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Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons 2 Morning After Analysis

First off, it was a very entertaining event. Each fight was action packed and all but one of the fights were evenly matched back-and-forth affairs. 

  • Production: Veteran wrestling announcer Jim Ross tweeted his opinion of the show's production: 

    UFC's TV production blows Showtimes away. Feels as if its just another event 4 Showtime. Broadcast out of S'Force's hands. Not a good deal.

    Have to agree with Ross here. I've seen both promotions live and there is no comparison as far as the in-arena experience. On TV Zuffa does a much better production job as well. I did feel that last night's commentator team of Mauro Ranallo, Frank Shamrock and Pat Miletich was a big improvement over the Ranallo, Shamrock, Gus Johnson trio they've featured in the past. Shamrock and Miletich definitely understand what's happening in the cage in a way that Johnson or the UFC's commentary team of Rogan and Goldberg do not.

  • Live Gate: Zach Arnold addressed this very well:
    Dave Meltzer said the estimate going into the show was 8,000 and by the time the show was close to over, Josh Gross and Jordan Breen estimated the crowd in the 6,500-7,500 range. There's a few reasons for it:
    1. SF Giants fever. With the two pro football teams sucking hard, the Giants are the one pro team that everyone is paying attention to. The local ratings prove it. Throw in the fact that the Bay Area is also a very strong college football market (both Cal and Stanford won their home games) and there were a lot of things going on to distract the attention of people who might have went to the show.
    2. The card didn't have many fighters the fans perceived as 'stars' and it hurts.
    3. I talked about this in the past in various posts, but Strikeforce can no longer rely on San Jose as a home base. Once they went to Showtime, they became ‘national' instead of regional in the eyes of the fans in the area. As much as Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area has helped out in trying to promote shows and help with PR, the fans locally that used to go aren't going any more. They don't have a regional connection to the group like they do with the professional sports teams here. This is a problem that I don't think can be reversed at all for Scott Coker. Interestingly enough, it's an issue for both SF and UFC. (UFC only drew a reported 4,500 local fans for their Boston event and the rest were part of the traveling circus.)
  • Nick Diaz vs K.J. Noons
    1. CompuStrike was on crack
      When I first saw the CompuStrike numbers claiming that Noons threw over 600 strikes and landed over 300 I knew something was very fishy. When Fight Metric came out with their numbers for the fight, my feelings were confirmed. Diaz both outhrew and outlanded Noons with 441 thrown strikes and 150 landed strikes to 426 thrown and 139 landed.
      NOTE: CompuStrike issued updated and corrected numbers today.
    2. The fight itself was everything you could want from a 5 round fight. There obviously wasn't much ground action, but the exchanges on the feet were continual and very much a treat to watch. I'm seeing a lot of commenters complaining about the striking technique of both men, but those people are idiots failing to grasp the way the MMA rules set impacts striking. The Marquis of Queensbury is dead and gone. Diaz and Noons put on a clinic for striking in MMA last night and it was a treat to watch. I look forward to studying it in more detail.
  • Josh Thomson vs Gesias Cavalcante
    1. Good fight. Bad judging. Going into the announcement it seemed obvious that Thomson had won the second and JZ had won the third and the deciding round would be the extremely close first round. Sure enough, one of the judges awards the fight 30-27 to Thomson.Josh Gross commented:
      The former Strikeforce lightweight champion earned a points victory against the Brazilian veteran, though dismissed the 30-27 scorecard put forward by judge Susan Thomas Gitlan. To her credit, Gitlan had it 48-47 Diaz (the same as, so her night wasn't a total waste. But how the California State Athletic Commission-appointed judge came to a 3-0 tally for Thomson over Cavalcante, no one knows. Watching in the arena, I had it 29-28 for Cavalcante (15-4-1), giving him the first and third rounds. The first was the toughest to score, considering both men faced defeat via submission. The difference maker in my mind: a heavy right hand from "JZ" that dropped Thomson midway through the first.
    2. The injuries that have dogged both men continue. After the fight Thomson listed the maladies impacting him in training camp:
      "It was the worst camp ever," Thomson said. "I was in tears about three weeks ago. I was thinking about pulling out of the fight. It was the worst ever.

       "I had ankle injuries. I had a partially torn MCL in my leg and my knee. Obviously I was having hand and wrist problems."
      As great as the first two fights between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez, it's almost sad to see this series go to a trilogy because the two fighters have faced relatively few top-tier opponents between them so their rivalry seems likely to define both mens' careers.
  • Marloes Coenen vs Sarah Kaufman
    The least entertaining fight on the card, largely because Kaufman, the defending champ seemed reluctant to engage both on the feet and on the ground. Coenen's judo throws and good guard work more than neutralized Kaufman's wrestling advantage.
  • Tyron Woodley vs Andre Galvao
    Woodley stunned Galvao with a hard right hand the first time Galvao shot in for the take down and the Brazilian never recovered. Galvao has yet to develop a truly integrated MMA game and shooting in on a wrestler as good as Woodley without doing anything to set it up is a recipe for disaster. Woodley called out the champ after the fight but it seems to be the consensus that he'll need another building fight or two before that happens. As for Galvao, back to the woodshed for the very talented grappler. 

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2 coverage