Strikeforce: Ten Things We Learned From Barnett vs. Kharitonov


Pat Healy didn’t like the fact that he fought once between June 2010 and February 2011, then waited another six months to get back into the cage.

When Josh Thomson fell out of his fight on this card, Healy lobbied to replace him, looking to build on the win he collected over Eric Wisely back in August. Strikeforce matchmaker Sean Shelby gave him the thumbs up, and Healy made the most of it, using his size and grappling advantages to submit Maximo Blanco.

It’s a very good win for Healy, who has now collected three straight victories. He’s a tough out for anyone and definitely should be in the thick of the title chase after picking up his second win in four weeks.

Maximo Blanco


Yeah, he should have been disqualified for the group of kicks he dropped in Pat Healy’s face midway through the opening round. But here’s the thing: it’s not like we’re talking about a knee as the guy is starting to get back up off the ground.

Blanco knew Healy was on the canvas and started kicking him in the face; it was a clear foul that should have cost him the fight.

Anyone who wants to argue that he was unsure because it was his first fight in North America and under the Unified Rules can save it; Blanco prepared for this fight at in Albuquerque, so he had ample time and resources to help him brush up on the rules.

He also needs to make the move to featherweight, pronto.


Both Mike Kyle and Rafael Cavalcante delivered impressive performances in collecting victories in their preliminary card fights on Saturday night.

Kyle, who has alternated between heavyweight and 205 throughout his career, needs to look at his performance against Marcos Rogerio de Lima as an indication of where he should make his permanent home. His striking was crisp and his conditioning was not an issue.

Meanwhile, the former light heavyweight champion got back into the win column with an emphatic technical knockout win over Yoel Romero.

After an uneventful and annoying opening frame, Cavalcante caught Romero flush with a spinning backfist late in the second round. While Romero managed to get back to his feet, Feijao could sense the finish was in front of him and continued his assault, pounding out the stoppage.

The matching victories set up numerous possibilities for the organization moving forward. Mo Lawal talked about his desire to avenge his loss to Cavalcante, while I’m sure “Feijao” would like to do the same against Kyle.


I told you so.

Jordan Mein lived up to his advance billing on Saturday night, surviving a shaky opening round to come back and finish Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos under a storm of standing elbows in the third. The victory is the sixth consecutive win for Mein and his fifth this year alone.

Mein appeared on The Next Big Thing podcast here on Heavy MMA a couple weeks back to talk about this fight, and said he was looking forward to beating “Cyborg” at his own game. Saturday night, he did just that.


It wouldn’t be a Strikeforce event recap without me touching upon the offerings from the announce table.

I’m going to spare Mauro Ranallo this time around, though I still don’t know why he gets so excited all the time. Pat Miletich is a good analyst.

But Frank Shamrock has got to go. Now. Please.

You cannot have an analyst who:

(1) is unaware of the rules, as Shamrock admitted he was when Maximo Blanco repeatedly kick Pat Healy in the face.

(2) goes through stretches where he sounds disinterested in the fights, offering little commentary whatsoever.

It honestly seemed like he was either mailing it in or missing Gus Johnson on Saturday night. Whatever the case may be, Shamrock either needs to shape up or be shipped out. He doesn’t bring anything insightful to the announce table, and actually seems to be getting worse with each passing event.