Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum was arguably the most highly anticipated card in Strikeforce history. While, in some ways, it failed to deliver on those expectations it still was a fun night of fights that helped us learn a lot about several fighters. Let's take a quick look at the stories coming out of the event.
- Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum was a real letdown. Werdum was doing well enough in the stand-up that he actually had a chance to win the fight on the feet, but his insistence on flopping and begging Overeem to come to the ground changed the feeling of the fight. I think Overeem deserved the win for landing the heavier blows, making this a time where you absolutely can not simply look at the punch stats and see who the winner was. Still, it's hard to walk away feeling particularly impressed by either guy.
- Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers was uninspiring in its own way. Rogers' wrestling is still very limited and on the back he looks completely lost. No different than the Overeem fight. Watching Barnett move to dominant positions for the entire first round while being mostly happy to just sit in mount was about as frustrating as his fight with Gilbert Yvel. Thankfully he finished it in the second round, but I'm not going to pretend that I'm blown away by Josh.
- Worse than the fight though, was Barnett's post fight "pro wrestling promo." I'm not one of those people who are offended by all things pro wrestling, only those things when they're done really poorly. And the plea for the fans to support a guy who failed three steroid tests with no sense of accountability was pretty offensive.
- I really expected K.J. Noons to walk through Jorge Masvidal. But Noons threw from the hip all fight and just got picked apart by Masvidal's more technical striking and much better timing. Noons' inability to just work his striking without trying to go all power is his biggest problem. As impressed as I was by Masvidal, I think he gets absolutely destroyed by Gilbert Melendez.
- The guy we may have learned the most about in Noons vs. Masvidal was Nick Diaz. Diaz got hit with regularity by Noons in their welterweight title fight. He's been hit hard and hit regularly by every opponent since K.J.
- Daniel Cormier busted up Jeff Monson. There's not a lot to say about this fight. Monson basically admitted coming in that he wouldn't be able to get takedowns and Cormier was the much better striker so it was just the two men standing and Cormier landing hard punches. Seeing D.C.'s improvement in combination striking was probably the most entertaining part of the bout.
- Chad Griggs is fun to watch, but man...that guy lands a lot of punches to the back of the head. Still, Valentijn Overeem had nothing for him and it set the tone for what I thought was going to be a night of quick destructions.
- I know it has been a few Strikeforce events since it happened, but when the bout between Justin Wilcox and Gesias Cavalcante ended on an accidental eye poke it really felt like "business as usual."
- Conor Heun gutting out an injured arm and outlasting Magno Almeida in a very entertaining fight was a lot of fun. Heun was just a little too gutsy and a little too resilient for Almeida and really earned the 29-28 victory.