Friday, 21 May 2010

Strikeforce Heavy Artillery on Bravo 2 - TV Review

Strikeforce returned to British television screens this past Monday with their latest show, Heavy Artillery, on Bravo 2, with Brett Rogers challenging Alistair Overeem for the Heavyweight title. Commentary duties were handled by Gus Johnson, Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo.

The show began with action from the light heavyweight division as Antwain Britt faced off against Rafael Feijao. A fight that was a little slow at times saw both men jockeying for position against the cage for most of the first round, but after a separation Feijao suddenly sprang into life after a big right to Britt’s jaw. Feijao went in for the kill with a flurry of blows, with the referee stepping in as Feijao secured the knockout win, ending a very interesting contest.

The light heavyweight action continued with Roger Gracie taking on Kevin Randleman. Lots of feeling out in this one, and it really took a while to get going until Gracie scored with a knee to the head in a muay thai clinch. From there it was all Gracie, and it wasn’t long before he took Randleman’s back and went for the rear naked choke. It took him a while to get there, but he eventually managed to synch the choke in, with Randleman tapping just as he slipped into unconsciousness. A good performance for Gracie, but I’m left to wonder what’s next for Kevin Randleman.

It was down to the middleweight division for the next fight as Jacarei Souza went up against Joe Villasenor. This proved to be a very entertaining encounter. Souza showed some tremendous ground work throughout, especially with his numerous take downs. Villasenor showed some good defensive work at times, but only really came into his own in the third, his peppering jabs bloodying the Brazilian’s nose. But in the end the superior ground work was enough to earn Souza the unanimous decision.

Action from the heavyweight division followed as Andrei Arlovski took on Antonio Silva. The Pitbull went into this one looking to kick-start his career after two consecutive losses. The only problem here was that Silva was on the top of his game, showing superior striking skills, bloodying Arlovski’s nose as the fight went on. The only take down came late in the third round when Silva lifted Arlovski up and took him down with what professional wrestling commentators would call a spine buster. So the second fight in a row went to the judges, and it came as no surprise when Silva took home the unanimous decision. Not a spectacular fight, but entertaining nonetheless.

The main event saw Strikeforce’s erstwhile Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem defending the title against Brett Rogers. A one-sided affair saw Overeem dominant throughout, out-punching Rogers in the stand-up, and continuing his assault when he took the fight to the ground. Rogers just didn’t seem to have any answer to Overeem’s ground and pound, and it wasn’t long before the referee stopped the assault, giving Overeem the TKO win with a very impressive performance.

In conclusion - another good outing for the Strikeforce crew, and thankfully no post-match brawl to bring the event down. All five fights delivered in varying degrees. It was good to see Overeem finally defending his Heavyweight title, and let’s hope we get to see more of the Dutchman in Strikeforce in the future, because the prospect of an Overeem/Fedor fight is a very intriguing one.

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