Strikeforce Challengers 9 Recap
Top MMA News was on hand at Strikeforce Challengers 9 in Everett, Washington.
This even featured a heavy-weight bout between Shane Del Rosario and Lolohea Mahe along with the highly anticipated Women’s Welterweight World Championship title defence between current champion Sarah Kaufman and challenger Roxanne Modafferi. Earlier today, the votes stood at 95% in favor of Kaufman keeping and taking the belt back home to Canada, while 5% saw it in favor of Modafferi. Would there be an upset? Read on….
ZUMA continues to dominate with another spectacular performance by welterweight Sarah Kaufman. Add that win to the AFC 3 showing and Zuma is 3 -1 in the past week alone. At AFC it was Diego Wilson who took home submission of the night. Tonight, Sarah Kaufman clinched KO of the Night in spectacular fashion. She finished the fight by slamming Modafferi to the ground at 4:45 of the third round. First female slam KO? Quite possibly…. And let’s hope this win moves her up from the Challengers card.
Submission of the Night: This one goes to Mike Kyle as he defeats Abongo Humphrey by RNC at 3:28 of the second round. This submission marks Kyle’s fifth consecutive win after he earned an 18 month suspension for continuing an attack on Brian Olsen after the bell had rung.
On another note, and I’m not sure if I’m alone here but what is the reasoning behind the two round fights (one 5 minute round followed by one 3 minute round)? I just can’t see the logic. Wouldn’t it be easy enough to make these fights three 3 minute rounds to avoid the headache of a draw?
P.S. A special thanks goes out to those 5 or 6 fans a few rows back from the Media tables for the wicked headache you left me with after your incessant screaming of various male and female genitalia throughout the fights. I am really happy you were there…but happier knowing you will not be able to speak for the rest of the night, or possibly two.
Wendel Horton 1-0 vs. Keith Mortuiccio (amateur debut)
Alright Top MMA fans, I won’t lie to you…as I walked into the Comcast Arena here in Washington this fight was already over. I can’t tell you much about it because it never got past the first round but I can tell you the result:
Wendel Horton defeats Keith Mortuiccio in the first round due to referee stoppage.
Frankie Orr 1-0 vs. John Elam 2-0
Orr opens up the round with a right hand and Elam responds with a leg kick. Orr slips, clinches and the two lock up against the cage. Elam makes multiple attempts at the take down but it’s Orr who pulls Elam down after a few shots to the body. Orr has Elam in half guard before Elam mounts him briefly before taking his back. Elam attempts a rear naked choke but it looks too high. He tries again moments later but Orr keeps his chin in the way. Orr managed to slip out of danger before the two go back and forth. Orr gets on top again and throws a few strikes before the bell sounds.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 in a close one for Elam.
Orr and Elam open up the round trading kicks. Orr then lands an overhand right. Somewhere along the way Elam gets poked in the eye so the fight is stopped momentarily while Elam recovers and a trainer comes in to take a look at it. Back to the action, Elam comes right in with knees while Orr responds with body shots. The two lock up again and the ref breaks it up. Before the end of the round, Orr winds up on top of Elam in side control.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 Orr
John Elam defeats Frankie Orr by split decision at the end of two rounds of fighting.
Jamen Olney 3-2 vs. Jordan Currie 8-2-1
Jamen Olney owned this fight. Currie came out strong in the first round with a big right hand and some dominance on the ground. Early on Currie got Olney’s back and looked for the choke but wasn’t able to hold on. He had his hooks in deep but Olney got out of trouble and got back to his feet in order to throw a big leg kick. Olney snuck in a nice uppercut followed by a knee and finished the round with right hands to the body and head while on the ground. Currie looked hurt but hung in there and managed to get back to his feet before the round ended.
In the second round Olney came out swinging and landed a nice right. He went for the take down and ended up with a nice slam. Back on their feet, Olney continued to dominate this round with another big right, knee, and takedown combination. Olney came prepared and did not let up in the second round. He kept landing rights to the body and the head and it seemed that Currie was just trying to hold on at this point. Back on the ground Olney continued to pound until the bell rang.
Top MMA News scores both rounds 10-9 for Jamen Olney.
Jamen Olney defeats Jordan Currie by unanimous decision.
Quincy Spruill 1-0 vs. Chris Inman 6-1
Inman came out with a big left…followed by another. Spruill responded with a jab but then Inman teed off with a jab, cross, left hand combination and both fighters started to swing. Inman went for a kick to the head and the body which opened him up for Spruill to take him down. Spruill threw a few hammer fists in guard but Inman caught one of his arms, pulled it out high and away for what I thought to be an arm bar initially but it looks like I was wrong (I know, I know, it happens). Thanks to Josh Oliveira for the correction: it was a kimura. Just so we don’t fight about it though…let’s go with Strikeforce’s call of “verbal submission.”
Chris Inman defeats Quincy Spruill at 3:54 of the first round by verbal submission due to…Kimura?
Scott McDonald 5-0 vs. Doug Kay 3-1
The two fighters started out by trading strikes and leg kicks back and forth. Scott McDonald then got the takedown and landed a few shots to Kay’s head from top position. It looked like 1 point was taken from Doug Kay but for what? I can’t be sure. The undercard fights were somewhat lacking in the sound and replay department. Moving on, McDonald got in position to take Kay’s back. Initially he only had one hook in so it didn’t look too dangerous but as soon as I wrote that, he slipped his arm through and ended the fight via rear naked choke.
Scott McDonald defeats Doug Kay at 2:09 of the first round via submission (rear naked choke).
Consolation prize: Doug Kay wins outfit of the night for coming out in a matching kilt and hat combination complete with a long, ginger wig.
Drew Brokenshire 9-4 vs, Jordan Macklin 2-0
Brokenshire opens up the round with a few quick jabs then the fighters lock up. Macklin responds with a big slam despite being off balance. Back to their feet, Brokenshire lands a big, quick knee followed by a take down and ends the fight via guillotine choke.
Drew Brokenshire defeats Jordan Macklin via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:26 of the first round.
Taurean Washington 7-4 vs. CJ Marsh 5-2
Round 1. CJ came out throwing and landed a nice leg kick but missed on the head kick and the superman attempt. Washington responded with a crisp left, right strike combo. CJ started swinging for the fences after that but to no avail. He did land a leg kick but Washington returned the favor along with some nice, crisp jabs. The round ended pretty evenly with both fighters connecting, though they both looked cautious. They traded leg kicks and strikes to finish it so it’s a hard one to score.
Top MMA News scores it a very narrow 10-9 for CJ Marsh
Round 2. At the beginning of the second round both fighters lock up. Washington scores a few quick knees and a leg kick as they push away. They lock up again until CJ gets the take down. A lot of back and forth but Washington lands a nice kick which was also a big kick. The crowd gets involved and starts chanting “CJ” and you might say that was the TSN turning point as CJ takes advantage of the energy and lands a couple of big hits to finish the round.
Top MMA News scores it 10-9 for CJ Marsh.
CJ Marsh defeats Taurean Washington by unanimous decision.
Brent Knopp 6-1 vs. Ryan Hayes 4-1
In the last undercard fight of the evening, Brent Knopp opens up with a leg kick followed by a takedown but the two fighters then end up locked tight against the cage. Both Knopp and Hayes exchanged short punches and knees until Knopp started in with heel kicks, more knees, a takedown and even more knees back against the cage. Most of the remainder of the round was spent locked up against the cage trading knees. The few instances where the two fighters broke apart were short-lived….
Top MMA News scores it 10-9 for Knopp.
In round two, Hayes started off with a leg kick but Knopp responded with some big strikes. It’s hard to say if they really rocked Hayes or if it just looked that way thanks to a bit of a slip (either way it wasn’t good news for Hayes). Knopp took advantage by getting over top of Hayes to feed him a few big right hands to seal the deal.
Brent Knopp defeats Ryan Hayes by TKO (due to strikes) at 0:55 of round 2.
Caros Fodor 2-0, 1 NC vs. Thomas Diagne (1-1)
In this first main card fight, local favorite out of Kirkland, Washington, Caros Fodor squared off against San Shou champ Thomas Diagne who is fighting out of San Jose, California, by way of Paris, France. Bon appétit!
In round one both fighters looked extremely light on their feet as they traded quick punches. Soon enough, they locked up and Fodor landed a couple of big punches and knees in close. Fodor continued with the quick knees, just hammering Diagne’s left leg. At around 2:15 of the first round the two fighters open up a bit more but before you knew it, they were right back against the cage locked up. Diagne did not move his left leg and Fodor kept hammering it with knees. Diagne attempted the takedown, didn’t get it, but did manage a spinning back kick. As a side note, there seemed to be a lot of spinning back kick attempts tonight…? Fodor and Diagne locked up again and with one minute to go, Fodor was still hammering away at that left leg. Diagne tried again for the takedown, couldn’t get it again (is there a pattern here?) but did recover by connecting with a nice knee. The first round ended in much the same way it began: locked up against the cage, Fodor hammering away at Diagne’s legs with knees.
Top MMA News scores it 10-9 for Fodor.
Round two started with a few leg kicks from Diagne which had me wondering how badly Fodor’s knees actually hurt him in the first round. They locked up again but Diagne continued his attack with his left leg. Fodor got in a few quick shots to the face and continued to control the fight against the cage and continued his assault with knees. The fight finally opened up as Fodor connected with a right hand and a hook. A few more big punches were thrown before Fodor got a takedown and moved into side control. Fodor tried hard for the kimura and it looked tight but Diagne, showing an incredible amount of heart and determination, fought it off and managed to spin out of a very bad position before the end of the round.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 again for Fodor.
In the final round, Diagne landed a right hand and launched another spinning back kick while an astute member of the audience commented: “I can spin too.” Thanks for that, buddy. The two fighters lock up again. Diagne started to throw some hard strikes, connecting with the right hand but Fodor stuffs him and locks up again. If you don’t give him space, he can’t hit you, right? Diagne lands a kick to the body and Fodor responded with a right hand and another takedown. And guess what, a bit of déjà vu ensues. From side control into half guard, Fodor goes in for another kimura but yet again, with an incredible show of heart, Diagne gets out of it. The round ended with Fodor in side control hammering away.
Top MMA News scores the final round 10-9 for Fodor but holy, Diagne showed incredible heart and incredible determination in this one. Great submission defense!
Caros Fodor defeats Thomas Diagne by unanimous decision.
Abongo Humphrey 7-1 vs. Mike Kyle 16-7-1
Kyle came out showcasing his heavy hands followed by yet another display of the spinning back kick. It must be the move of the night. It was like everyone got together and said, “Yeah! Spinning back kick! Let’s make it trendy!” Humphrey went in for the leg kick then charged Kyle into the cage where the two locked up. Humphrey landed some nice jabs and right hands but Kyle took him to the ground. Humphrey had two choke attempts but Kyle escaped and they stood again. Kyle paid Humphrey back with two impressive flying knees. I must say it’s not often that I see the flying knee from men this size but I definitely think it needs to happen more. With Kyle back on the ground, Humphrey landed a big left and a big right. As the two worked for position, Kyle just about got into mount but Humphrey scrambled out. Before the end of the round Humphrey seemed to be looking for the arm triangle but Kyle was saved by the bell before any real danger.
Top MMA News scores this one 10-9 for Humphrey.
Round two started with Humphrey trying to connect big, and connect early but he looked tired and stopped the offensive mid-way through a combination. Against the cage, Kyle landed a few nice knees. On the ground, Humphrey tried for the heel hook but they ended up locked up without any action so the ref stood them up with 2:40 left to go in round two. Kyle took over at this point with a take down and a nice shot to the body. He transitioned to take Humphrey’s back and continued by feeding him shots to the head. He managed to slip his arm through a hole under Humphrey’s neck to end the fight by rear naked choke.
Mike Kyle defeats Abongo Humphrey by RNC at 3:28 of the second round. This marks Kyle’s 5th straight win and what appears to be a pretty successful comeback after the eighteen month suspension.
Cory Devela 9-4 vs. Bobby Voelker 21-8
Round one opened with a quick clinch against the cage. Devela muscled out a takedown and got on top of Voelker and into mount. He landed some big right hands and left hands in mount. He looked pretty high in the position though and got bucked off by Voelker. They clinched again against the cage where Devela landed a big knee and took Voelker down again. Devela remained dominant in half guard. Devela made two choke attempts, looking for the guillotine but Voelker reversed the position and got himself into half guard before the end of the round.
Top MMA News scores this one 10-9 for Devela.
In the second round the two fighters clinch against the cage again where Devela scores another takedown. Voelker reverses and gets himself into top position scoring shots to Devela’s body and head from here. Devela continued to work hard from the bottom looking for another guillotine. He managed a partial sweep from butterfly but can’t quite finish and remained on the bottom. Most of the round played out in this position. Voelker landed a few hammer fists here and as they stood up Voelker landed a right hand only to be rattled in return with a right from Devela followed by a big left, right combination to end the round.
Top MMA News scores it a very close 10-9 for Voelker.
In the final round both fighters continued to look strong and disciplined. They clinched against the cage but Devela pushed away to land a few punches. He kept looking for the takedown but Voelker defended well. Knees were exchanged against the cage and Devela did not seem to want to stand this round. He got clipped with an uppercut but responded with strikes. Voelker managed to take Devela down but wound up in a partial choke before Devela grabbed for a heel hook. With 30 seconds to go Devela teed off with a combination of big strikes and again unloads some more big ones with 10 seconds left until the bell rang.
Top MMA scores the final round 10-9 for Devela and scored the fight 29-28 Devela.
The fight goes to the judges’ scorecard: 29-28 Devela, 29-28 Voelker, 29-28 Voelker.
Bobby Volker defeats Cory Devela by split decision.
Top MMA had this one a clear 29-28 (and nearly 30-27) for Devela. It looked and sounded a lot like the fans did too. Either way, this was a close fight and a tough fight so both fighters should be congratulated on a great show.
Women’s Welterweight World Championship Title Defense:
Current welterweight champ Sarah Kaufman faced Roxanne Modafferi in the second to last fight of the evening. Top MMA News had the opportunity to talk with Sarah this week where she told us she expected Modafferi to abandon her plan to stand and strike with her, and to revert to the take down and submission attempt. Sarah was bang-on in her prediction.
Sarah Kaufman 11-0 vs. Roxanne Modafferi 15-5
In round one of the only fight scheduled for 5 rounds, Modafferi opened the action by flying straight at Kaufman with a knee. This unsuccessful attempt resulted in a fight for position clinched against the cage. Kaufman and Modafferi exchanged knees but it seemed that Kaufman was the only one inflicting any damage. Modafferi landed a trip, taking Kaufman to the ground. With Kaufman in her guard, Modafferi looked to land a few punches but none were connecting. The ref stood the two up and Modafferi came out with a leg kick. Kaufman opened up and displayed a glimpse of her superior striking with a crisp left and right hand. Modafferi continued to look for the takedown and the two locked up in clinch again trading knees.
Top MMA News scores the first round 10-9 for Kaufman.
Kaufman starts off the second round with a nice jab followed by two quick jabs and a combination of left and right handed strikes. Kaufman continued to tee off, again showing off her excellent striking abilities. Whenever she had the chance to throw, we got the feeling this fight would not go 5 rounds. Roxanne again looked for the takedown to avoid Kaufman’s strikes and the two found themselves against the cage. Modafferi jumped into guard but could not overpower Kaufman as she continued to strike while holding Modafferi up. Unable to take her down, Modafferi abandoned the attempt and Kaufman started to land big knees from the clinch. Modafferi tried to return the favor but without any power behind her attempt. As Kaufman got some space, she began again to tee off and Modafferi could only respond by dropping for another takedown attempt. Toward the end of the round, the crowd began to chant “USA, USA” before the overwhelming majority responded with, “SARAH! SARAH!” and she did not let them down.
Top MMA News scores the second round 10-9 in favor of Kaufman.
In the third round Modafferi attempted the spinning back kick, only to be met by a combination of double jab, cross, followed by an overhand right (amongst others) by Kaufman. Modafferi’s counter was to clinch close again. Modafferi scored a takedown here and wound up in Kaufman’s guard. Kaufman continued to work from the bottom landing strikes while Modafferi responded with a right hand before stumbling slightly, which allowed Kaufman to quickly get back to her feet. The fight is interrupted briefly by the ref for a repair to the tape of Kaufman’s glove. Back to the fight, Kaufman picks up the action with big right hands and again Modafferi tried for the takedown but was unsuccessful. Another clinch ensues. Modafferi then managed to get Kaufman in guard but Kaufman overpowered her with less than 30 seconds left, picked her up, and slammed her to the ground…resulting in a KO via slam with 15 seconds to go. Wowie. KO of the night, without a doubt.
Sarah Kaufman defeats Roxanne Modafferi by KO (slam) at 4:45 of the third round.
Kaufman’s strength, striking and precision was too much for Modafferi. Every time she had space to strike, there was no contest. Sarah stuck to the plan she set out before the fight and finished it before the end of five rounds. When asked about her thoughts on the fight and whether Roxanne surprised her at all she responded: “I figured she’d either come out like she did, crazy, or just super slow. I knew she was going to do what she did, I knew she would do all of that spinning stuff, so she did what I expected.” And her thoughts on Marloes Coenen next? “It’s exciting. It should be fun. It’s nice to have another opportunity on the horizon, something official.” I for one am glad there is already something lined up for Sarah Kaufman. Always a crowd favorite, and always an exciting fighter, Kaufman gets my vote any day. Now let’s see if she can move up from the Challengers card!
The final fight of the night:
Shane Del Rosario 9-0 vs. Lolohea Mahe 6-1-1
In the final fight of the evening, undefeated Del Rosario squared off against Lolohea Mahe. As a side note, Mahe weighed in 20lbs heavier than Del Rosario.
Round one began with a big leg kick by Del Rosario. He then slipped Mahe’s right hand and followed up with a big knee. He missed with the high kick but continued to inflict some damage with more kicks. Mahe then answered with a big leg kick of his own. Del Rosario began to knee Mahe but he got a little too close for comfort and landed a low blow. After a short recovery, Mahe fired back with a bick shot to the body. The two fighters went back and forth with leg kicks until they clinched and traded knees. Del Rosario landed a left hand which rattled Mahe before locking up against the cage where Del Rosario took over, landing a knee to the face of Mahe. At the end of the round it didn’t look like Mahe really got dropped with one particular blow but the previous combination was enough for him to go down and for the referee to stop the fight due to strikes.
Del Rosario continues his hot streak and defeats Lolohea Mahe at 3:48 of the first round by TKO (referee stoppage) due to strikes.
That’s all for tonight. Goodnight from Everett, Washington, and congratulations to all of the fighters who put on a great show tonight!