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Cyborg dominates Strikeforce: Miami

Does Erin Toughill have a hope in hell of beating Cris “Cyborg” Santos? Does anyone?

Toughill is expected to be the next to face Cyborg following the Brazilian champ’s impressive overpowering of a very game (read: solid striking, more resilient and less intimidated than I’d expected) Marloes Coenen at Saturday’s Strikeforce: Miami event. Coenen, a submission specialist, stood and banged in the early going and was clearly stunned when the shots she landed didn’t even make Cyborg blink. Cyborg ate whatever Coenen could dish out and asked for more, beating her against the cage, throwing her to the floor and and dropping hammerfists like a female Wanderlei Silva until the referee stoppage in the third round. Give Coenen credit – she fared better than Gina Carano did in the same position (although Coenen and Carano both looked about the same afterward – bloody and bruised and completely demoralized), and any question about Cyborg’s stamina is now moot. Definitely the fight of the night.

The other title fight, for the vacant welterweight strap, saw Nick Diaz pepper DREAM champ Marius Zaromskis with punches from long range (Diaz has arms like a chimpanzee) and weird angles for a first-round TKO but it was by no stretch a “striking clinic,” as some have written. Diaz’s striking is not a style any fighter should try to emulate – his punches zip about like a swarm of mosquitoes, with no real power behind them. But it was enough to knock Zaromskis, who’s known for his fight-ending head kicks, off his game as he never got one off, in large part because Diaz pinned him against the cage and drove knees into his right thigh until he could barely stand.

Herschel Walker is an incredible physical specimen but he doesn’t walk on water. The 47-year-old NFL great and former Olympic bobsledder won his MMA debut – via third-round TKO – but it was a sloppy effort against a wet blanket named Greg Nagy. Still, he stalked Nagy, nagged him with punches and kicks, landed the rare takedown and delivered a bit of ground-and-pound, nothing to be embarrassed about. Nothing to write home about either.

Dutch knockout specialist Melvin Manhoef should be embarrassed. For an entire round he had Robbie Lawler backing away and covering up as he delivered brutal leg kicks that repeatedly knocked Lawler’s leg out from under him. He showed patience and delivered sharp piston-like punches. Then he leaned a bit too far forward, dropped his hands a bit and Lawler clipped his paper chin and he folded. Lights out. A tste of his own medicine. Give Lawler credit – other than the leg damage, which left him hobbling around the cage post-fight, he did a good job of covering up during the barrages of punches. But the fight was Manhoef’s to lose and he did.

And it was paint-by-numbers as former WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley dumped Ultimate Fighter loser Wes Sims on his ass and ground-and-pounded him until he rolled over and cried uncle. Certainly not the kind of test Lashley needs if he wants to prove he deserves a shot at Fedor Emelianenko or any of the other top Strikeforce heavyweights.

Great card? No. A couple of okay fights – and one great one in Cyborg/Coenen – but that’s it.

1 comment

1 Jason Whittington { 02.01.10 at 12:32 am }

I’m glad I couldn’t find it to order it.

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