The actual match card for this show is pretty underwhelming. Once Meisha Tate had to pull out of her woman’s title match with Marloes Coenen, it left the show without a true semi-main event even though Liz Carmouche took the call, and it’s not like that one was selling many tickets with the original match-up. The card is banking on Dan Henderson and how much he means to MMA today.
I will admit that when my expectations are low, I am usually surprised. I hope that’s the case here.
1. Billy Evangelista vs. Jorge Masvidal
Masvidal utilized his left jab to pretty much hit Evangelista at will. He’s using his reach advantage and straight up stance to hit the smaller Evangelista. And when they clinch, he’s able to utilize his knees. Evangelista got a takedown and tried to rough him up against the cage, but lost the round.
Masvidal is pretty confident and maybe too confident. After winning the round, he started to run a bit and also started showboating. He landed the best shot, which was a lead straight right thrown at the same time that Evangelista threw a leg kick.
Masvidal is right out of reach for Evangelista. He’s going to win the decision. He was able to hit Evangelista when he wanted to, though he stayed away for the most part. Evangelista flurried at the end, but it was too little too late. The crowd was pretty unhappy with the lack of action in the third round.
Winner: Jorge Masvidal by way of unanimous decision
2. Melvin Manhoef vs. Tim Kennedy
Manhoef stuffed a couple of takedowns and landed a nasty leg kick. But it wasn’t too long before he was on his back and choked out. Fairly easy win for Kennedy.
Winner: Tim Kennedy by way of 1st round submission
3. Liz Carmouche vs. Marloes Coenen
While Herschel Walker’s pro debut and Bobby Lashley’s Strikeforce debut have been more of the focal point of this show, it’s Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis that will be in the main event for the Strikeforce welterweight championship.
The rest of this card should be fun. Cris Cyborg is defending her title against Marloes Coenen and Robbie Lawler is fighting Melvin Manhoef in what should be a slugfest.
1. Bobby Lashley vs. Wes Sims
Well, we saw enough of Wes Sims on the last season of The Ultimate Fighter. Sims took the fight on one week notice and he doesn’t look in shape at all.
Sims tried to get Lashley to contest him in a test of strength but Lashley wasn’t having it. It wasn’t much of a fight. Lashley took Sims down and unloaded about 15 short rights to his face. Sims gave up his back because he couldn’t keep Lashley off and flattened himself out. Lashley landed a few more shots before the referee stopped the fight.
Winner: Bobby Lashley by way of 1st round TKO
2. Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef
Marius Zaromskis has upset the odds by winning the DREAM welterweight grandprix, and becoming the promotion’s first welterweight champion.
The 26 year old Lithuanian scored two stunning high kick knockouts en route to the title. In the semifinal bout he stopped tournament favourite Hayato “Mach” Sakurai midway through the first round, before going on to knockout Jason High in absolutely terrifying fashion. Both will probably go down as knockout of the year contenders.
DREAM returns from a 2 month absence following the lightweight grandprix finals back in July. On tonight’s show, we will see the crowning of the first ever DREAM middleweight champion as Zelg Galesi, Ronaldo Souza, Melvin Manhoef and Gegard Mousasi, will battle it out in the grandprix finals. The tournament reserve bout will featuring Yoon Dong-sik taking on Andrews Nakahara.
Also on the card, former Pride and UFC star Mirko Cro Cop will continue on the comeback trail as he takes on the dangerous Alistair Overeem. Cro Cop is coming off a win in his DREAM debut, which followed a disappointing run in the UFC. Overeem has looked impressive in recent performances, and rides a 3 fight win streak into tonight’s bout.
Cro Cop got a massive reaction when they introduced all the fighters to the live audience.
I believe they are doing the reserve bout first.
Kenny and Bas are our commentary team as always.