Diaz, Souza Retain Titles With Submission Victories

Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons in Strikeforce

photo by Esther Lin for Showtime

“Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg” is set for this evening in San Jose, California, and Heavy.com will be bringing you all the action beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

The card features a welterweight title bout between champion Nick Diaz and top contender Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, while a middleweight title bout between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Robbie Lawler will serve as the evening’s co-main event.

Rounding out the four-fight card, world-renowned jiu-jitsu artist Roger Gracie will return to Strikeforce for the second occasion, as he faces off against Trevor Prangley. Herschel Walker also returns for his second fight with the promotion, taking on Scott Carson. All four fights will be broadcast live on Showtime.

Join Heavy.com this evening at 10 p.m. ET for all the action.

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg

Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley

Round 1 – Fighters touch  gloves and we are underway. Jab comes up short for Gracie, but the leg kick lands. They each seem content to get their distances down, as not much is going on. Prangley comes forward with a combination, but Gracie comes back and continues to work the jab. Prangley can’t seem to deal with his opponent’s reach at this point. Fans boo, clearly wanting  more action. Gracie clinches and lands several solid knees to the body and head. Takeodown for Gracie. Prangley has his back against the cage, but Gracie is looking to advance to mount. This spells trouble for Prangley, who gives up his back. Gracie moves to mount and will undoubtedly look for a submission. He transitions to the back when Prangley tries to escape and locks on a body triangle. He is looking for the choke. And he has the rear naked choke. Total domination shown by Gracie in this contest.

Official Decision: Gracie d. Prangley by submission at 4:19 of Round 1

Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson

Round 1 – Carson throws a head kick to start the action, but Walker comes forward and lands a solid shot that puts Carson to the floor. They move to the canvas and Carson is looking for a submission. Walker evades, and Carson tries to stand back up. Walker picks him up and pushes him right back to the ground. He takes his back and is simply overpowering Carson. Ground and pound landing for Walker, and Carson is in a bad position here. Carson rolls after a few big shots, and Walker stands up. Carson is up against the cage and tries to stand up as well, but Walker gives him no chance to recover, landing a big shot that drops Carson. A few more punches force the stoppage. Incredible performance by Walker.

Official Decision: Walker d. Carson by technical knockout at 3:13 of Round 1

Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Robbie Lawler

Round 1 – Touch of gloves start the fight, and Jacare takes the center of the cage. No action through the first 30 seconds. Jacare misses with a kick, and Lawler has yet to throw anything. Finally, he throws a strike, landing a knee. But Souza throws him to the ground and moves to side control. Fighters working for position, and Jacare is looking for a kimura. He is smothering Lawler here, as the round reaches the midpoint. Lawler rolls and stands up, but falls into a guillotine choke. He escapes and the two exchange on the feet. Both land strikes, but Souza gets hurt and falls to his back. Lawler follows him down, but Souza seems to be recovering. Lawler sits up and looks to land, but Souza is keeping him tied up. 30 seconds to go. The referee stands them up, and Lawler lands a big strike. Souza rushes in for the takedown, but that won’t earn him the round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Lawler.

Round 2 – The second round starts like the first, as neither fighter seems excited to engage. Lawler throws a kick, but Souza clinches and takes his opponent down. Souza moves to mount effortlessly, but Lawler forces him back to half guard. Jacare works his ground and pound, while Lawler seems to be biding his time. Souza moves to the arm triangle choke, but immediately lets it go. He moves to side control, then to north-south. Back to side control. Souza is moving effortlessly, while Lawler seems helpless from the bottom. More punches land for Souza, who is dominating this round. Jacare looks to move to mount, but a scramble forces him back to side control. He moves to a reverse mount and lands some shots. After a scramble he stands up, goes for an armbar, and he nearly gets it. Another crazy scramble follows, followed by another ridiculous armbar attempt. Lawler escapes and ends up on top as the round comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Souza.

Round 3 – Jacare comes out strong, locking on a Thai clinch. He lands several nice knees, but is now looking for the takedown. Lawler defends for a few seconds, but can’t stop the takedown in the end. Souza back on top, throwing knees. Lawler stands up for a moment, but Souza kicks his legs out and throws him down. He has Lawler’s back and is looking for the choke. Souza locks it on and he has the choke. Lawler submits, and Souza is still the Strikeforce middleweight champion.

Official Decision: Souza d. Lawler by submission at 2:00 of Round 3

Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos

Round 1 – Head kick misses for Santos, followed by another kick that misses. Inside leg kick lands for “Cyborg,” who is looking intense early in this fight. Another leg kick lands, and another. And another. Diaz presses forward and lands a combination, followed by a clinch. Not good for “Cyborg.” They separate, and Diaz lands another combination, but Santos is landing plenty of leg kicks. Nice right lands for “Cyborg.” Diaz needs to avoid these kicks. They trade and both land nice combinations. Another leg kick lands for “Cyborg.” And yet another. He lands another combination, but Diaz comes alive and lands a vicious combination. Diaz is putting the pressure on, landing shot after shot. Jab lands for Diaz, while “Cyborg” looks exhausted. Diaz is teeing off on Santos, who has no answer. Santos seems exhausted. Body shots land for Diaz, followed by a brief pause in action. 20 seconds to go. Diaz presses forward with several more shots, capping off an exciting opening frame. Close round, and Heavy.com scores it 10-10.

Round 2 – Santos opens up with leg kicks and lands plenty of them. Diaz scores a combination, but is answered by “Cyborg.” Diaz closes in and looks for the jab. Another kick lands for “Cyborg,” but he is certainly the more tired fighter. They exchange on the feet, but neither score. Another leg kick lands into Diaz’s leg. “Cyborg” looks to clinch, but Diaz avoids. Diaz takes more punishment to the leg, but continues to press forward. “Cyborg” lands a few shots, but Diaz comes right back. Brief break in action is ended with the two fighters exchanging. 1:30 to go in the round. Diaz begins taunting Santos again, but eats another leg kick. Knee lands for “Cyborg.” And another lands, followed by a takedown. Diaz looks for the armbar. He has it and the fight is over. Diaz retains his title with a terrific submission.

Diaz d. Santos by submission at 4:50 of Round 2


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