Duarte Edges Gurgel, Rousey Submits D’Alelio

Complete results for Challengers 18

LAS VEGAS – HeavyMMA.com is reporting live from the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for tonight’s “Strikeforce Challengers 18: Gurgel vs. Duarte” fight card.

We’ll have quick results from each preliminary-card bout, followed by play by play for the main event.


STERLING FORD vs. MILTON VIERA: We have our first late stoppage of the night and it’s only the first fight. The round was fairly inactive, but Viera secured a choke near the end.. Viera’s left leg went stiff and that’s the point I believe he was out, and it was another 10 to 12 seconds before his right leg started violently shaking and referee Chris Tognoni finally noticed it and stopped the fight. Not a pretty thing by any measure. Luckily, Ford recovered almost instantly, but it’s still a scary thing to see. Milton Viera d. Sterling Ford via submission, round 1.

MIKE BRONZOULIS vs. CHAD LEONHARDT: This was an exciting fight between two guys who threw a bunch of creative strikes. It had an unfortunate ending, but was super exciting while it lasted. At 1:30 in the third round, Leonhardt began stumbling after a leg kick, went to the ground and couldn’t get up. He wasn’t unconscious, though – he’d suffered a knee injury. Referee Herb Dean noticed the injury and stopped the fight. Afterwards, Leonhardt told his corner that he had no idea what was wrong with the knee – he couldn’t feel anything, but couldn’t stand on it, either. Mike Bronzoulis d. Chad Leonhardt

LUKASZ LES vs. NAH-SHON BURRELL: I was told by a core Strikeforce staff member before this fight to pay attention to Nah-Shon Burrell. He was right. Burrell toyed with Les almost from the first bell, and it was clear within 2 minutes that Les had nothing to offer. He was nearly finished twice in the first round and, by the second, was looking for a way to escape. After several half-hearted takedown attempts, he wilted under the fire of leg kicks from Burrell, crashing to the mat. Steve Mazagatti stopped the fight. Nah-Shon Burrell is a prospect to watch, folks. This guy could be really, really good in the very near future. Nah-Shon Burrell d. Lukasz Les via TKO, round 2

KEITH BERRY vs. GIAN VILLANTE: The story of this fight was that Keith Berry wanted to punch Gian Villante in the face, but Gian Villante did not like this idea. After unleashing some hellacious ground and pound on Berry in the first round, Villante was caught with a few shots early in the second and immediately took the fight to the ground…where he proceeded to do nothing. And then he repeated this sequence for the rest of the fight. It earned him a 30-27 unanimous decision that was incredibly unpopular with the live audience. Gian Villante d. Keith Berry via unanimous decision


Roy Jones vs. Derrick Mehmen: This is not the other Roy Jones that won a bunch of boxing championships, sadly. Jones looked fantastic standing, battering Mehmen with a variety of strikes early and often until the wrestler decided to take the fight to the ground. Early in the second round, Jones hit what looked to be a spinning back kick but instead turned into a spinning back knee that opened a nasty gash over Mehmen’s left eye. That gash bled stupendous amounts of blood all over Mehmen, Jones and the cage and the fight was almost immediately stopped so the doctor could check it out. The doc said the fight could continue, so they started again, and Mehmen took Jones back to the ground. The rest of the fight was more of the same, with Jones’ corner imploring him to get off the ground and Jones unable to do so. Mehmen exerted his will and fought the kind of fight Chael Sonnen would be proud of – bloody, grueling and exhausting all the way until the very end.

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah D’Alelio: Ronda Rousey is the master of the armbar. Seriously. Coming into tonight’s fight, she had three amateur fights and two pro fights…all of which were finished by armbar, with none of them lasting longer than a minute. So you won’t be surprised in the slightest when I tell you that Ronda Rousey came out here and submitted D’Alelio by armbar at 25 seconds in the first round. There was some controversy following the fight, mainly due to the fact that D’Alelio didn’t tap. Steve Mazagatti thought she verbally said “tap,” but as D’Alelio explained, what she actually said was “ahhhh ahhh ahhhh.” Mazagatti’s call is justified because a yell of pain is the same thing as a tap. Fighters are warned that any yell of pain can be taken by the referee as a verbal submission, so Mazagatti made the right call. Ronda Rousey d. Sarah D’Alelio via submission, round 1 (0:25)

Pat Healy vs. Eric Wisely: Pat Healy told me going into this fight that he wanted and needed an impressive win to show the new Zuffa ownership that he could be a top ten contender in the lightweight division. Tonight, he didn’t get the impressive performance he needed, but he did score the win. Wisely was drastically undersize but employed a constantly-moving guard game that continually frustrated Healy and kept him from implementing his game on the ground. Wisely was too fast for Healy on the feet and too fluid on the ground, but he only did enough to win a single round on one judge’s scorecards. Pat Healy d. Eric Wisely via unanimous decision

Danillo Villefort vs. Nate James: The judges definitely didn’t get this one correct, but then again, they rarely do. I guess I shouldn’t say this was a robbery, because it was a close fight, but I felt Villefort had enough control over the majority of the fight to walk away with the decision. But the fans definitely weren’t robbed here, and unless the main event is great, this should be your fight of the night. James walks away with the decision win. Nate James d. Danillo Villefort via unanimous decision

Joe Duarte vs. Jorge Gurgel: By the time this fight started, Duarte had become the betting favorite over the veteran Gurgel. I wondered why this was the case. After the fight ended, I no longer wondered why. Duarte turned in a career performance against Gurgel, winning a unanimous decision. Gurgel didn’t attempt to stand and trade with Duarte the entire time as he’s known to do from time to time. Instead, Gurgel tried to get the fight to the ground where he could use his considerable black belt skills to submit Duarte, but Gurgel couldn’t get the San Diego resident to the ground. Duarte, though, was able to take Gurgel to the ground at will, and did so multiple times throughout the fight. It’s the 5th straight win for Duarte, who moves to 2-0 in Strikeforce.

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