Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Werdum” took place earlier this evening at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
In the night’s main event, Fedor Emelianenko made his Showtime debut against Fabricio Werdum.
In the co-main event, Cung Le got another crack at comeback king Scott Smith.
Strikeforce women’s champ Cris Cyborg put her title on the line against Jan Finney.
Josh Thomson returned to lightweight action against Pat Healy.
Results and thoughts after the jump.
- Fabricio Werdum defeats Fedor Emelianenko via Submission (Triangle Choke) in Round One
- Cung Le defeats Scott Smith via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos defeats Jan Finney via Knockout in Round Two
- Josh Thomson defeats Pat Healy via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round Three
- Chris Cope defeats Ron Keslar via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Bret Bergmark defeats Vagner Rocha via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
- Yancey Medeiros defeats Gareth Joseph via Knockout in Round Two
- Bobby Stack defeats Derrick Burnsed via Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Pat Healy vs. Josh Thomson: Pat Healy proved to be a heck of a competitor against Josh Thomson. it turned into a grappling match early and stayed that way through the majority of the fight. The first two rounds were close, but Thomson attacked with more submission attempts. What was impressive was how Healy continued to escape them. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t escape them all. Late in the third round, Thomson took Healy’s back, locked in the body triangle, and sunk in the rear-naked choke. Healy was forced to tap with 30 seconds remaining in the fight. If he could have outlasted the choke, it’s certainly possible he could have pulled out the upset on the scorecards.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Jan Finney: Jan Finney is one tough cookie. She took a hellacious beating at the hands of Cyborg Santos for a round and a half and somehow kept coming back for more. To Finney’s credit, she landed clean shots when they engaged, but Cyborg shrugged them off and started firing away. Every time, Finney fought back for a moment or two but ultimately found herself on the mat clinging to Cyborg’s leg for dear life or turtled up against the cage trying to survive another mauling. By the middle of the second round her face was swollen from all the shots she had taken, but the knockout blow didn’t come in the form of a punch to the face. It was a vicious knee to the midsection that did her in. Finney showed a ton of heart, maybe too much for her own good.
Announcement: In the middle of the broadcast, Frank Shamrock entered the cage and announced his retirement in front of the San Jose crowd. Shamrock thanked his “honest” promoter, Scott Coker, and his family for supporting him. He said it was “an honor to bleed for you, break my bones for you and to entertain you.” Shamrock proceeded to bow to the crowd one last time. More on this later.
Cung Le vs. Scott Smith: Cung Le finished what he started last December. Scott Smith said the hell with standing at range in front of Cung Le and getting crap beat out of him. From the opening bell, Smith rushed Le immediately closing the distance. Le stayed relaxed, focused and picked his shots as Smith went hunting for his head. Ultimately, Smith’s plan didn’t work and Le nailed Smith with a beautiful spinning back kick to the liver. It crumbled Smith and Le finally finished him off as Smith turtled up in serious pain. Before Smith agreed to the rematch, Smith’s management demanded a rubber match if he lost. After the second beating in a row, I’m not sure Smith is going to want it, and there’s really no reason for it. Hopefully, they’ll skip that one and Cung will enter Strikeforce’s not-yet-official 185lbs. tournament.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum: If you didn’t watch tonight’s broadcast, you missed history. Fedor Emelianenko suffered the first legitimate loss of his illustrious career at the hands, rather legs, of Fabricio Werdum. As usual, Fedor took center of the ring at the opening bell. A few seconds later he unleashed a flurry of punches, two of which landed putting Werdum on his back. It’s important to note that Werdum was perfectly coherent at this point, because what happened next was what some would describe as shocking. Fedor, the emotionless killer he is, jumped right into Werdum guard — perhaps the most dangerous position to be in with Werdum — but instead of wreaking havoc on Werdum like he did twice to Nogueira, Werdum almost immediately put Fedor in danger with an armbar attempt. Fedor worked his way out, but Werdum was quick to respond, transitioned into a deep triangle choke and squeezed as hard as he could. As most probably did, I sat there waiting for Fedor to escape like he has from every other precarious position he’s ever been put in. It didn’t happen. His head turned purple and he admitted defeat with one simple tap to Werdum’s thigh. Fight over. Fabricio Werdum makes history.
Perhaps the best way to describe the surreality of the moment was Mauro Ranallo’s reaction. He said nothing. To be honest, I don’t know what to say either. No one thought Fabricio Werdum stood a chance against Fedor, including myself, and yet all week I had this eerie feeling it was a mistake to look past Werdum. I don’t believe Fedor did, I don’t believe that for a second. He looked like the stone cold killer he always did. He took the same big risk of playing his opponent’s game like he always has, except this time he got bit. There’s no shame in getting choked out by a two-time ADCC heavyweight world champion, but as we all know, this loss will be about a lot more than simply that.
There’s plenty of questions ahead, but there’s one question that was finally answered tonight. What did Fedor Emelianenko feel after his first legitimate loss? “Nothing… The one who doesn’t fall, doesn’t stand up.”
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $1,066,739
Gate info via MMA Junkie