Strikeforce: “Melendez vs. Masvidal” took place tonight in San Diego, California featuring a pair of title fights with Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez taking on Jorge Masvidal and women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos taking on Hiroko Yamanaka.
Both champions successfully defended their titles in the Strikeforce cage with definitive victories.
Melendez retains title over Masvidal
While Jorge Masvidal was clearly not afraid to taunt and talk trash to the champion, the challenger was unable to translate that into a victory. Melendez controlled the fight from start to finish and kept Masvidal from being able to find his range. Melendez’s training and more polished skill proved to be the main difference as he had multiple answers for nearly everything Masvidal threw.
After the fight Melendez challenged the winner of the UFC lightweight championship fight between champ Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson to “come in his hexagon.” While that particular fight is unlikely to materialize, Melendez expressed in the post-fight conference that Strikeforce has always found good opponents for him and he expects that will continue.
“Cyborg” crushes Yamanaka
Despite an 18-month layoff, Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos made quick work of challenger Hiroko Yamanaka. Santos managed to land 15 power shots on Yamanaka in the span of only 16 seconds.
Santos expressed her desire to remain at 145 but did state that she would like to fight fast-rising Ronda Rousey since she believes the former US Olympic Judo bronze medalist talks too much.
Mousasi defeats St. Preux
Despite winning a close third round, Ovince St. Preux spent the majority of his fight with former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi being thoroughly dominated. Mousasi’s reported work with the Iranian wrestling team appeared to payoff as the Iranian-born fighter out wrestled his opponent in addition to controlling the striking game.
After the fight a refreshingly honest and humble Mousasi stated he was unhappy with his performance due to illness. Mousasi also stated that he believed he was at least a fight away from challenging for the currently vacant Strikeforce light heavyweight title despite pressure from Mauro Ranallo to call for a title shot.
Noons defeats Evangelista in sloppy fight
The night opened with a sloppy but action packed bout between KJ Noons and Billy Evangelista. After a dismal first round Noons ditched the wrestling he had been training and reverted back to his old self. The move paid off as Noons was able to rebound and secure the hard fought victory.
Main Card (Showtime)
- Lightweight title fight – Gilbert Melendez (c) def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
- Women’s featherweight title fight – Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (c) def. Hiroko Yamanaka via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:16
- Gegard Mousasi def. Ovince St. Preux via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- K.J. Noons def. Billy Evangelista via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Caros Fodor def. Justin Wilcox via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:13
- Roger Bowling def. Jerron Peoples via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:42
- Devin Cole def. Gabriel Salinas-Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Eddie Mendez def. Fernando Gonzalez via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Herman Terrado def. Chris Brown via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:05