A FULL Contact Weekend With “GRIMM” Results for Some
Right off the bat, if you missed the WEC and Strikeforce events this past weekend, I feel sorry for you! Fight fans were treated with back to back nights of action that had no shortage of fast knockouts and amazing submissions. Up and coming talents became contenders and former champions may have seen their last days. (pictures from sherdog)
The weekends festivities kicked off Saturday night with Strikeforce, on Showtime, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The event was Strikeforces’ first venture into the Midwest and the fighters on the card did not disappoint the crowd. The fans in attendance were treated to 11 fights that evening, 7 of which ended in the first round (for full results checkout StrikeforceUSA.com).
The nights TV card was stacked with 8 former UFC contenders, a former EliteXC champion, and one badass heavy hitter you can call Mr. Rogers! No, not the guy with the tacky sweaters and finger puppets, Brett “The Grimm” Rogers. The man that told Kimbo Slice to his face, that he was pussy and not a real fighter. If fans of the sport did not know who Brett Rogers was before the fight, they certainly knew who he was… 22 seconds later! That’s how long it took for the “The Grimm” one to dismantle and KO former UFC HW champion, Andrei “The Pit bull” Arlovski. Rogers unloaded on Arlovski with a combination of punches that left “The Pit Bull” out cold on his feet.
At first it looked like it might have been an early stoppage, but during the replay you could see the former champ was unconscious two hits before he fell to the canvas. With a perfect 10-0 record and a title shot in his eyes, the Strikeforce HW division may want to be careful when entering- Mr. Rogers Neighborhood!
The nights main event also ended very quickly as Jake Shields (former EliteXC WW champ) moved up in weight to meet Robbie Lawler (former EliteXC MW champ) at a catch weight of 182lbs. Shields, a submission wiz, forced the heavy handed Lawler to tap out to a guillotine choke just 2 minutes into the fight. It was his twelfth win in a row.
Earlier in the evening, Joe Riggs looked real sharp and much improved in his fight against former UFC MW champion, Phil Baroni. Riggs threw everything from spinning back fists to flying knees at Baroni to win a clear unanimous decision. It was a very entertaining fight, but in my opinion, fight of the night had to be between Nick Diaz and Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith. While Smith fought hard and showed heart, he was no match for the always improving Diaz. After 2 rounds of non-stop action Diaz submitted Smith with a rear naked choke about a minute and a half into the 3rd round. Say what you will about the shit talking, pot smoking bad boy of MMA, Nick Diaz is a hell of a fighter and always puts on a great show.
The very next night at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California, UFC sister company World Extreme Cagefighting, held WEC 41. The first fight of the night saw former UFC LW champion Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver take on Boston native, Josh Grispi. Unfortunately for Pulver, a legend in the sport, he was quickly submitted by a guillotine choke 33 seconds into the fight. After the fight “Lil Evil”, who has lost 5 of his last 6 fights, hinted it may be his last time in the cage.
I consider it an honor to have met and watched Jens, one of the nicest guys in the sport, perform over the years! While it may have been a fast fight, the Pulver loss wasn’t the quickest of the night. That honor goes to Cub Swanson, when he took on one of the WEC’s fastest growing stars, Jose Aldo. When the two met in the center of the cage, Aldo delivered a flying knee that dropped Cub in just 8 seconds, splitting his head like a coconut. It was one of the nastiest cuts I’ve ever seen, and a huge win for Aldo who will hopefully get a title shot soon.
The nights’ main event was a rematch for the FW championship as, former champ Urijah Faber took on the man that dethroned him, Mike Brown. It was an amazing 5 round war that saw both fighters giving it there all and holding nothing back. Unfortunately for Faber somewhere in the first or second round, he broke his hand on Browns head. Urijah, showing heart and fighting spirit continued on though, doing everything he could to get the win. However, it was not his night and champ, Mike Brown kept his title by unanimous decision. Being that Urijah was injured and Brown still could not put him away, I hope to God this war becomes a trilogy!
It was an amazing weekend of fights where once again, the WEC put on a stellar show. As for Strikeforce, they proved to be just that, a force to be reckoned with. The UFC may want to keep their eyes on the competition! Speaking of the UFC, make sure to check out UFC 99 this Saturday night on PPV. It is a stacked card from top to bottom!
About Phil Devine Phil is a producer and co-host of "Sirius Fight Club" which airs on Sirius 127 / XM 105 @ 5-7pm ET Live Tuesdays & Fridays.