Strikeforce live results: Overeem vs. Werdum

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The second half of the opening round of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix tournament takes place tonight in Dallas. Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem battles Fabricio Werdum while Josh Barnett takes on Brett Rogers in the evening’s featured bouts.

Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum

This is style vs. style in the most marquee fight of the first round of the grand prix. Overeem is a kickboxing menace with devastating power. Werdum is a jiu jitsu ace who submitted Overeem many years ago. The big question is if Werdum can whether the early storm from Overeem and get the fight on his terms.

Round 1. Werdum throws a head kick off the bat. Overeem avoids it and pushes him off. Overeem brushes off a takedown attempt but eats a knee from Werdum in the process. Werdum tumbles down three times looking for a takedown and Overeem has him get up. The fourth time, Werdum stays a bit in the butt scoot position. Overeem blocks two more takedown attempts. Overeem looks supremely confident and Werdum extremely nervous. They trade knees to the body. Werdum pulls guard but Overeem gets back up. Werdum rushes forward with punches. He again pulls guard and Overeem again gets right back up. He motions for Werdum to stand. Overeem blocks two more takedown attempts. Overeem lands a big left hook and Werdum goes down but Overeem won’t follow. Overeem throws Werdum down. Werdum motions for Overeem to come down and literally puts his hands together to say please come down with me. Overeem lands a big knee and won’t go down with Werdum. He smiles as if to say, ‘Don’t worry, it will be fine!’ Werdum again tries to pull guard at the close of the round. 10-9 Overeem. That was different.


Round 2. Werdum lands a punch and a knee. Overeem answers with one of his own and pushes Werdum off. Werdum takes Overeem down briefly but Overeem gets right back up. Werdum throws a knee and some punches from in close. He pulls guard again but Overeem gets back up. Werdum stalls getting up. Overeem connects with a big left hook and a right hook back on the feet. Werdum tries to pull guard again and Overeem again gets up. Overeem goes to town with big punches and this time with Werdum appearing to be in trouble Overeem follows him to the ground. Overeem ends up in Werdum’s guard. Werdum’s guard is loose and Overeem gets back up. Overeem drops Werdum with a knee but doesn’t follow to the ground. Overeem again drops Werdum with a knee and ends up in Werdum’s guard. Werdum can’t threaten anything, however. Werdum is not doing himself any favors here. 10-8 Overeem.

Round 3. Werdum pushes forward with punches and tries to take Overeem down. Overeem defends easily. Werdum throws a few punches, eats one from Overeem, and drops down. Overeem goes down with him. He eventually gets back up. Werdum connects right to the chin of Overeem with punches then backs off. Overeem lands a knee and Werdum drops down to the ground again. Werdum is active from his back looking to gain wrist control and set up submissions but he can’t get anywhere with anything. They stand back up and Werdum lands a few punches. They roll to the ground with Werdum unsuccessfully looking for a knee bar at the close. The crowd boos the conclusion of the fight. Werdum landed plenty of punches over the course of the fight but it’s hard to give rounds to a fighter acting so timid. 10-9 Overeem, 30-26 Overeem.

Winner: Alistair Overeem, unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers

This is the third grand prix quarterfinal bout. Barnett is a UFC and Pride star with notable wins over the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture. Rogers is a powerful puncher whose biggest win came over a faded Andrei Arlovski.

Round 1. Rogers throws a leg kick. Barnett immediately shoots for a takedown. He slams Rogers down and ends up in side control. Barnett moves his hips up, perhaps thinking about an armbar. He gives that up and looks for an Americana. He gives that up. Rogers tries to get up but Barnett keeps him down in half guard. Barnett passes Rogers’ guard and gains full mount. Rogers just holds on while Barnett throws some light punches and elbows. Barnett opens up with punches while Rogers simply defends. 10-8 Barnett.

Round 2. Barnett lands a nice left hook and knee to the body. A scramble ensues and they tumble to the ground with Barnett immediately regaining full mount. Barnett applies an arm triangle choke. He switches to the side and gets the tap.

Winner: Josh Barnett, submission, round 2.

Chad Griggs vs. Valentijn Overeem

Griggs is a scrappy fighter with recent upset wins over Bobby Lashley and Gian Villante. Overeem, the brother of Alistair Overeem, is a longtime veteran of the sport with a reputation for crumbling under pressure.

Round 1. Griggs takes Overeem down. He opens up with some not particularly hard ground and pound. It gets harder as Overeem goes into pure defensive mode and Griggs opens up. Overeem covers up, rolls over, and taps out. Very unimpressive performance by Overeem, who showed no will to fight.

Winner: Chad Griggs, submission, round 1.

Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson

Cormier is a celebrated Olympic wrestler who is still learning the MMA game. Monson is a very experienced veteran with an accomplished submission wrestling game.

Round 1. Cormier throws some jabs and a head kick early. Monson clinches but Cormier pushes him away. Cormier lands the best shot of the early fight with a hook to the jaw of Monson. Cormier throws a variety of hooks, jabs and kicks from different angles. His standup has improved a lot in a short time and he seems very comfortable on his feet. Cormier is punishing Monson with hooks in particular. Monson is bloodied and seems overmatched in the striking. 10-9 Cormier.

Round 2. Cormier opens up immediately with hooks but is sent back by a Monson punch and slows down the pace. Cormier drops Monson with a punch but elects not to follow to the ground. Monson clinches and looks for a takedown but Cormier defends without difficulty. Cormier lands a nice straight right and right uppercut. Cormier has his hands low, suggesting he isn’t terribly concerned with Monson’s power. From a clinch, Cormier trips Monson but doesn’t follow through with a takedown. 10-9 Cormier.

Round 3. Monson is throwing a lot less than Cormier. He mostly backs up and looks to counter when Cormier comes in. Cormier lands a nice combination of punches that sends Monson backwards into the cage. He then follows with another two series of punches and has Monson in trouble. Monson looks for a takedown but can’t get it. Cormier staggers Monson with a big straight right and Monson looks for another unsuccessful takedown. Cormier appears to go for a takedown of his own but Monson defends. From the clinch, Cormier throws Monson to the ground but doesn’t pursue. 10-8 Cormier, 30-26 Cormier. Very good performance by Cormier against a tough veteran. Cormier has really taken to the striking game.

Winner: Daniel Cormier, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal

Noons is a boxer with solid takedown defense. Masvidal is more of a brawler with some wrestling.

Round 1. Masvidal throws a flying knee early. Noons mixes up punches to the body and head. Masvidal lands another nice knee. He throws a third knee to the body and then takes Noons to the ground two minutes into the round. Noons looks for a kimura but can’t get it. Noons then stands back up. On the feet, Masvidal lands yet another high quality knee. This one opens up a bad cut on the forehead of Noons. Masvidal lands a nice straight right punch. He then drops Noons with a huge knee that rocks Noons badly. Masvidal follows with big punches on the ground looking to finish. Masvidal keeps pursuing to the end of the round but Noons is barely able to survive. 10-8 Masvidal.

Round 2. The blood continues to pour right down the center of Noons’ face. Noons comes out aggressively with punches and starts winging big overhands. Masvidal takes him down momentarily but Noons gets back up. Masvidal takes him back down and goes to work with punches and elbows. Noons gets back to his feet. Masvidal connects with a power right hand and a strong punch to the body. Masvidal gets another takedown. Noons gets up and takes over with some punches until he eats a hard knee. Noons basically tries to keep his legs for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Masvidal.

Round 3. Noons is more aggressive throwing big punches but he isn’t landing much of note. Masvidal for his part isn’t throwing a lot. Noons lands a few nice punches to the body. Masvidal gets a takedown with two minutes left in the contest. Noons gets back up. Masvidal gets another takedown but Noons again gets up. Masvidal gets one final takedown and holds Noons down to the conclusion. Very close round. Noons gets it narrowly on the basis of better striking while Masvidal didn’t do anything this round with the takedowns. 10-9 Noons, 29-27 Masvidal. Masvidal exposed holes in Noon’s heavily boxing oriented game. Noons’ hands are solid but the lack of kicks or wrestling makes him predictable. Masvidal used a much wider variety of tactics and in particular punished Noons with knees.

Winner: Jorge Masvidal, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

--Todd Martin