Former middleweight champion Cung Le dominated Scott Smith early in their “Strikeforce: Evoltion” headliner on Saturday, but the slugger Smith came from behind to score a third-round knockout of the returning Le to cap off the Showtime-televised event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
In a “Fight of the Year” contender, interim title-holder Gilbert Melendez again became the undisputed Strikeforce lightweight champion by edging Josh Thomson by unanimous decision in an exciting brawl that co-headlined the card.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal both picked up swift victories in their Strikeforce debuts on the “Evolution” main card, as Souza submitted Matt Lindland in the opening round while Lawal posted a first-round KO of Mike Whitehead.
The complete results for Strikeforce: Evolution were:
- Scott Smith def. Cung Le via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:25
- Gilbert Melendez (c) def. Josh Thomson (c) via unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Strikeforce Lightweight Championship Unification
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Matt Linland via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:18
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Mike Whitehead via KO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:08
- Antwain Britt def. Scott Lighty via TKO (cut) – Round 1, 5:00
- Justin Wilcox def. Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Alex Crispim def. A.J. Fonseca via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pictured: Scott Smith