Welcome to Fightline.com’s live, round-by-round coverage of Strikeforce: Evolution. Tonight’s fight card comes to us live from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Now, on to the action! Remember to keep refreshing this page for the most up to date results. For quick results of each round and notes during each fight, follow us on Twitter by clicking here.
The card got off to a late start due to the Bobby Stack – David Douglas being canceled.
AJ Fonseca vs. Alex Crispim
Round 1: Fonseca pressed Crispim to the cage early in the round. Crispim managed to score a takedown and controlled Fonseca from the top. Crispim landed some blows from the top, as well as some elbows. Fonseca was able to get back to his feet late in the round and managed to stun Crispim with some punches to the head. Fonseca continued to press the action as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Crispim.
Round 2: Crispim attempted a takedown to start the round, but was stuffed. Fonseca broke free and both men traded punches and kicks in the center of the cage. Fonseca was able to score a takedown, but was caught in a guillotine attempts. Crispim got Fonseca’s back, but Fonseca was able to get back to his feet. Crispim landed a couple of leg kicks as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Crispim.
Round 3: Crispin landed some kicks early on. Fonseca stalked and pressed him against the cage. Crispim grabbed a leg and attempted a takedown but was stuffed. He started nailing away at Fonseca and accidentally kneed him in the head, which caused a pause in the fight. Fonseca managed to take Crispim down, but Crispim was able to attempt an arm triangle and a heel hook as the round came to a close. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Crispim.
Alex Crispin defeated AJ Fonseca via unanimous decision (all judges scored it 30-27)
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Justin Wilcox
Round 1: Both fighters traded early on. Wilcox was connecting with more blows, while Nakamura was controlling the cage. Wilcox landed a nice flurry which seemed to rock Nakamura a little. Wilcox continued to connect with jabs and rocked him with an overhand right. Wilcox was able to floor Nakamura after landing a big right, but Nakamura got quickly back up to his feet. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Wilcox.
Round 2: Wilcox started off aggressive again. Wilcox kept throwing jabs and combinations while Nakamura retreated. Nakamura complained of an eye poke, and the fight was briefly halted, but Nakamura said he was ok. Wilcox tagged Nakamura right away. Wilcox scored a takedown and got in Nakamura’s guard as the round ended. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Wilcox.
Round 3: Nakamura tried to put together some offense, but slipped and Wilcox jumped on him. Nakamura managed to get back to his feet and dodge a flurry from Wilcox. Wilcox continued to peck away at Nakamura and took him down, but Nakamura was able to quickly get back to his feet. Wilcox continued to wail away at Nakamura and Nakamura tried to answer as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Wilcox.
Justin Wilcox defeated Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision (scores of 30-27,29-28,30-27)
Scott Lighty vs. Antwain Britt
Round 1: Britt landed some big shots early on. Britt floored Lighty with a big overhand right and started to wail away on Lighty, and it looked like it was going to be over for a second. Britt continued to dominate Lighty. Lighty got back up to his feet but was quickly taken back down. Lighty made his way back to his feet again and got floored again. Lighty got back up was floored again and Britt rained in with more punches before getting side control as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-8 for Britt.
The doctor said that Lighty was unable to continue after the first round.
Antwain Britt defeated Scott Lighty via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1.
“King Mo” Lawal vs. Mike Whitehead
Mo came into the cage with his usual great entrance. He comes into the fight at a 53 pound disadvantage.
Round 1: Mo dodged Whitehead’s offense early and landed a nice combination. King Mo kept looking for the jab while Whitehead pressed forward. Mo clipped Whitehead with a big overhand right and followed it up with some punches on the ground to knock Whitehead out in the first round. This guy is going to be a big star. After the bout, Mo started chugging Rockstar energy drinks, ala “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
“King Mo” Lawal defeated Mike Whitehead via KO at 3:08 of Round 1
After the bout, King Mo said he didn’t know if Whitehead was his toughest opponent, but he was good. Mo said he’s at moneyweight, and will fight where the money’s at.
Matt “The Law” Lindland vs. “Jacare” Souza
Referee “Big” John McCarthy got a bigger ovation than both fighters during the introductions.
Round 1: Lindland went in for the leg kicks early while Jacare went for jabs. Jacare missed a big head kick and Lindland tried to take him down, but Jacare was able to stuff it. Lindland was able to score a take down, but Jacare went for an armbar and almost secured it before Lindland was able to free himself. Jacare pinned his arm and was landing punches and Lindland tried to secure an arm triangle. Jacare then got on top of Lindland and Lindland pulled guard. Jacare got up and then threw a punch down at Lindland, which connected. Jacare cinched in an arm triangle, forcing Lindland to tap.
“Jacare” Souza defeated Matt Lindland via submission at 4:18 of Round 1.
After the bout, Jacare said Strikeforce was his new home and he thanked everyone for coming.
Strikeforce Lightweight Championship
Josh “The Punk” Thomson vs. “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez
Thomson got a loud mixed reaction from the crowd.
Round 1: Thomson landed a leg kick early and stuffed a takedown attempt. Both men had a great exchange, which Thomson seemed to get the better of. Thomson stuffed another takedown, but caught a right hand for it. Melendez landed a nice exchange and leg kick late in the round. Thomson followed up with a leg kick of his own. FightLine.com scores he round 10-9 for Thomson.
Round 2: Melendez clipped Thomson early and knocked him down (it seemed more like a slip), but Thomson got quickly back to his feet. Melendez floored him again, but Thomson was back up to his feet again. Melendez accidentally nailed Thomson with a low blow, which caused a pause in the fight. Once the fight was restarted, Melendez came out aggressive. He caught a kick from Thomson and pressed him against the cage. With a minute left in the round, they had another great exchange, with Melendez getting the better of it and knocking Thomson to the mat. Melendez jumped on top on got in Thomson’s guard as the round ended. Great round. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 3: Melendez landed some leg kicks early. Melendez picked away at Thomson with leg kicks and jabs. Melendez was able to stuff a takedown and stayed on offense for the rest of the round. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 4: Thomson was able to score a takedown early in the round, but Melendez was able to get back to his feet and both men had another great exchange. Melendez landed several nice combinations. He was able to catch Thomson’s foot again and take him down, but Thomson was able to get back to his feet. Melendez landed punches, jabs and a knee to the body, while Thomson was able to land a kick to the body. With 0:12 left, Thomson got poked in the eye and the bout was paused for a moment. Thomson basically walked away as the round came to a close. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 5: Another series of great exchanges with both men just swinging for the fences. The crowd is going wild, with most of the ringside area on their feet. Melendez clipped Thomson and knocked him to the mat. Melendez got on top in Thomson’s guard, and tried to get his back. Thomson was able to get back to his feet, and they exchanged again. Thomson looks exhausted. With a little over a minute left, Thomson scored a takedown and tried to get Melendez’s back, but Melendez was able to power out and get back standing. Both men had another great exchange as the fight ended. Outstanding fight, one of the best of the year. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Gilbert Melendez defeated Josh Thomson (scores of 49-47,49-46,49-46) to become the NEW Strikeforce Lightweight Champion.
After the bout, Melendez said the fight was the toughest he’s had and Thomson was the toughest opponent that he’s had. Thomson said he wasn’t going to make any excuses, and that Melendez was the better fighter tonight.
Bobby Lashley was interviewed at ringside and said he’s going to be all business in Strikeforce.
Dan Henderson was interviewed at rindside as well and said that he’ll be fighting at middleweight. He was asked about a fight with Fedor, and Hendo didn’t seem that interested in it, but said he’d take it if it was offered.
Cung Le vs. Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith
Round 1: Smith came out aggressive, missing a flurry of punches and kicks. Le grazed Smith with a spinning high kick and floored him with a spinning heel kick. Le started dropping punches on Smith from the top and was wailing away on the side of Smith’s head. Le continued to drop hammer fists, and Smith was somehow able to get back to his feet. Smith started chasing Le, and Le knocked Smith to the mat with another spinning roundhouse kick. Le nailed Smith with yet another spinning roundhouse kick. Smith finally was able to press Le against the cage as the round came to a close. If Le has any ring rust, he hasn’t shown it so far. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9, almost 10-8, for Le.
Round 2: Le started the round with an assortment of kicks. Smith looks confused as to how to defend them. Le floored Smith yet again with a spinning roundhouse and got on top in Smith’s guard. Le tried to mount, but was caught in his guard. They were eventually stood up and Smith came out swinging, but Le was able to dodge his blows. Smith pressed Le against the cage, but Le was able to turn him around and press Smith against the cage and drop knees to Smith’s legs. Smith swung wildly as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Le.
Round 3: Le rocked Smith with a pair of roundhouse kicks again. He landed another devastating kick to Smith’s midsection. Smith appears to be just looking for a knockout punch at this point. Le stayed elusive and managed to pepper Smith with strikes of his own, and then scored a takedown, but Smith quickly got back to his feet. Smith managed to catch Le with a big right and dropped him with another. He starting teeing away on him and kept swinging until John McCarthy jumped in to stop the fight. Amazing fight, and a great end to one of the best fight cards of the year.
Scott Smith defeated Cung Le via KO (strikes) at 3:25 of Round 3.
After the bout, Smith said he wants to go home and enjoy Christmas with his kids.
After the bout, Le said Smith was the better man tonight and apologized for the loss. Le said that it wasn’t ring rust, and that he just got hit with a big punch.