This was an event that rose above its lackluster card to be reasonably exciting and entertaining. It was definitely a great way to spend a lazy night in front of the TV. The event occurred a while ago, but I recently revisited it, to make sure I’d gleaned all I could.
Joe Riggs vs. Luke Stewart
Riggs didn’t look great in the first round. He gave up takedowns easily, and couldn’t keep Stewart from advancing position. However, early in the second Joe showed how he has traditionally found success: dropping bricks from the guard. Stewart really needed to be threatening with submissions to avoid that kind of treatment, but he just didn’t have what it took. I expect that Riggs will continue to smash up lower-caliber opponents on sheer physical talent and experience, but, should he ever make it back to the big show, find about the same amount of success there that he’s had in the past, which is to say none.
I said that last time they tried to find Couture someone she could beat, they screwed it up, so I didn’t expect them to be able to do it this time, either. I guess I underestimated how low they were willing to go. Lesson learned: never underestimate an MMA promoter’s willingness to take the low road.
Yves looked like an enlarged, faded version of the Yves Edwards that was regarded as the uncrowned king of the lightweight division years ago. Bang was the same old story as always: not so great off his back, dangerous on the feet. Yves has seemed to suffer badly from body shots lately, and Bang did a great job of exploiting that. Thank goodness fights are being properly scored, with someone who clearly does more damage and works more to finish getting precedence over someone that simply controls and stalls. I prefer seeing both of these guys at lighter weights, where they’re crisper. This was a really uninspired performance from Yves, and while I hope he can turn it around, I think the most his fans can hope for are a few flashes of his former glory.
Well, at least Bobby Southworth is no longer the champion of a respectable promotion. It would have been embarrassing for Strikeforce not to air his fights, but it was certainly terrible that they have had to. What a horrible fighting style. Babalu looked massively overconfident in this fight; perhaps he was just planning on giving up the first round to Southworth and hoping he gassed. He just let himself be controlled and gave up dominant positions easily, although he protected himself well and obviously landed the only strike that mattered. Maybe Bobby will learn that you have to rough up your opponent a bit before you lean on them all night, or else they’re still dangerous.
Protip: if you want to win a fight don’t let someone named “hands of steel” punch you directly in your temple. Also, props to Smith for his very impressive poker face while thanking his tae-bo instructor and calling Tom Atencio a homo. Stay classy, Mr. Smith. Maybe now we can make more money on Martin KOing regional fighters at odds way closer to even than they should be.