Having recently reviewed Strikeforce’s recent Overeem vs. Werdum show we’re now going to take a look at the show that followed as Caros Fodor faced James Terry in the Challengers series.
The show began in the women’s welterweight division as Germaine De Randamie faced Julia Budd in what was Zuffa’s first ever women’s MMA fight.
Budd came into this one looking to avenge a loss against De Randamie in a kickboxing fight, and for the first two rounds she did a pretty good job of controlling her opponent on the ground after escaping from De Randamie’s sloppy looking guillotine choke.
De Randamie came back with her striking at the beginning of the third round, but Budd retook control about halfway through, but when the referee stood them up towards the end of the fight De Randamie connected with a knee in a muay thai clinch, Budd countering with a take down.
So it was down to the judges to render a decision, with all three giving the fight to Budd.
Then it was on to the men’s welterweight division as Jason High faced Quinn Mulhern.
Mulhern had a huge height and reach advantage, but as soon as the fight began it didn’t mean much as High took control, first with his striking and then with his ground work.
Mulhern just didn’t seem to have any defence against High’s take downs, and High was able to take his man down time and time again. Mulhern showed some sound defensive work at times, but apart from that there wasn’t much to his game.
So once again it was down to the judges decision, with High taking the unanimous decision. It may not have been a pretty fight but it certainly was effective.
It was up to light heavyweight for the next fight as Gian Villante went up against Lorenz Larkin.
This was a very good fight. It began with Villante scoring with a trio of low kicks which was the set up for a big take down. He managed to control the rest of the round there with some great ground work.
But from the second round onwards Larkin went to work with his striking. As the fight went on Larkin seemed to get stronger and stronger as he went to work with a series of great combinations, and although Villante managed to get in a few good kicks it wasn’t enough, the fight ending when Larkin, surprisingly, scored with a take down of his own.
More work for the judges at the end of this one as Larkin took the unanimous decision.
The penultimate fight saw Ryan Couture taking on Matt Ricehouse in the lightweight division.
This battle of grapplers put together a pretty good three round striking battle. The action seemed pretty even in the first round, but as they moved into the second Ricehouse’s combinations and his kicks in particular looked very crisp.
The story was the same in the third. Each man managed to get off a few good combinations, with Ricehouse once again coming strong towards the end of the fight, although they were unable to put each other away, even when Ricehouse scored with a take down.
So with the fight going the distance the judges came into play yet again, with Ricehouse taking the unanimous decision
The main event featured more lightweight action as Caros Fodor took on James Terry.
Another three round affair that proved to be very entertaining. The action looked pretty even at the beginning, but as the fight progressed Fodor gradually took control with his superior striking.
There was a brief foray to the ground in the second, Terry countering Fodor’s standing guillotine attempt by taking the fight to the ground and going for an arm triangle. But as the third round started Terry was on the back foot for long moments, and his only real moment of offence was a take down towards the end of the fight, which Fodor quickly tried to escape from.
The judge’s final work of the night saw two of them giving everything to Fodor, with one giving it to him by just one round.
In conclusion – no flashy knockouts, no submission wins, no referee stoppages, and you know what? Even though it was missing all of those things I still found this to be a very entertaining show, perhaps even better than the Overeem/Werdum event.
What this event showed was that you don’t need every fight to be packed out with flashy moves and big punches, because it’s just as intriguing watching fighters jockeying for position. It really is like a game of chess at times, and it’s for that reason I’m giving this show the thumbs up.
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