Strikeforce – Melendez vs. Thomson Play-By-Play

Coming to you live from the San Jose Arena

Sorry to start this late. I actually got here in time and wound up sitting down and chatting with Paul Schriener and Marcelo Garcia. Marcelo is in town for a seminar, as I understand it it’s nt to late to sign up. More on that conversation in a moment. Alexander Trivino armbars Eric Jacob first round. Alexander "Spider" Trivino sporting homemade pink shorts and a cup that would make Shonie Carter say "whoa"slaps on the armbar from the bottom and Eric stands up to get out of it. Rookie mistake I comment as Marcelo smiles. Jorge Interiano stops Travis Johnson (could not continue after the second round). I know Travis from working the front desk at AKA, but despite a few impressive kicks it gradually became all Jorge who began to literally chase Travis around the ring towards the end of the fight. The referee waves it off at the start of the third. Cyrillo Padhillo vs Jesse Jones This is actually a good fight, now entering it’s third round. I was typing up the last two fights too much to be paying to much attention to the first two rounds. In the third round Jesse lands a big shot that floors Cyrillo, then lands some big shots from the ground for good measure. Cyrillo somehw survive and comes back on top, but doesn’t do much with it, so the fight is restarted on the feet. Cyrillo gets the takedown and the fight ends there. Cyrillo is representing Luta Livre, which I haven’t heard of in a long time. As we wait for the announcement, Ken Shamrock is walking around the cage and has a conversation with Ken Shamrock. Cyrillo gets the judges nod, much to the chagrin of this partisan crowd. Hey, this is my hometown! What do you think they would do to Sports Illustrated MMA editor Josh Gross, who is sitting to my left sporting a backdrop of the LA Dodgers? We’re in NorCal now baby! Paul comes by to drop off a stack of flyers for the Marcelo Garcia seminar. Only 10 spots left to roll with one of the greatest grapplers ever! To register go to Intermission right now as we await the main card. Brian Caraway vs Alvin Cacdac The local boy Alvin Cacdac gets a hero’s welcome, but it’s Caraway that initiates the takedown and takes the back right away. Cadac fends off the rear naked choke as long as he can, but referee Herb Dean stops the fight when Cacdac appears to go out. I’m not sure if he was actually out, as he got up right away, but he definitely stopped struggling. Bobby Stack vs Jose Palacios Both local boys, but I think I hearing more booing than cheers for either of them? They each have their support, but it as if their respective sides are more interested in jeering the other side. Or maybe there is an echo. In my head. I haven’t even had any beer yet! The fight begins as they usually do with the fighters exchanging blows on the feet. Jose hits Bobby hard enough to send the mouthpiece flying, but a lull in the action and referee Josh Rosenthal stop the action. When restarted, Bobby presses the takedown and finally gets it, landing in the full guard of Jose where it stays until the round ends. Round 2 Bobby gets the takedown, Jose struggles to his feet but with the bodylock Bobby brings it right back down to Jose’s guard. A little ground and pound from Bobby and a pass to half guard, but after a failed armbar attempt Jose winds up on top in the half guard. Time expires before he can do much with it and we’re to round 3 Round 3 A brief exchange and Bobby goes for the takedown again. Jose scrambles up, Bobby has the bodylock from behind and a BIG slam follows. Bobby takes the mount and eventually attempts to work some ground and pound as Jose covers up. Utilizing the bringing the legs up strategy Jose eventually manages to reverse the situation, topping Bobby over, but Bobby regains top position quickly. Fight ends with Bobby laying on top of Jose’s guard and we await the judges decision. All three judges score the fight 29-28 in favor of Bobby Stack. Chris Cariaso vs Anthony Figueroa 135 pounds Fair warning, more than a little bit of bias here as I train with Chris Cariaso at the Ralph Gracie SF academy. He’s also the co owner of the Fight and Fitness Gym . Anthony Figueroa representing San Jose definitely gets the stronger reaction. The fighter begin exchanging some beautiful kicks, however Chris goes for and gets the takedown, landing in full guard. After posturing up to hit, Chris manages to pass guard to side control, then eventually gets full mount. Chris looks for the key lock, but Anthony escapes, comes on top briefly before Chris slams him back down to guard. Chris passes once again to side control. Anthony comes forward and Chris looks for the guillotine before landing back in mount. Anthony escapes to the feet and with ten seconds to go we’re back to a stand up bout as time expires. Round 2 Some cautious exchanges before Chris charges forward and gets the takedown, landing in half guard. Chris passes briefy but Anthony comes forward, turtles up and pulls guard once again. Chris stands, pounds and passes to half guard with a slick manuever. Chris quickly achieves mount againand stays low, looking for a key lock once again. Anthony escapes the submission but not the mount, so Chris sits up and begins to rain down damage. Anthony is forced to his back and Chris sinks the hooks, looking for the choke but Anthony spins out. Chris remains relentless and gets the choke from a sort of half side position. After the fight one bummed out Luke Stewart comes over to talk. He had three opponents pull out for various reasons on him Shonie Carter first with a broken knuckle. Then at the last second Joe Riggs had to pull out after being disqualified for admitting taking Percocet a few days a go. Drew Fitch stepped up to the plate but was denied by the promotion he is under contact to fight a month later for. Jerimiah Metcalf vs Raymond "The Real Deal" Daniels 185 pounds A few days ago I received a press release from Strikeforce touting Raymond Daniels as the next Cung Le. This is Daniel’s pro MMA debut, apparently he made his name on the sport karate circuit and is listed as representing "Kenpo/Shotokan/American Tae Kwon Do". He seems to have no shortage of confidence walking to the cage, dancing on his way up the walkway. This fight is slated for three 3 minute rounds. Round 1 begins and Metcalf immediately clinches and looks for the takedown. Daniels defends well for awhile before Metcalf scoops him up and slams him back down. Daniels has a guillotine choke however, looks tight before Metcalf escapes to half guard. Metcalf eventually takes full mount and begins to pound away from a high mount. Daniels somehow survives the round we go to round 2. Round 2 To no one’s surprise, Metcalf charges forward for the takedown instantly and lands quickly in full mount. After a pounding, Daniels is forced to his back and Metcalf secures the rear naked choke. Meisha Tate vs Elaina Maxwell Three 3 minutes rounds at a weight of 147. Elaina is the local girl and receives an appropriate ovation. Tate charges for the takedown and lands in Elaina’s full guard. Tate looks to ground and pound as Maxwell climbs her guard up Tate passes to full mount. Elaina comes on top but Tate slaps on the armbar. The two are tangled briefly and Tate appears to fully hyper extend the arm, bending it at a sickening angle as the round expires. Round 2 Tate charges for the takedown again and Elaina briefly tries an omaplata. Nothing doing and this allows Tate to slide her need up and eventually pass guard. The crowd is really beginning to get behind Tate now as she looks to pound her way to a win. Elaina throws her legs up attempts to buck but the Elaina catches her head and pulls her down. Tate escapes and lands on side control as time expires. Round 3 Elaina gets a kick or two in before Tate rushes to the fence. Elaina stays on her feet this time however. It stays against the fence for a minute and a half before the referee calls for a break. Tate shots back in, but after a knee by Elaina Tate goes down and Elaina takes the back. Elaina looks for an armbar from the back now, but Tate holds on as time expires. We now wait for a word from the judges. Unanimous decision 29-28 in favor of Meisha Tate. Anthony "El Toro" Ruiz vs Bobby Southworth This is a title match for Bobby’s Light Heavyweight Title, so we are scheduled for five 5 minute rounds. Brief feeling out process, then Bobby clinches, drives forward and lands in the half guard of Ruiz. Bobby quickly passes to side control, and as Ruiz attempts to turtle up Bobby takes the back with hooks. Bobby rides for awhile, but Ruiz manages to spin and land in Bobby’s guard. As Ruiz pushes to the fence Bobby gets back to the feet and the two are clinched before Bobby once again gets the takedown. Bobby passes to half guard, looks for more, Ruiz reverses and Bobby looks for the arm. Bobby turns it into an omaplatabut Ruiz escapes to end the round. Tonights annouced attendence is 7488 Round 2 Ruiz shoots for and gets the takedown. Bobby attempts to get up and but Ruiz stuffs that and brings it right back down. After it goes back up bobby clinches and gets the takedown, passing to side control. Bobby takes the full mount briefly but Ruiz reverses to pt Bobby into full guard. After some punches from Ruiz, Bobby attempts either an armbar or a triangle choke which Ruiz escapes but Bobby manages to use to come on top as time expires. Round 3 Ruiz brings Bobby down to start the third round. To the full guard now with Bobby’s back against the fence. Bobby tries to turtle up and eventually stands, but Bobby escapes. Now Bobby is pushing Ruiz against the fence and eventually gets the takedown to side control. Crowd starts to get antsy as little striking is happening. Ruiz reverses back to Bobby’s closed guard. Bobby stands with Ruiz clincedand after exchanging knees Bobby brings it back down to the mat as the round closes out. Round 4 Bobby actually seems to have renewed energy as gets the better of an exchange, clinches and takes Ruiz down to full mouunt. Ruiz Comes up but is forced to turtle as Bobby remains in control. back to the feet and Ruiz appears to be cut somewhere. Bobby drives Ruiz down to half guard, but Ruiz gets back up. Ruiz gets the takedown and Bobby almost gets a Kimura from the guard but Ruiz escapes. Ruiz pounds briefly as Bobby tries to lock up the other arm, then both fighters stand. Bobby gets the takedown and lands in side control and we’re into the final round. Round 5 Final and championship round and the fighters touch gloves. A brief exchange before Bobby charges forward and gets the single leg takedown. Ruiz tries the guillotine from the half guard but Bobby escapes and goes to side control. Back up and then back down to the half guard. Bobby again tries for the kimura but Ruiz escapes. Bobby controls and eventually drags Ruiz to back control with hooks. Time expires on this fight and fighters embrace as we await the judges decision. The winner by unanimous decision is Bobby Southworth. The crowd boos? Billy Evangelista vs Nam Phan 155 Three five minute rounds. Nam begins by wiging for the fences, but Billy gets the clinch and gets the takedown to Nam’s guard. Billy continues the ground and pound while Nam swings his hips from one way to the other looking for something, then trying to get to the feet but Billy drops him back down. More pounding from Billy as Nam manuevers, defends and looks for the sub. Billy lands a vicious left right combo, Nam defends but Billy continues to hammer away as time expires. Round 2 The two exchange and a Nam combo appears to stun Billy. Billy recovers and the two continue to trade before Billy finally shoots in. Nam defends well however and keeps it on the feet, clinched against the fence. THey break and stand in the middle of the ring looking for big blows. Billy’s timing seems to be better as he begins to find his mark as Nam’s strikes become more erratic. After Nam misses with a left Billy shoots in and takes Nam down. Nam attempts to get back to the feet, and does, but Billy hangs on. Single leg by Billy, but he’s cut, his bleached blond hair streaked with red now. Or is it Pam’s face that is cut? Lot of blood happening either way. Nam to full guard as Billy looks to strike from a low posture. Round ends. Round 3 Fighters exchange some heavy punches before Billy shoots the single leg. Nam keeps it standing however and lands a big knee which knocks Billy’s mouthpiece out. After Her Dean calls a break for the missing mouth piece, Billy shoots in again, Nam is defending the single leg really well against the fence. Billy finally does get the single leg and pushed Nam Phan in full guard against the fence. Billy tries some ineffectual ground and pound before ref Herb Dean stands them up. Some big shots from Nam, Billy answers with a single leg attempt. Nam defends and the match ends with the fighters on their feet. Split decision in favor of Billy Evangelista. Crowd reacts with a torrent of boos. From my seat I think it was the correct call, but it was a close match either way. Strikeforce World Lightweight Title John "the Punk" Thomson vs Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez Josh enters first to Lil Jon’s "Let’s Go" to a heros welcome. Tons of homemade signs come up for Josh as he dances to the ring. Gilbert Melendez gets huge reception as well, running out to Santana. Should be an interesting fight, as both have stated they have trained together many times and know each other well. Tons of energy in the Arena. Round 1 The two fighters touch gloves and we are on. Gilbert gets in the first punch, Josh responds with a kick. It’s eveident the fighters have a lot of respect for each other’s games. Gilbert tries to shoot, Josh defends and they separate. Josh drives for a takedown and takes Gilbert down. Gilbert attempts to get up but Josh is controlling well. Josh gets a few punches in, Gilbert defends, but Josh then gets to half guard. Gilbert has the underhooks from the bottom and fire rabbit punches at Josh who looks for control and picks his shoots. Finally Gilbert reverses and comes on top of Josh! Hard elbows to the side from Josh, and the fighters separate and are standing once more. The two circle, pin pointng their attacks as time expires. Round 2 Again the fighters seem to have a lot of respect for each others abilities. Josh kicks, Gilbert picks up a leg, the two exchange strikes but Josh gets free. Another exchange, Josh seems to stun Gilbert but Gilbert drives forward to the clinch. Fighters separate, then a big forward kick from Josh followed by the superman punch. A flurry of exchanges, Josh seems to be getting the better of these as Gilbert will look for the takedown. Josh successfully defends and the two continue to circle. Josh is getting bolder with his strikes, including flying knees and spinning kicks. josh is definitely feeling more confident, Gilbert will strike looking for a takedown, but it’s Josh that gets the takedown as time expires. Round 3 Fighters touch gloves again and we begin. Josh landing a variety of strikes as Gilbert looks for his shot. Josh is definitely getting the better of the exchanges, as Gilbert will resort to the shot, which Josh defends. Now it’s Josh that is circling and stalking, a momentary slip which Gilbert doesn’t take advantage of and the fight resumes on the feet. They continue to circle, Josh firing off most of the shots, but Gilbert comes back. A minute to go and Gilbert presses forward now but Josh responds. Josh looks for the takedown and after pushing Gilbert around the ring he finally puts Gilbert on his back. Josh nearly takes Gilbert’s back but Gilbert quickly escapes as time expires. Round 4 Round begins the same as the other rounds, Gilbert more aggressive now. Josh continues to find his mark with punches and kicks as Gilbert strides forward. Now Josh moves forward using a left right combo of kicks . Every kick Josh throws Gilbert looks to pick up, but none successfully so far. Gilbert moves forward and lands a few shots of his own, but Josh answers back in kind. With a minute to go Josh goes for the takedown and lands in side control. Josh nearly takes the back and looks for the choke, but Gilbert comes up. Josh remains in control, Gilbert turtles up, Josh takes the back sinks in what looks like a deep choke, Gilbert escapes and time expires! Round 5 Crowd comes alive for the final round. Gilbert is going to need a finish to pull this one out and stalks an elusive Josh. Surprise! Josh scoops up the single leg right away and puts Gilbert on his back. Josh looks for Gilbert’s back, but Gilbert escapes and we are back to the feet. Another exchange on the feet and Josh initiates the clinch again. Gilbert looks exhausted but defends the takedown. This turns into a slugfest now with a minute remaining the fighters are letting it go now. Josh gets one more clinch an Gilbert grabs the fence to prevent the takedown. Time expires and the fighters briefly embrace before Gilbert drops to one knee in his corner. Josh Tompson wins a unanimous decision 50-45 on all three judges scorecards Swing bout Jesse Gillespie vs Eric Lawson Three x 3 minute rounds, 185 pounds. Fighers touch gloves to begin. It looks like Jesse’s pinky finger came out of the glove. On the restart Lawson get the takedown, takes the back and gets the rear naked choke a little over a minute into the fight.

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Gumby is the co-founder of back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.