NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Heavy.com is live and on the scene for tonight’s “Strikeforce: Nashville” event at the Bridgestone Arena.
We’ll begin our live blog with Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s preliminary card bout against Tim Stout. In the meantime, we’ll provide quick results from the preliminary card bouts featuring local fighters.
Cody Floyd d. Thomas Campbell via TKO, round 3: Floyd was way too much for Campbell to handle and overwhelmed him for the majority of the fight before finally finishing it in the third round.
Dustin Ortiz d. Justin Pennington via submission, round 2: Ortiz finished the fight with a nice rear naked choke.
Zach Underwood d. Hunter Worsham via decision: The crowd did not like this decision at all. Worsham is the son of former UFC fighter Cal Worsham. He also had Don Frye in his corner.
Cale Yarbrough d. Josh Shockman via TKO, round 2: Shockman barely survived the first round after getting dropped with a brutal knee. HE didn’t survive the second, though, as the former Ultimate Fighter 7 contestant finishes the fight. Mario Yamasaki was fairly late in stopping the fight and seemed distracted.
Jason Miller vs. Tim Stout: Apparently they wanted to get this fight taped so they can edit it for the live broadcast. Both guys exchange leg kicks. Miller shoots and gets a takedown. Miller lands some big shots from the guard. Miller is postured up and landing big shots, and Stout is bleeding. This one is about to be stopped. Stout moves to his stomach and Miller continues to land big shots. It’s finally stopped by Mario Yamasaki, who seems woefully off his game tonight. Jason “Mayhem” Miller d. TIm Stout by TKO, round one (3:09).
Herschel Walker is in the arena. He looks every bit of 33 years of age.
Andy Uhrich d. Dustin West by submission, round 1 (1:36): Uhrich had trouble making weight yesterday but it didn’t seem to affect him at all here. To be honest, I was more interested in a potential fight in the crowd developing behind me, but then it fizzled out and I was disappointed.
Ovince St. Preux vs. Chris Hawk: St. Preux leveled Hawk immediately, then used a rape choke and knocked Hawk out on the ground. This fight didn’t last long.
After a thirty minute intermission, we’re about to go live on CBS. Plenty of MMA and sports stars in the building, including Herschel Walker, Bobby Lashley, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers and Eddie George.
STRIKEFORCE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
GEGARD MOUSASI VS. MUHAMMED “KING MO” LAWAL
King Mo’s entrance is fantastic, of course. He was once recruited by the WWE and would have fit in perfectly there.
Round 1: Mousasi with a headkick that is blocked. Mo with a leg kick. Mo misses on some big swings. He’s controlling the center of the cage. Mo goes for a takedown, mousasi resists and punches him but Mo gets him down. Mo in the butterfly guard. Mousasi is trying upkicks and Mo uses a miss to move into side control. Mo standing back up. Mousasi with repeated upkicks while Mo tries to time it for a falling punch. He gets one and does ground and pound but gets back to his feet. We’re repeating the same sequence over and over again here. Mo is landing some good shots on the ground here. Mousasi finally gets up. Mo goes for another takedown but Mousasi clips him. Mo gets away and backs up but Mousasi lands a big headkick. Mo gets another takedown. Both guys are looking pretty tired now. Mousasi is back up. Mousasi tries a headkick as the round expires. Mo’s hands were at his side. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for King Mo.
There look to be about 20 ring girls tonight.
Round 2: Mo makes a half-hearted takedown attempt and fails miserably, but then gets it on the second attempt. Mousai rolls to his back and lands some swinging punches. Mo isn’t even trying to block them, so he’s feeling pretty confident. Mo stands up and Mousasi tries more upkicks, landing a good one that slows Mo a little. Mousasi lands two nasty upkicks. Mousasi is winning this round from his back. Mousasi finally gets up. Mousasi lands a monster left and looks to put Mo to the canvas, but he somehow ends up in Mousasi’s guard. Mousasi lands two kicks to the back of the head while on the ground and gets a verbal warning from the ref. Mousasi pushes Mo away and gets up. Mo with another takedown. Yeah, both guys are exhausted from that first round. Mousasi makes a triangle attempt but Mo quickly gets out. Mousasi reverses on the ground. Mousasi lands some big shots and then jumps on his back. Mo lurches forward and makes it out alive as the round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Gegard Mousasi.
Round 3: Mousasi with a kick to the ribs followed by a leg kick. Mousasi keeps coming after Mo and Mo is wobbly. Mo gets a clinch but Mousasi is out of it. Mo is swinging for the fences but Mousasi is blocking. They’re slugging it out now. Mo using some hockey brawl-style punches, then gets a takedown. John McCarthy telling Mo he needs to work but he seems content to lay on Mousasi. Mousasi with an upkick when Mo stands up, but Mo falls back on him. Mousasi rolls over and Mo controls him with his wrestling. Mo starts landing some big shots and Mousasi is covering up. Both guys are exhausted, and this could get ugly. The crowd is booing the lack of action. Mo lands some big ground and pound punches and stands up, so Mousasi clips him with an upkick. Seriously, we’ve seen this exact sequence at least 16 times during this fight. McCarthy is imploring both fighters to do something, but the round comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for King Mo.
Round 4: Mo lands a couple of good punches. His left eye is swollen shut. Mo with the takedown again. Mousasi rolls to his knees and then back to his back. Mousasi lands a nasty right upkick to the jaw, so Mo goes back to the ground. McCarthy stands them back up. Mousasi finally stuffs a takedown attempt, but Mo is good enough to power it to the ground and move into side control. When Mo is in trouble, he can easily fall back on his wrestling and use it to control just about anyone, and Mousasi is no exception. The odds of this fight going past the second round were not good, yet here we are, at the end of the fourth round and going into the final frame. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for King Mo.
Round 5: Mo lands a clean left. Mousasi lands a clean left jab. Mo with a huge takedown, much better than any of his previous takedowns. But then we’re back to the same routine from prior rounds, with Mousasi attempting to upkick while Mo plays cautious. Mousasi finally lands an upkick to Mo while he’s grounded, so McCarthy stops it and deducts a point. Hey, that’s fair, he’s been warning him all night. Mousasi will absolutely have to finish Mo now or he’s losing this fight. They go back to the previous position. Mousasi is punching to the back of the head and getting more verbal warnings. Mo stays on top. Mousasi gets up and starts swinging, but Mo grabs him and pushes him into the cage. Mousasi gets away. Mousasi swinging wildly but he has no power left. Mo gets another big takedown and that should just about do it for this fight. The fight gets stood up again with 25 seconds left. Mousasi doesn’t have power to put behind these punches. Mo with another takedown as the round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for King Mo. Heavy.com scores the fight for King Mo, 49-45.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal d. Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45)
We’re over an hour into the show and still have two title fights on the card. A CBS executive told me they’ve allowed time for an overrun, which is good because it looks like they’re going to need it.
STRIKEFORCE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
GILBERT MELENDEZ VS. SHINYA AOKI
Aoki looks like a completely different guy tonight. All week long, he’s been walking around Nashville with his head down, and tonight he’s the genuine Aoki showman we all know and love. My boy Phil Baldacci is in Gil’s corner tonight.
Round 1: Feeling out process to start. Aoki goes for a kick but Melendez trips him. Aoki back to his feet as Melendez wisely chooses not to follow him down. Crowd starting to get restless here. And by restless, I mean they’re starting to boo like crazy. Melendez gets poked in the eye and a timeout is called. The fight goes on after the timeout ends. Aoki shoots for his first takedown and gets it, going for armbar but Melendez escapes and gets back to his feet. Aoki misses with a kick and Melendez punches him in the ribs. Aoki shoots but Melendez sprawls. Aoki goes to his back, but Melendez isn’t going to follow him down and chooses to kick at his legs. And then Melendez does go down, ending up on top. He rocks Aoki with some big shots, but Aoki gets away and to his feet. Aoki lands a head kick. Melendez lands several punches and the round comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 2: Touch of gloves to start out. Aoki moves in quickly for a feinted takedown. Aoki goes tor a takedown but Melendez stuffs it. Melendez lands big shots on the ground and Aoki is bloodied. Melendez chooses to stand up and allows Aoki to make his way to his feet. Lots of glove touching going on here but not much else. Melendez lands a right. Aoki tries to pull guard but Melendez hits him with big shots on the ground. Melendez is stand a few feet back from Aoki’s legs. Yamasaki stands them up. Aoki is getting desperate with the guard attempts and Melendez is having none of it. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 3: Aoki shoots and can’t get it, then shoots again. Aoki has Melendes pressed against the cage. Melendez gets away and then goes into Aoki’s guard. Melendez stands up and Aoki scoots toward him on his butt, but Gil punches him in the face. Yamasaki immediately stands them up. Crowd starts booing again when it goes back to the ground, so it gets stood up again. Aoki immediately goes to his back again. I think he’s finally to the point where he realizes the only thing he can do is work for a submission. Melendez lands some monster rights but Aoki appears to be fine. They are stood back up again and Melendez throws some wild shots. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 4: Aoki shoots and immediately goes to his back when it is stuffed. Melendez allows him up. Aoki doesn’t appear to have much left to offer, since he can’t get a takedown and can’t bait Melendez into anything on the ground. That has to be frustrating. The crowd also finds this incredibly frustrating, but Melendez is fighting a smart fight. Another failed takedown from Aoki. He’s slow to get up this time. The guy sitting next to me is a Japanese journalist and he looks crushed right now. Aoki scoots towards Melendez again and Yamasaki goes to break it up, but Melendez punches Aoki hard right in the face. Yamasaki breaks it up and scolds Melendez. For what? If you’re going to break them up, break them up, don’t just tell him to get up. Otherwise, a fighter is going to take it as normal in-cage discourse. If you don’t physically break them apart, they’re not going to break it up. Yamasaki is not doing well tonight. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 5: Aoki gets poked in the eye, so time is called. He says he’s okay, so they resume. Aoki pulls guard and immediately gets a rubber guard, so Melendez pushes him against the fence. He releases it and Melendez tries to posture up. Melendex gets free, stands up and lands a shot or two. He backs away, forcing Aoki to stand up again. That was only the second time in the entire fight that Aoki appeared to have a chance of winning. Aoki misses another takedown and Melendez backs away. This is getting repetitive. Aoki pulls guard, Melendez gets away and they stand up again. Same thing again. Yes, seriously. And it happens again, except this time Melendez lands a couple of big shots. Melendez hulks up and begs Aoki to stand, so he does, and then Melendez chases him across the cage while landing punches, dropping him to the mat as time expires. This was not a good fight. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez. Heavy.com scores the fight 50-45 for Melendez.
Gilbert Melendez d. Shinya Aoki by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
You could have easily scored this 50-43. Aoki had nothing to offer outside the submission game and Melendez wisely played it very cautiously. It’s a good win for Gilbert.
They’re going to air clips of Mayhem Miller’s fight from earlier tonight next.
STRIKEFORCE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JAKE SHIELDS VS. DAN HENDERSON
Henderson gets the largest ovation of the night thus far. Shields comes out with his belt on his shoulder, a rarity in mixed martial arts. Actually, I’m surprised he even has the belt, because he forget it when he flew to Nashville. He’s probably borrowing Gilbert’s belt.
Round 1: Henderson drills Shields with the right and Shields falls flat on his face. Hendo follows, but Shields is awake and locks on a kneebar. Henderson is trying to get away and finally does. Hendo rocks Shields with another punch. Henderson is overwhelming Shields. Shields falls to his back and Hendo tells him to get up. Shields tries to pull guard and Handerson drops him again, then lands hammer fists as Shields tries to grab a leg. Hendo lets him back up. Henderson is overwhelming Shields with punches. He finally clinches for long enough that the ref breaks it up.Hendo misses with a big uppercut. Shields goes for a takedown but Hendo reverses and gets back up. Henderson with knees to the ribs. Henderson clinches against the cage and nails a big elbow as the round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-8 for Henderson.
Round 2: Shields goes for a takedown but Henderson blocks it. Henderson tries to take his back but fails and Shields ends up his guard. Shields goes into full mount. This is a very bad spot for Dan Henderson. Shields sits up and starts dropping bombs. Shields is nailing him with big shots. Henderson is in real danger, maybe not of being knocked out, but Shields can maintain this position pretty easily. Shields thinks about an arm triangle but stops. Shields continues to drop bombs. Dan’s in big trouble of having the fight stopped. Henderson gets him into half guard. Jake with hammer fists and back into Hendo’s guard as the round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-8 for Shields.
Round 3: Shields gets a takedown but Henderson gets out and immediately goes back to the feet. Shields shoots, Hendo stuffs it at first but Jake keeps working it and gets into Dan’s guard. He transitions into side control. Shields is having his way with Henderson on the ground. Shields goes for a guillotine from the mount but Henderson survives it. Shields back in full mount now and he’s making it look easy. If he hit harder, this fight would long be over. Shields locks in an armbar but Henderson defends until the round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Shields.
Round 4: Shields gets a takedown but Henderson gets out. Jake shoots again and they get into a stalemate that looks like an old-school pro wrestling schoolboy pin. The crowd laughs and I laugh with them. Back up now and Shields takes Henderson down again, getting into side control. Shields tries full mount but can’t quite get it, ending up back in half guard. And then immediately gets into full mount. Did anyone see Shields outwrestling a former Olympian like this? Shields goes for a kimura but nothing’s there. He lands a few punches and goes back to it but the well is still dry. Shields gets into full mount. This is crazy. Henderson is about to give up his back and he’s eating plenty of punches, but they aren’t hurting him. Like, at all. Shinya Aoki thinks Jake punches softly. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Shields.
Round 5: Henderson is swinging wildly and wants that right hand knockout so bad. It works against him, though, and Shields takes him down again. This literally is the same thing that happened in the last four rounds. In fact, as Brian Knapp from Sherdog just pointed out to me, every fight tonight has been the same thing over and over again. Shields wants a kimura. He’s back in full mount again. Lots of people leaving the arena now. Shields going for an arm triangle now but can’t get it. Rough night for Dan Henderson here. Shields gets a kneebar in but Henderson is fine. The fight is over. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Shields. Heavy.com scores the fight 48-45 for Shields.
Jake Shields d. Dan Henderson by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 48-45)
After the fight, Jake Shields is being interviewed when Mayhem Miller comes into the cage. He gets in Jake’s face and and asks where his rematch is. The rest is kinda fuzzy and I don’t know who punched who, but there was a huge post-fight brawl that was embarrassing to me, embarrassing to Strikeforce and almost certainly embarrassing enough to CBS where you think that this will likely be the final Strikeforce show on CBS. I don’t even want to write about it.