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Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson is live and five fighters from California are representing, with one in each of the four main card fights. Coming into the main event, California was 1-3, with Tim Kennedy picking up the only win for the state after securing a rear naked choke on Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef. Liz Carmouche and Billy Evangelista dropped very different fights to Marloes Coenen and Jorge Masvidal, respectively. The main event of the night is between California born-and-based Dan Henderson and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael Cavalcante. Below is the play-by-play as the fight took place.
The two fighters touch gloves and the center of the cage is shared. Feijao throws a vicious right leg kick and it lands. Henderson stays in his "cocked" stance, the right hand waiting to fly. Feijao is waiting for counter opportunities, but Henderson wants to pick his opportunities. Feijao misses with a leg kick and Henderson lands a right hand that staggers Feijao. Henderson comes in and Feijao throws an insane overhand right of his own, that sends Henderson staggering back, and eventually to the ground. Henderson scrambles, and get to his feet before securing a takedown and getting on top. Henderson stays in Feijao's guard, taking time to recover, but the referee stands it up with just under two minutes to go. Henderson comes in with a right hand and lands, but Feijao ties up to limit the damage, as Hendo presses him against the cage. They are both holding eachother in palce, with nobody really dictating the pace at this point. Feijao turns it around and throws a couple knees at Feijao, but Hendo turns it back around, using his higher wrestling acumen to make up for his lack of strength. With ten seconds to go, the referee separates them and the round comes to an end. Henderson 10-9
The fighters are both going for the center, but Henderson pushes the pass, throwing right and left hands, and stunning Feijao once or twice. Feijao retreats, and then goes for a takedown, which Henderson stuffs before pushing Feijao to the cage. Henderson is trying to wear him out and it might be working. Feijao tries to overpower Henderson and get out of the position, but Henderson's experience prevails and he secures a nice spinning takedown using Feijao's momentum against him, and lands in side control. He lands a few strikes, but both fighters seem to start to go to their feet, before Feijao grabs a single and reverses the position, getting on top in Henderson's guard. Hendo does what he can to stall and get the fight stood up, and eventually it happens, with 1:50 left in the round. Feijao throws very wide, looping left hooks but they don't come close to connecting. A superman punch from Henderson, followed by a leg kick, and then another superman punch before Henderson closes into the clinch, spinning Feijao around and dropping him with a nice greco roman takedown with forty seconds in the fight. Not much else happens and the round comes to an end. Henderson 10-9
Feijao goes for a leg kick early and Henderson throws a counter right hand. Feijao backs up and Henderson lands a straight punch, staggering him. They tie up against the cage, but Feijao escapes, wanting no part of the clinch. Hendo follows though, stalking him, he lands with the right hand that seemed to graze Feijao, but it spun him around and Dan pushes him to the ground, flat on his face. Dan swarms, thinks about a rear naked choke at first, but as Feijao flattens, Henderson starts slamming the right hand into the side of his head and the referee stops it before permanent damage is inflicted. Dan Henderson by knockout in the third round.
With his win, he becomes the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and brings California to 2-3 on the night. Henderson now has held championship titles in the three biggest organizations throughout MMA: PRIDE, UFC and Strikeforce.
Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson is live and five fighters from California are representing, with one in each of the four main card bouts. Coming into the third fight, California was 1-2, with Tim Kennedy securing the rear naked choke of Melvin Manhoef to give the state its first win of the night. This came after Billy Evangelista dropped decision to Jorge Masvidal and Josh Thornburg was clearly outmatched on the undercard against Roger Bowling. The third fight on the night's main card is for the Strikeforce Women's Welterweight Championship as the San Diego-based Liz Carmouche steps in a a late replacement taking on current champ Marloes Coenen. Below is the play-by-play as the fight took place.
Coenen takes the center of the cage and Carmouche circles around. Coenen throws a leg kick from the outside, as both fighters feel eachother out. Carmouche throws a few flurries, but Coenen counters well and backs the challenger up. A leg kick from Carmouche and Coenen counters with some hard shots. Halfway through the first round, and nothing significant has been landed. Conene is staying directly in front of her opponent and goes for a muay thai clinch, but Carmouche spins and pins the champion against the fence. They stay tied up with not much action save for a few foot stomp exchanges, and the referee separates the fighters. Coenen has some damage under her right eye, with a bit of swelling. Coenen lands a hard push kick, and then another as the round ends. Coenen probably takes the round with effective counters. 10-9 Coenen.
Both fighters come out looking to strike. Carmouche looks good with her striking, but Coenen is delivering good counters. Carmouche backs Coenen into the cage, but it's reversed as the champion throws some knees in the clinch. The challenger is looking for a takedown now while Coenen wraps up the neck and looks like she might have a guillotine choke. Carmouche goes down into the submission, but pops out and sits in Coenen's guard, not exactly a safe place to be. Carmouche holds he own though, she postures up and lands two strong right hands on the champion's face and does good damage. Carmouche stands in guard and passes to side control, and the crowd goes wild. Carmouche throws some knees to the body and the shoulder halfway in side control, and then passing to the north-south position. Coenen goes for the escape, but Carmouche holds side control. Carmouche goes for the mount but doesn't get it as Coenen goes for a leg hold, but then the challenger tries again and secures a deep mount, raining down punch after punch. Coenen is active from the bottom but is unable to get up from the high mount. Carmouch is raining down ground and pound but the round is coming to an end and Coenen weathers the storm. 10-9 Carmouche
We'll see if Carmouche is gassed at all from the strikes at the end of the round. She comes out fast and looks like she's got a lot left in the tank as the third round begins. Carmouche goes for a takedown and pushes Coenen into the cage. The dutch Coenen is throwing a few knees, but is still pinned against the cage. The clinch on the cage stays the same throughout the first half of the fight, with both fighters swapping position holding the other, but the challenger Carmouche goes for a trip takedown as Coenen tries to (illegally) grab the cage, but it doesn't help as Carmouche lands in side control, before passing to mount with two minutes to go in the round. Coenen tries to explode out from the bottom, something she didn't do in round two to conserve energy, but with two minutes to go she is in trouble. Carmouche stacks and rains down left and right hands. Carmouche keeps it going and the round ends with literally nothing from the champion in that round. 10-9 Carmouche
That round would be 10-8 if there was more damage done. Carmouche is breathing a little heavier now, and Coenen comes out of the gate securing a trip takedown. Carmouche throws some heel kicks and actually works a rubber guard, before pushing Coenen off of her. She stays on the ground and throws upkicks, and then explodes into a double leg takedown attempt at Coenen's ankles, and eventually completes it, but Coenen has her wrapped up with legs. Carmouche is a little aggressive, and it costs here as the veteran champion locks in a triangle hold. Carmouche struggles, throwing a strike in the direction of Coenen's head, but it's eventually over and she taps. Marloes Coenen comes from behind to secure the submission win in round 4.
That fight puts California at 1-3 on the night, as the San Diego-based Carmouche drops a fight she was never supposed to escape the first round of.
Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson is live and five fighters from California are representing, with one in each of the four main card bouts. Coming into the second fight, California was 0-2, with Billy Evangelista dropping an uninspired decision to Jorge Masvidal. The second fight on the main card is a bout between Tim Kennedy, born in San Luis Obispo, CA and Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef. Kennedy is a Bronze Star recipient in the Unites States Army. Below is the play-by-play as the fight took place.
Manhoef, the striker, takes the center of the cage immediately. Tim Kenendy does what's expected of him to win the fight and shoots for a takedown, trying to take advantage of Manhoef's generally lackluster takedown defense. Manhoef stuffs it though, and everyone goes nuts. Kennedy shoots for another, and Manhoef shrugs him off, keeping a good wrestlers base. Kennedy goes for a right leg kick and Manhoef catches it, throwing a hard right hand and Kennedy looks unsure. Manhoef hunts him down and throws a right leg kick and Kennedy falls to the ground. Kennedy gets up and goes for another takedown, but Manhoef sprawls. Kennedy eventually works around it, and slams Manhoef down into side control. He then passes effortlessly into mount, and Manhoef gives him his back. Going for the rear naked choke, Kennedy has to settle for trying for the choke from side control. Manhoef rolls some more, scrambling, avoiding the submission. It looks like Kennedy might have the rear naked choke as he flattens Manhoef from his back, and he does. Manhoef taps in the first round and Kennedy wins by submission.
Manhoef showed a lot of good things in his fight, but as everybody predicted, the takedown eventually came for Kennedy and the California-born fighter brings the state to 1-2 on the night.
Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson is live, and five fighters from California are representing, with one in each of the four main card bouts. Getting things started, we had Jorge Masvidal vs. Billy Evangelista. The latter, Evangelista, was born in Pelier, CA and fights out of Fresno, CA at the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy. Below is the play-by-play as the fight took place.
Evangelista takes the center of the cage and swings overhand rights and leg kicks. Masvidal illustrates his reach advantage early with some crisp jabs, backing Evangelista up and stalling his initial attack. Evangelista presses forward with another leg kick, but Masvidal catches a leg and connects with three crisp punches and gets Evangelista to the ground, but they scramble and get back up to their feet, where Masvidal lands a few knees from the clinch and the two press against the cage. As they're backing away, Masvidal lands a knee and Evangelista backs up, trying to hide the fact that he's hurt. Apparently, it works because the commentators neglect to say anything regarding it. Masvidal chases and lands a few more knees, and Evangelista puts him on the ground, sensing the fact that he's losing the standup. Masvidal tries for a guillotine, but his opponent gets back to his feet and the fighters return to the center of the cage. Another sloppy kick from Evangelista and Masvidal catches it again, but neglects to secure a takedown from it. More sloppy exchanges from Evangelista and the round ends with Masvidal landing more knees from the clinch. 10-9 Masvidal
The fighters take the center of the cage again and works to get into Masvidal's reach, throwing another sloppy leg kick that almost makes him fall on his own. Evangelista ties up and goes for a takedown, but Masvidal's experience prevents it from being successful. Masvidal lands a trip takedown, but does nothing with it as the fighters get to their feet. On second thought, maybe it did something, as Evangelista is clearly tired, shooting for a takedown that Masvidal shrugs off. Masvidal catches Evangelista with a hard straight right and he has no answer for the veteran. More sloppy takedowns follow, not set up at all by strikes, and Masvidal is on top, dominating the Californian. Masvidal starts with some good movement, dodging around strikes and picking Evangelista apart with his precise striking. The round comes to an end with Evangelista looking very frustrated. 10-9 Masvidal
Masvidal can probably finish, but he's content to box from range and time his shots to work Evangelista even more. Evangelista does have power and needs to finish in the third round to win the fight, clearly down 20-18 on the judge's scorecards, so Masvidal is being more cautious at this point. Evangelista goes for a single leg takedown, but Masvidal holds his balance and escapes from the takedown with a brutal elbow to push off. Masvidal lands a hard overhand right and Evangelista backs into the cage, clearly staggered, but Masvidal does not swarm. Evangelista goes for a right overhand, and Masvidal circles away, turning his back to his opponent and clearly showboating at this point. Evangelista lands a couple shots, but Masvidal escapes from the damage. With ten seconds remaining, the fighters exchange knees from the clinch and this one goes to the judges. 10-9 Masvidal
SB Nation Bay Area scores it 30-27 for Jorge Masvidal, and the judges agree with a clean sweep and a 30-27 decision. That puts California at 0-2 on the night.
When Rafael Cavalcante challenged Muhammed Lawal for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship, the fight could not have played out better in his favor. Lawal worked a systematic, predictable wrestling game, shooting in for double leg takedowns at different angles and distances. "Feijao" expected this of Lawal, and used a very effective sprawl-and-brawl attack to tire "King Mo" out and eventually score the TKO. He ate up Lawal with knees and elbows, and eventually finished the fight on elbows to get the upset and win the title.
He faces another wrestler in Dan Henderson, but unlike Lawal, "Hendo" won't be goaded into shooting from a distance and running right into those powerful knees. Henderson, who is representing California in the main event, uses his wrestling in different ways, in conjunction with his massive right hand, which has devestated some of the best in mixed martial arts over the years.
Henderson's plodding, walk-through style will be a much different test for Cavalcante. The fight will be a standup fight at its core, but he will always have to ensure he isn't dropped, staggered or bullied to the ground, lest Henderson get on top and rain down the same ground-and-pound attack that put Renato Sobral out at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 just a short time ago. The way to victory for Cavalcante will be to work his standup game and try and maintain distance and speed to tire out Henderson, and to make sure he doesn't allow the right hand to connect.
Tiring Henderson out is certainly a possibility. At 40 years old, Henderson doesn't have the cardio that he used to, though it's unclear of how far gone it actually is. Before the Sobral fight, he took on then-middleweight champion Jake Shields and lost four of the five rounds on most peoples' scorecards, gassing after the first round. There were reports that he had a bad weight cut, but who knows what actually happened? When you're 40, excuses always seem a bit more ... "excuse-like."
The problem for Feijao is whether or not working that kind of gameplan is feasible over five rounds. Henderson is ridiculously hard to finish, so a decision seems likely for the champion, if he can avoid being finished. Taking all this into account, it appears that cardio will be the biggest factor. If it's not finished by Henderson in the first two or three rounds, look for Feijao to grab a five-round decision win. It's a pick 'em.
The San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion, Strikeforce is coming at us all with some fantastic mixed martial arts action on Saturday with Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, also known as Strikeforce: Columbus. We're following the promotion with interest here on SB Nation Bay Area due to its frequent shows at the HP Pavilion and on Saturday we'll eagerly await the results of five fights in particular, fights in which California will be represented.
In main event action, former PRIDE and UFC champion Dan "Hendo" Henderson (26-8) will challenge Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (10-2) for the promotions Light Heavyweight Championship. Henderson was born in Downey, California and fights out of Temecula. Henderson's Team Quest gym and fight team is based in Murrieta, California. He earned the title shot by knocking out Renato Sobral in just 1:53 of the first round back at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2
"Feijao" won the title with a TKO victory over Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal at Strikeforce: Houston in August and will be defending it for the first time against Henderson.
Another California tie lies with Liz Carmouche, who will be challenging Marloes Coenen for the Women's Welterweight Championship in the co-main event. Carmouch was born in Okinawa, Japan but currently lives and trains in San Diego, California. She's stepping in as a late replacement for number one contender Miesha Tate, and not many are giving her a chance to win on such short notice. She's got a great skillset, but it will literally define the word "upset," if she walks out of Nationwide Arena with a title.
The main card will be opened up with Billy Evangelista taking on Jorge Masvidal. Evangelista was born in Parlier, California and now fights right out of Fresno, California. He's also the underdog in his fight against the rabid Masvidal. Following that, Tim Kennedy takes on dutch strike Melvin Manhoef, and he's the heavy favorite. He currently fights out of Austin, Texas but his birthplace is San Luis Obispo, California - a hotbed of MMA activity of late.
Beyond that, the undercard features one California fighter, Josh Thornburg who trains, lives and fights out of Lodi, California with the Cesar Gracie team. He'll be taking on Roger Bowling as the last fight on the preliminaries. Follow this stream throughout the night and tomorrow for previews and recaps of the fights to see how well California does in its five fight representation.
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