Tonight, Thackerville, Oklahoma hosted Bellator’s first show of the summer, titled Bellator 96.
There were five fights, four in short tournaments for title shots in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions.
In the main event, King Mo faced off against Seth Petruzelli, whose claim to fame is being the first person to knockout Kimbo Slice when he replaced Ken Shamrock in a big Elite XC CBS fight. Seth killed Elite XC!
Well, he didn’t kill Mo. King Mo had him on the ground and knocked him out with a wild right hand.
(GIF by SBNation)
Other results include:
– War Machine beat Blas Avena via 1st round KO
– Vitaly Minakov beat Ron Sparks via 1st round KO
– Ryan Martinez (who took the fight just a few days ago) beat Rich Hale via 1st round KO
– Jacob Noe beat Babalu via 3rd round KO in a fight where Babalu pushed the referee because of the stoppage and then retired after the fight
(GIF by @EHZAY)
The rumored fight for Strikeforce’s last card of the year is final. Dan Henderson will rematch Babalu while Hershel Walker will have his second cage fight on December 4th in St. Louis. They also announced that St. Louis native Jesse Finney would be fighting on the undercard.
Here’s the press release from Strikeforce:
ST. LOUIS, MO (Sept. 27, 2010) – Mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Dan Henderson will face former STRIKEFORCE World Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral when STRIKEFORCE returns to St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center, LIVE on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast)
Football legend and unbeaten MMA fighter Herschel Walker will return to the cage in a televised co-feature fight at the STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu event.
Also on the card, talented St. Louis native Jesse Finney will face an opponent to be announced in a non-televised undercard fight. Additional bouts for the main card will be announced in the next several days.
A special ticket pre-sale for “STRIKEFORCE Insiders” begins this Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT and ends Thursday at 10 p.m. Fans can sign up to become an “Insider” at STRIKEFORCE.com. Anyone who purchases tickets during the pre-sale period will receive a special $5 off discount.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. CT at the Scottrade Center ticket office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.
So one of the most historic MMA shows ever is in the books. Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg is the first MAJOR MMA televised card featuring male talents to be headlined by females for the first ever Strikeforce Women’s 145 lb championship. Was the show any good? Let’s find out!
Best Fight – Ishida/Gilbert
Worst Fight – Carano/Gina (I enjoyed it but it WAS sloppy as hell and they gassed embarrasingly fast. I enjoyed all the other matches and they didn’t have those slights against them so this gets “worst” match kinda by default.)
Fun show. Everything was worth watching. LOVE Gegard, wanna see him in UFC asap.
Best Fight: Gina Carano vs. Cristiane Cyborg
Worst Fight: Melendez vs. Ishida
It was a very fun show with no fights going to a decision and all having a bit of spectacularness to them, which can be considered an MMA promoters dream, except when the fighter with the most ability to draw winds up getting the worst end of it. This happened twice here.
I’m sure Strikeforce was hoping and praying that the more marketable Carano was going to pull it off, but I just did not see a chance for it to happen here. She fought bravely though and has nothing to be ashamed of. Cyborg is bigger, stronger, and comes from Chute Boxe.
Other than that, I was happy for North American MMA fans to see Mousassi not only in action, but to come in and destroy the Strikeforce 205 lb champ Babalu quicker than anybody including Chuck Liddell has been able to. Mousassi has been a force in Japan for quite some time and now I’m sure the eyes of the Fertittas and Dana White have been opened to this guy. In addition, Melendes looked great against Ishida and avenged his loss to him tenfold. I’m not the biggest Werdun fan, but he looked good her in his quick submission over Mike Kyle – the closest thing to an MMA version of 1990s WWF jobber.
Best fight: Gilbert Melendez vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida
Worst fight: Jay Hieron vs. Jesse Taylor (only the live crowd saw this one I think)
To me, the show was a success. Though Gina Carano didn’t win, I hope that Cyborg was made by beating her. It seemed to me live that the crowd accepted her as the best woman fighter even though they desperately wanted Gina to win. I thought Melendez vs. Ishida was excellent. Those guys fought at a fast pace and Melendez went for blood at the finish. Werdum vs. Kyle wasn’t anything special, but I don’t think many expected it to be. And I loved seeing Mousasi in person. He was very impressive.
Best – Melendez vs. Ishida
Worst – Diaz vs. Riggs because it meant I had to sit through Taylor vs. Hieron. Nothing like killing a crowd right before going live.
Aside from the Taylor/Hieron fight, everything on the card was entertaining. I think at the end of the show Melendez proved once again that he’s a great fighter and I’m excited to see his rematch with Thompson. Mousasi looked like an animal and should have no trouble gaining fan support in the US. Gina took a beating, but I think it will in no way diminish her “face of female MMA” title, as probably 90% of the people that are into Carano are into her because of her looks and not her skills. Cyborg looked impressive, and I think the fans can get behind her aggressive style. Learning a little English before her next fight will help her out a bit with the American fans. Strikeforce once again has shown that they are going to be a force in the MMA market.