Gina Carano may (emphasize may, especially after the beating she took tonight) have the prettiest face in all of women’s MMA, but there is no doubt who the best fighter in the world is.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos was too much for Carano in the main event of the Strikeforce show Saturday night in San Jose. Carano showed guts and heart in surviving as long as she did, but she was overwhelmed by Santos’ attacking, push forward style. Carano’s counter striking looked good at times, but it was Santos who dictated the pace.
The crowd was rabid and loud during the entire 4:59 of the fight. The atmosphere surrounding the slug fest was impressive, but it remains to be seen if Strikeforce can market a legitimate women’s fight without Carano’s face plastered all over the posters.
Mousasi destroys Sobral
The most impressive fighter on the card may have been Gegard Mousasi. The much hyped 24-year old Armenian was making his debut in the United States and he did not disappoint in winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight championship.
Sobral, a former UFC light-heavyweight contender known for his slick jui-jitsu was supposed to be the biggest test of Mousasi’s career. But within a minute of the opening bell Mousasi became a household name in the MMA world. He knocked Sobral out cold with a barrage of punches with Sobral on his back. And in a show of sportsmanship, Mousasi let up when he saw Sobral’s eyes roll into the back of his head, even though referee John McCarthy was slow to jump in.
Mousasi put himself on the map with the hardcore fans after winning the DREAM middle-weight grand prix tournament in 2008, but knocking Sobral out and winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title should increase his exposure exponentially.
Mousasi now faces the same question as Cyborg; who are they going to fight next? He proved himself to be the best light-heavyweight in the entire organization, and a move to the UFC may be in his future.
Melendez beats one-dimensional Ishida, Werdum submits Kyle
Gilbert Melendez won a fight for the Strikeforce interim lightweight title against Mitsuhiro Ishida in the first of three title fights on the card. Champion Josh Thompson is still on the shelf with an ankle injury, and there was never much doubt that Melendez would win this fight.
His striking was superior, and he nullified Ishida’s wrestling, which was really the only thing the Japanese fighter had in his arsenal.
Former UFC contender Fabricio Werdum, who was originally scheduled to fight Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, easily submitted journeyman Mike Kyle in the nights opening bout. The only surprising thing about this fight was that it took the jui-jitsu black belt 1:24 to submit Kyle. I thought it would be over before that.
Werdum, who was dropped from the UFC after being knocked out by Junior Dos Santos in his previous fight, will now most likely be in the mix for a match with Fedor Emelianenko.
Overeem has not defended his title since winning it nearly two years ago. His last two scheduled fights have been postponed do to injuries he suffered in a bar room brawl earlier this year.