I usually won’t go out of my way to recap the lower level Strikeforce shows because there’s just so much MMA on these days that I have to save all my free time for the big shows. But the last Strikeforce show was so good, and as a media member, they treated me very well, so even though I’m not doing this live, I still wanted to do a play by play type report.
Stephen Quadros, Mauro Ranello, and Pat Miletich are doing the broadcast from Fresno, California.
1. Bao Quach vs. Tito Jones
These guys are featherweights (145).
Quach was mostly throwing leg kicks and Jones didn’t seem very comfortable in the first round. He went for a clinch late in the round, but didn’t do anything with it. Mostly a boring first round, but Jones does look like a small and buffed version of Tiger Woods.
More lead leg kicks by Quach, and he when Jones counters with his hands, Quach blocks the punches. Jones’ lead leg is definitely hurting. This round is very similar to the first and the crowd is booing.
Jones trains in Urijah Faber’s camp and Faber is in his corner. He wants Jones to throw more than one combo and force the action a bit.
Jones caught Quach with a right hook and Quach went down. Jones tried to get his back, but ended up in Quach’s guard. They both got back up and Jones didn’t quite stalk him like you’d think. He took his time and then caught him with another right hook that dropped Quach again. Quach went for a wild high kick and slipped to the ground, but Jones didn’t follow up.
If this is a 10-8 for Jones, it’s probably a draw fight because Quach definitely won the first two rounds.
Winner: Bao Quach by way of unanimous decision
Hmmm. Well, they didn’t give Jones a 10-8 round for that last one. The crowd booed the decision.
2. Anthony Ruiz vs. Aaron Rosa
These guys are light heavies.
Ruiz had Rosa’s back against the cage for half of the first round. Rosa tried to throw him, but Ruiz defended well. Rosa turned him and then took him down. He got his back and put on a body triangle and finally got the rear naked choke. Ruiz couldn’t even tap and the ref had to stop it.
Winner: Aaron Rosa by way of 1st round submission
3. Lavar Johnson vs. Carl Seumanutafa
We’re just going to call him Carl so I don’t have to type out that last name again.
These guys are big heavyweights. Johnson has the height and reach advantage, but Carl’s a bit heavier.
Carl went for the shoot, Johnson stepped aside and threw an uppercut and Carl went out.
Winner: Lavar Johnson by way of 1st round TKO
4. Sarah Kaufman vs. Miesha Tate
Originally, Kim Couture was supposed to fight Tate tonight, but pulled out for personal reasons, which most think are because she and Randy are getting a divorce. Kaufman isn’t necessarily a step down in competition as she has 8 wins and 8 KOs.
This is at 135, but Kaufman looks a lot bulkier. Kaufman’s hands look really good. Tate was taking some really good punches and Kaufman stuffed every take down attempt, but at 19 seconds left in the round, Tate finally got her down. Kaufman’s round all the way.
Round two was a completely different round. Tate got the take down early in the round and controlled Kaufman on the ground. She didn’t do a ton of damage, but she kept her where she wanted her and landed some punches from the top. She went for a choke near the end of the round but didn’t come close.
Kaufman stuffed every take down attempt and controlled the round. Tate shot in time and time again and couldn’t get it. Kaufman’s round.
Winner: Sarah Kaufman by way of unanimous decision
5. Billy Evangelista vs. Mike Aina
I think they decided to make this a catch weight fight as both weighed in a couple pounds over 155. Evangelista is the home boy as he’s from Fresno.
The first round was pretty even. Evangelista threw a lot of kicks to stay busy. He has a pretty exciting style. Aina landed a few shots which caused Evangelista to say, “Ok, you got me.” Evangelista got a take down, but Aina popped back up. Right at the end of the round, Evangelista kneed him low.
Aina is beating him to the punch, but Evangelista has been able to shake everything off. Evangelista got the take down and pushed Aina against the cage and was scoring with punches. Evangelista landed a knee, but Aina still had a knee and a hand on the ground, making the strike illegal. Aina looks like he’s in bad shape. It looks like it’s Aina’s jaw. The fight has been stopped.
Winner: Mike Aina by way of disqualification
I imagine we’ll see a rematch.
It looks like the knee landed right underneath the ear and on the side of the face.
Aina says he doesn’t want to look at as a win and would like to take it off his record. Evangelista says he thought he was game to be kneed once his arm came off the ground. But his knee was still on the ground. Referee Herb Dean said the doctor stopped the fight.
Miletich and Ranello both said they couldn’t tell if the knee hit the head or Aina’s arm. I don’t know why they’re saying that because the replay angles weren’t the best. But, it looked to me like the knee came underneath the arm and hit the side of Aina’s face. You can tell by the way he reacted that it wasn’t a glancing blow. I’m kind of disappointed in the announcing on that end. It was almost as if they were negating Aina for getting hit with an illegal blow.
Photos via Strikeforce PR