Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Strikeforce Challengers 13 - Download Review

With Sky seemingly uninterested in showing Strikeforce since they purchased Bravo and closed it down I succumbed to the inevitable and went for the download option.

So, a little later than planned, I’m now able to bring you a review of their first show of the year, the 13th in the Challengers series.

The show began with light heavyweight action as Rhadi Ferguson faced John Richard.

This proved to be a great way to start the show. Richard dominated the beginning of the first round, getting the early take down, taking Ferguson’s back and going for a rear naked choke.

But Ferguson managed to escape, taking the guard and unleashing with the ground and pound. Richard, for his part, earned a point deduction when he spat out his gum shield three times.

The second round was just as action packed, a borderline low kick Richard staggering Ferguson. He quickly followed up by taking the fight to the ground, but a quickly recovered Ferguson soon went for a heel hook, before moving to a knee bar for the impressive submission win.

Action from the women’s welterweight division followed as Julia Budd went up against Amanda Nunes.

The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the show. Nunes came forward with all guns blazing and quickly knocked Budd down with a left, following her down with a series of hammer fists, with the referee quickly stepping in to give Nunes the TKO win after just 14 seconds.

The big boys of the heavyweight division came out to play next as Daniel Cormier took on Devin Cole.

The first fight of the show to go the distance was a somewhat dominating affair for Cormier as he controlled almost every aspect of the fight.

Everything Cormier did looked good, from his striking to his take downs to his ground work. Cole had his moments, but they were few and far between.

So there were no surprises with the judges decision, with all three giving the fight to Cormier.

Then it was back down to the light heavyweight division as Ovince St. Preux faced Abongo Humphrey.

The third fight in seven weeks for OSP may have been a step too far. Although he put in a good effort there were times when he looked a little sloppy, visibly fading as the fight entered the third round.

Humphrey put in a good performance here with some good striking, and he would surely have to the win with a guillotine had it not been for poor positioning.

Once again the judges came into play, with all three giving the fight to OSP. A good fight, but the guy clearly needs a rest.

The main event saw Tyron Woodley taking on Tarec Saffiedine in the welterweight division.

The most even looking fight on the show. Both fighters put in good performances, looking good in every aspect, but as the fight progressed it became obvious that their respective styles were starting to cancel each other out.

I really didn’t envy the judges having to make a decision with this one, with all three giving the fight to Woodley.

In conclusion - Strikeforce’s first show of 2011 proved to be a very entertaining affair. All the fights delivered, although a couple of performances did seem a little below par.

So with Strikeforce’s prospects getting the promotion off to a good start let’s hope Sky pull their fingers out and find a slot for them in their schedules.