Strikeforce “Evolution” took place earlier this evening at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
In the night’s main event, Cung Le returned to action against heavy-handed Scott Smith.
In the co-main event, Josh Thomson put his lightweight title up for grabs against the fighter he won it from, Gilbert Melendez.
Matt Lindland took on rising Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
King Mo made his Strikeforce debut against Mike Whitehead.
Results, thoughts and live gate (when available) after the jump.
- Scott Smith defeats Cung Le via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Gilbert Melendez defeats Josh Thomson via Unanimous Decision
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defeats Matt Lindland via Submission (Arm Triangle) in Round One
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal defeats Mike Whitehead via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Antwain Britt defeats Scott Lighty via TKO (Cut) in Round One
- Justin Wilcox defeats Daisuke Nakamura via Unanimous Decision
- Alex Crispim defeats A.J. Fonseca via Unanimous Decision
- Bobby Stack vs. David Douglas canceled due to “post-weigh-in medical problem” with Douglas
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Mike Whitehead: King Mo’s reign continues. He dropped Mike Whitehead with a left-right combo and followed it up with a little ground n’ pound to put him out. Solid win for Mo. Whitehead isn’t a top ten opponent, but considering Mo is still relatively green it was an appropriate test and Mo passed with flying colors.
Matt Lindland vs. Ronald “Jacare” Souza: Jacare made the most of his US/Strikeforce debut. Matt Lindland badly needed a win tonight to bounce back from his devastating loss to Vitor Belfort and came up short. It was a great first round. They went back and forth on the feet but the action really got going when they got to the ground. Jacare threatened with an armbar early, but Lindland was able to escape. Unfortunately for Lindland, he wasn’t able to escape from the arm triangle Jacare sunk in late in the round. Time for Mayhem and Jacare to settle their beef?
Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez: What a great fight. If you already had your pick in mind for Fight of the Year, Thomson vs Melendez 2 might have you reconsidering. Remember the crazy opening exchange between Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida. Well this fight had at least 10 of those. It was insane. Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez went to war. They both had trouble taking one the other down, so the majority of the fight took place on the feet. There it was Thomson’s speed vs. Melendez’s power. The difference was Melendez’s accuracy. Thomson landed plenty of shots, but Melendez landed the most damaging. He dropped Thomson several times over the course of five rounds and that was the difference maker in the judges’ eyes who awarded Melendez the unanimous decision. After the performance Josh and Gilbert put on tonight, the rubber match is all but guaranteed sometime down the road.
Cung Le vs. Scott Smith: Scott Smith does it again! Again!!! I can’t believe it. Smith like countless times before was on the wrong end of an ass beating for two and half rounds, and what does he do in the final round? He knocks Cung Le out. Unbelievable, except it isn’t if you know Scott Smith. Before the big finish, Cung Le was putting on a show with his spinning back kicks. He knocked Smith down several times with moves that looked like they were straight out of a JCVD movie. It’s truly amazing what Cung’s able to do with his legs in a sport where fancy kicks like that just aren’t supposed to work. He didn’t appear to lose a step since his big win over Frank Shamrock, he just couldn’t finish what he started tonight.
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $634,000
Live gate info via MMA Junkie