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Strikeforce 36: Dominique Steele Vs. Chris Mierzwiak

The following is from our live coverage of Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov. To access our full coverage, click here.

Round 1: Steele comes out fast and takes the center. Mierzwiak counters as Steele comes in, but he goes for the takedown as Steele continues forward. Steele reverses, but Mierzwiak reverses in kind and briefly goes for a reverse triangle on the ground. It fails and they return to their feet. Mierzwiak moves in for a takedown by a few punches, but he’s reversed. They scramble back and forth and end up back on their feet with Mierzwiak’s back on the fence. Mierzwiak looks fazed by a hard punch and a follow-up flying knee, he goes for the takedown. Steele thinks to threaten with the guillotine, but Mierzwiak defends and keeps hold of him. They separate and Mierzwiak turns it on, landing several damaging strikes on Steele, punctuating with a hard knee that briefly drops Steele. Mierzwiak dumps Steele to the mat and takes his back; he sinks both hooks and turns him over, applying the body triangle. Bleeding from the nose, Steele is doing his best to defend the rear naked choke. Under a minute to go and Steele finds the opening to turn into Mierzwiak. He doesn’t mess around in guard for long, letting Mierzwiak back to his feet. Mierzwiak looks to be tiring and Steele starts to turn it up with the striking. Mierzwiak stops his assault by grabbing hold of him and that’s where they end the round. scores the round 10-9 for Mierzwiak

Round 2: They come out slower this time around, both men throwing half-hearted strikes before circling. Steele scores with a good combo, but Mierzwiak tosses him to the mat to interrupt. Steele scrambles out and then puts Mierzwiak down. Steele on top in Mierzwiak’s guard now. Steele is starting to land some ground and pound now, starting off a nice sequence with a flying knee. Mierzwiak looks for the triangle but is quickly denied. Mierzwiak gets to his feet, but Steele stays on him, only breaking to throw a flying knee. They stand their ground and briefly trade punches back and forth, with Steele getting the better of things, before clinching against the fence. Mierzwiak is wilting, he falls after Steele drills him with a right hand. Steele takes side control, looking to set up the crucifix while he peppers with ground and pound. Steele is looking a bit too tired to finish and Mierzwiak is able to survive until the bell. scores the round 10-9 for Steele

Round 3: Both men looking very tired to start the round. Mierzwiak throws first, missing on a one-two and allowing Steele to grab him and press him into the fence. Mierzwiak turns him and looks for the takedown. These guys are exhausted. Steele drops Mierzwiak to his back with a right hand, but he falls as much from exhaustion as from force. Mierzwiak establishes guard immediately. Mierzwiak looks for the omoplata but is denied. They scramble and Steele ends up behind Mierzwiak. Mierzwiak to his feet, but Steele is right on him, throwing knees. Steele looks for and lands the double leg, firmly planting Mierzwiak on the mat. They look they’re fighting in molasses at this point, but Steele is likely taking this round on the judges’ score cards. Mierzwiak rolls for the armbar, but gives up side control. Steele gets sloppy trying to pass and lets Mierzwiak out the back door. Mierzwiak takes his back again, locking the body triangle in with under a minute left. Mierzwiak too tired to sink the choke and Steele turns into his guard. scores the round 10-10

Dominique Steele defeated Chris Mierzwiak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)