THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It was time for the lesser lights of Strikeforce to show what they could do as they presented their latest Challengers show, shown this past Monday night on Bravo 2 here in Britain.
The broadcast began with the big boys of the heavyweight division as Brandon Cash faced John Devine.
Cash began this fight by throwing a couple of shots. It proved to be his only effective offence before Devine took control. His second takedown saw him take Cash’s back, and it wasn’t long before he locked in a rear naked choke for the submission win. It may not have been spectacular, but it certainly was effective.
Action from the women’s middleweight division followed as Shana Olsen took on Julia Budd.
Budd looked great in her MMA debut, controlling almost every aspect of the fight. The first round clearly belonged to her, although she was deducted a point after throwing a couple of elbows to Olsen’s head on the ground, an illegal move under Strikeforce rules.
The end came in the second. With the fight going to the ground again it wasn’t long before Budd went to work with the ground and pound, and with Olsen unable to defend herself the referee stepped in, giving Budd the TKO win.
Then it was on to a catchweight bout, made at 165, between Billy Evangelista and Waachiim Spirit Wolf.
This was one of those compelling balls to the wall affairs that had you hooked as soon as it began. As soon as Spirit Wolf tagged his man and Evangelista made his comeback you knew what kind of fight you were going to get.
Both fighters gave their all for the full fifteen minutes, even though it looked like it could end in the third round when Evangelista was teeing off and Spirit Wolf looked out on his feet.
All three judges scored in favour of Evangelista, and despite the scores I wouldn’t be surprised if these two faced each other again.
Then it was back up to the heavyweight division as Lavar Johnson faced Virgil Zwicker.
No ground work here as both fighters swung for the fences early on, and although this was little more than a brawl at times it was both entertaining and effective, with a right uppercut sending Zwicker crumpling to the mat as Johnson claimed the knockout win.
The main event featured the welterweight re-match between Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker.
No accidental eye rakes in this fight. Bowling was relentless with his takedown attempts in the first round, but in the second Voelker’s striking came to the fore. After he rocked Bowling he continued his assault on the ground. Bowling offered nothing in reply, and it wasn’t long before the referee stepped in as Voelker earned the TKO win.
In conclusion – the Strikeforce undercard fighters did it again as they delivered five entertaining fights, and while the main event between Bowling and Voelker was great the fight of the night for me was the women’s encounter between Budd and Olsen.
So in short the latest Challengers show gets my thumbs up, so perhaps I should stop using the term lesser lights in the future.