Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime Sports.
I'm having a difficult time expressing how I feel about this Strikeforce card. The fight themselves certainly entertained me, but I almost feel guilty about the whole thing. Like I took home that girl from the bar who was clearly below my league, but she was desperate for attention and I was desperate to give it to her. And there's that rush because you're doing something wrong, and you got what you were looking for, but you end up feeling sort of empty at the end of the night. Maybe a little disgusted with yourself. You don't feel good about it, in any case.
And now, the rundown:
- Barring a catastrophe, Nick Diaz fights Paul Daley next, which should be a fun little spectacle, but it's hard to imagine Nick not submitting Daley at some point. Then what? I have little confidence a fight with Jason Miller can be made, and Strikeforce has all but run out of contenders at 170 pounds, unless they want to force Tyron Woodley into something that he isn't ready for. And it isn't like Diaz has put away a bunch of contenders, either; Paul Daley will be his first ranked opponent since fighting Takanori Gomi in 2007.
- Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos put on a spirited and game performance. He needed to finish Diaz because there was no way he was going to be able to keep a pace over five rounds to win a decision. And finishing Nick Diaz is not an easy thing to do unless your name is "Jeremy Jackson." That said, "Cyborg" had no business fighting for Nick's welterweight title. I don't care too much (read: at all) about the Strikeforce belts, but one win at 170 pounds over Marius Zaromskis doesn't elicit "title contender" to me.
- It was good to see "Jacare" take some hard shots, regain his composure, and work back into his gameplan.
- Robbie Lawler had nothing to offer "Jacare" off his back. Any time Lawler had his guard passed, he shrank into "don't get submitted" mode and kept his elbows tucked to his sides. I don't remember the sequence exactly, but you could tell Lawler had gassed when he let "Jacare" take his back in the third round. There was some sort of scramble and Robbie seemed content to turtle instead of rolling into guard or exploding to his feet.
- I think Luke Thomas summed up Herschel Walker's performance best: "For a second pro fight, I've seen worse from prospects who actually turned out half decent." There's no denying that Walker is a gimmick and a spectacle and all the other derogatory words people like to throw around, but it's no worse than the UFC brining in James Toney last year. In fact, that James Toney fiasco was far more insulting to my MMA intelligence.
- The balance and hip control Roger Gracie displayed when he took Trevor Prangley's back was otherwordly. Prangley looked like a shell, but Roger went out and got the thing done.
- If you followed the Bloody Elbow account on Twitter tonight, what did you think of the staff digest?
- I counted at least four times Frank Shamrock referenced his fight with Nick Diaz tonight.
- Sherdog done goofed with their stream of the prelims tonight. I lost the video feed after the second fight, and I didn't regain it until the final fight of the stream between Nathan Coy and Nate Moore. When I could see the feed, it was plagued by choppy framerates and stuttering pauses to buffer.