from all the televised fights, plus quick preliminary bout results and commentary from Ryan Loco. After the show ends, stay tuned to Heavy.com for post-fight press conference notes, video highlights and exclusive photos from the event.

You can also follow HeavyMMA on Twitter for quick results.

PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS

Hugo Sandoval d. Marcus Kowal (TKO, round 2)

Ryan Loco: Hugo came out firing to start round 1, and it was fairly obvious that Marcus wanted nothing to do with it, as he spent the majority of the round either trying to take Hugo down, or trying to stay on top of him. I don’t blame him, since Sandoval has the words JUICE written on his trunks for a reason, he never runs out of it. Round 2 was the same for JUICE, as he secured the TKO victory.

Jeremy Umphries d. R.J. Clifton (submission, round 2)

Ryan Loco: At first I thought there might have been an opponent change, but then I realized that RJ had dyed his hair after weigh ins. Perhaps this was a tactic to throw off Jeremy. It didn’t really work, as Jeremy hung on to RJ’s back for the majority of the first round. Didn’t matter what color his hair was. What did matter was the color of RJ’s face, and that was red with a shade of purple, after Umphries secured the rear naked choke in round 2 for the victory.

CONOR HEUN vs. K.J. NOONS

Round 1: Heun came out swinging ferociously to begin the round but didn’t land anything. Noons stung him with a couple of crisp punches, so he started thinking about a takedown but couldn’t get it. He was eventually able to land punches here and there, but Noons was much quicker and more technical with his boxing game. Noons caught Heun with a nice right hook that slightly rocked him, but he shook it off and landed a right hook of his own. Heun got a takedown with two minutes left, sunk the hooks in and started working for a choke, but Noons was able to avoid it. Heun moved into the mount and landed some big punches. Noons rolled every which way he could, but Heun was able to maintain top control for a lengthy amount of time and continued landing big punches. Noons rolled into Heun’s guard and was able to stand up with fifteen seconds left in the round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Conor Heun.

Round 2: Both fighters are still amped up to begin the second. Heun went for a left head kick, but Noons caught it and tossed him to the ground. Heun’s left eye is red and starting to swell. They’re being a lot more cautious than they were in the first round. Heun has missed about seven head kicks so far. Noons tagged Heun with a couple of punches and a leg kick, but Heun shook it off.  Heun tried to goad Noons into a wild brawl, but Noons is remaining patient and using his boxing. And now they’re both landing wild bombs. Heun finally landed a head kick but it had no effect.  Noons scored with a beautiful flying knee, but it may have hit the body instead of the chin. Heun landed a knee of his own. Noons seems to be tiring, but he’s still throwing big punches. Heun missed with a spinning back first. Noons tried a leg kick with five seconds left, but Heun caught it and took him down. A very close and action-packed round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for K.J. Noons.

Round 3: Heun has way more energy starting this round. Noons opened with three nice body punches. Heun wanted a takedown but it was stuffed. He’s already thrown three missed head kicks in this round. Noons landed another flying knee, but Heun is fine. Noons is gassed, but he’s holding up well and landing plenty of shots. They butted heads during a Heun takedown. Both guys are just throwing wild, sloppy punches now, but it’s pretty fun. Heun misses another takedown attempt. Noons stuffs another takedown attempt. Heun’s face makes it seems like he’s getting the brunt of the punishment. The Nokia crowd rises to their feet with 30 seconds left. Heun gets a takedown, but Noons scrambles away and as he does, Heun lands a big left hand. The crowd gives both fighters a standing ovation. This is going to be a close decision. It was a sloppy fight, but it was a lot of fun. Heun pressed the action in the third and it may have landed him the win. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Conor Heun. K.J. Noons d. Conor Huen by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

The Nokia crowd is not happy with the decision, but it was a close fight and easily could have gone either way. Big win here for Noons, but he looked rough.

Ryan Loco: KJ Noons pulled out all the stops tonight. And by all the stops, I mean that he came in with a luxurious head of hair. KJ does have the support of Bill Goldberg, that has to help. With Conor’s BJJ background, I was somewhat surprised to see Conor stand as much as he did with KJ, especially considering KJ’s boxing pedigree. This was a great fight to kick off the live show, as these two went all out. I’m glad I’m not an MMA judge…mostly because of the jackets they have to wear, but also because this was a true back and forth battle. Heck, it even brought an LA crowd to its feet, and they were all cheered out thanks to the Lakers last night. KJ Noons grabbed the split decision victory, but we all were winners after watching that.

Cris Cyborg is interviewed about her fight with Jan Finney on the June 26th Strikeforce card. I couldn’t make out what she said.


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