– I have a feeling the fact that Strikeforce L.A was a mid-week card and started later than usual may affect the overall ratings, but those who did tune in were treated to a highly enjoyable night of fights with all four fights delivering the goods.
– KJ Noons Vs Conor Heun proved to be a great way to start the show. Credit to Heun who pushed the pace early and showed a sturdy chin later on in the bout. He appeared to abandon his early strategy of using his strikes to set up takedowns though and ended up engaging purely in a striking contest which proved to be his downfall.
Noons looked fairly solid, showing good boxing skills with nice footwork and head movement. Heun showed a good variety of punches, kicks and knees, but Noons had the greater accuracy and was landing the more hurtful blows.
I had it 29-28 to Noons, but it was very close and so I wouldn’t argue to strongly about a split decision victory. I shake my head at the one judge who gave it 30-27 to Heun though.
– Going into the event I thought Tim Kennedy Vs Trevor Prangley was certain to head to a decision, but credit to Kennedy who pushed a ferocious pace and gave his veteran opponent little space or time to work. In the end Prangley tapped rather quickly to a first round rear naked choke which suggests he might have been tiring.
It’s great to see a genuine prospect like Kennedy rising up through the strikeforce ranks via the Challengers series. Strikeforce could use more homegrown talent like that. As for Prangley, he’s still a solid fighter but the signs are that at 37 age may be catching up with him.
– It was clear early in Evangelista Cyborg’s fight with Marius Zaromskis that he had the power advantage, and his ability to counter the Lithuanian’s dangerous kicks suggested the fight could end at any minute, and indeed it did with Cyborg wobbling the fighter and then dropping him as Zaromskis attempted a flying knee in desperation.
The win gets Cyborg his first victory for Strikeforce and suggests he could be a fun addition to the 170lb mix. For Zaromskis the news is not so good with his dominant DREAM tournament win last year now seeming a distant memory after back-to-back defeats in strikeforce.
– The headline bout between Robbie Lawler and Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral kept the positive buzz built up by the preceding bouts and produced a competitive and closely fought three round scrap in which both fighters had their moments.
Credit to Sobral who was forced into a stand-up battle for much of the fight after struggling to take down Lawler, but proved that he is still capable of being competitive against a power striker. He fought a smart fight and showed good movement and some nice kicks, particularly in the second round.
Lawler put on a solid enough display as was proven by the Sobral’s battered and bruised face at the end. I feel he should have been more aggressive early though, and appeared to be working within himself before pouring it on towards the end of the fight.
– The result of the bout leaves some headaches for Strikeforce. Sobral doesn’t want to fight King Mo for the title which leaves the question mark over who will. Sobral called out Dan Henderson after the fight but it remains to be seen if that fits in with Strikeforce’s own plans.
This result also puts doubts over the suggested 185lb title fight between Lawler and Jacare Souza (assuming Jake Shields does indeed leave for the UFC). Strikeforce may decide to press ahead with that match-up regardless of tonight’s result but it’s not exactly ideal.
– Overall though this was a good event that exceeded expectations and whets the appetite for the Strikeforce: Fedor Vs Werdum event later this month.