(Awesome pics already up at All Elbows! And do you need a great belated xmas gift for that special chick in your life?)
Gilbert Melendez vs Jorge Masvidal: Depending on what blog you’re reading, Gilbert Melendez either amazed with his technical dismantling of Masvidal or did not impress with his decision over a less than worthy opponent. Standing on it’s own, it was a fine performance. But for everyone wanting to see Gilbert ride the hype train into the UFC at 200MPH gunning for the belt, not so much. In order to keep that going, Melendez would have had to stomp Masvidal into the canvas. Instead, he used superior striking to control the fight. Impressive? Sure. Exciting? Of course. Just not in that “Wow, Gilbert just raped a man” way.
Cris Cyborg vs Hiroko: Women who step into the cage against Cris Cyborg are set to take a beating. That’s what refs need to understand when overseeing these fights. Sure, her opponent may not have much of a chance. Sure, they may take some epic blows. But that doesn’t excuse stopping these fights early as the Hiroko fight was. “But Fightlinker!” you say. “Hiroko was about to be toast anyways!” Then what’s the point of even having the fight? Why not just bring both women into the ring, raise Cyborg’s hand, then send them back out again?
Gegard Mousasi vs Ovince St Preux: What ever happened to the Mousasi that set genitals a jingle back in 2008 / 2009? Last night’s Mousasi was the same guy that blew wins against King Mo and Keith Jardine. Ovince St Preux is a promising up and comer but should have been the kind of fighter Gegard eats for breakfast. Instead, Mousasi controlled the fight without doing much to capitalize on that control, leading to a sloppy three round affair. Mousasi blamed being sick and let’s hope for his sake that was the case. It was an uninspired meh performance, something I’m coming to expect from him.
KJ Noons vs Billy Evangelista: I like Improved Wrestling Noons, but what ever happened to Deadly Striking Noons? KJ used to harness the mystic powers of the sweet science to throw perfect punches that knocked dudes out or turned their face to hamburger. In this fight Evangelista ate everything Noons threw at him and kept coming forward. It was a fun if generally pointless fight, a nihilistic complaint that I think is probably going to apply to 95% of Strikeforce fights moving forward.