Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Strikeforce Los Angeles on Bravo 2 - TV Review

MMA action returned to Bravo 2 this past Monday night here in Britain with Strikeforce Los Angeles, headlined by Robbie Lawler against Renato Sobral, and with Mauro Ranallo, Stephen Quadros and Pat Miletich handling commentary duties.

The show began with a catchweight bout, made at 160, with K.J. Noons facing Conor Heun. A very entertaining opener saw two fighters with decidedly different tactics. While Heun looked to take the fight to the ground, and looked great in the first round with some good sequences, Noons preferred the striking game, and looked just as good, especially when he defended against Heun’s take down attempts in the third. By the end of the fight Heun’s face was a bloody mess. So with the fight going the distances the judges came into play as they gave the split decision to Noons.

Then it was on to middleweight action as Tim Kennedy took on Trevor Prangley. A very good ground battle saw Prangley defend Kennedy’s take down attempt early on with a hip throw, but it wasn’t long before Kennedy took his man down.  From there it was all Kennedy, controlling all aspects with some ground and pound before taking Prangley’s back. The South African tried to fight back, standing up at one point, before finally succumbing to Kennedy’s rear naked choke.

It was down to the welterweight division for the next fight as Marius Zaromskis faced Evangelista Cyborg. No ground work in this one, just plenty of crisp striking as Cyborg really took it to Zaromskis. The man dubbed “the new age Cro Cop” got off a few good shots, but after rocking his man a few times Cyborg countered Zaromskis’ flying knee attempt with a big right. The referee quickly stepped in when Cyborg went for some ground and pound as the Brazilian secured the highly impressive knockout win.

The main event saw more catchweight action, this time made at 195, as Robbie Lawler faced Renato Sobral. Everyone thought that Sobral would constantly go for take downs in this fight, but it was his striking that came to the fore here. Sobral did go for a few take down attempts, but Lawler was easily able to defend. That was why we had an entertaining back and forth striking battle, and while Lawler managed to turn the Brazilian’s face black and blue Sobral scored with some hard kicks that coloured the left side of Lawler’s body. It was a close battle, with the judges giving Sobral the close unanimous decision.

In conclusion - Strikeforce’s latest television offering proved to be a very entertaining affair with four very good fights, topped off by a very exciting main event, once again showing that Strikeforce is a viable alternative to the UFC, even though they may lack an array of household names.

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