The day before Rampage faced the Dragon Vitor Ribeiro and Justin Wilcox went at it in the main event of the latest Strikeforce Challengers show, shown this past Monday night on Bravo 2 here in Britain.
The broadcast began with lightweight action as Caros Fodor went up against Derek Getzel.
A nice technical battle began with both men swinging before an extensive clinch against the cage. From there the fight went to the ground, and as the round neared it’s final seconds Fodor locked in a d’arce choke for the submission win.
It was up to the welterweight division for the next fight as Marius Zaromskis took on Waachiim Spirit Wolf.
A non-fight that began with Zaromskis flying across the cage. Unfortunately he caught Spirit Wolf with a stray finger to the eye, and after a lengthy rest period and a couple of checks from the doctors the fight was ruled a no contest. The time of the fight – just six seconds.
Normal action resumed as Ovince Saint Preux went up against Antwain Britt in the light heavyweight division.
At first it looked like we were in for another no contest when Saint Preux accidentally poked Britt in the eye just thirty seconds in.
Thankfully Britt recovered, and from there the fight progressed nicely, with Saint Preux controlling the first round with some nice strikes and some good ground work, going for a foot lock towards the end.
Britt came back strongly in the second with some ground work of his own, but OSP re-asserted his control in the third, beginning with a hard liver kick, following up with take downs and ground control.
No surprise with the decision as the judges scored in favour of Saint Preux.
The main event saw Vitor Ribeiro facing Justin Wilcox in the lightweight division.
A very interesting fight saw Wilcox outbox Ribeiro throughout. The Brazilian went for a few take downs but Wilcox easily avoided these. He also refused Ribeiro’s invitations to join him on the ground.
Once again there was no surprise with the decision, with Wilcox taking home the unanimous decision.
In conclusion – three good fights and one unfortunate no contest made for a very entertaining show, and given the performances of some of the guys here I wouldn’t be surprised to see them plying their trade in the main shows soon.
I was a little disappointed that the women’s fight between Jan Finney and Liz Carmouche was cut from the British edit though, mainly because the women’s fights are quite often the highlight of the show. I only knew about this particular encounter because it was left on the highlights package at the end.
But apart from that, good stuff, and I hope that the powers that be at Sky, who recently purchased the Living Group of channels, which includes Bravo 2, don’t dump Strikeforce when they close down the channel in the new year. These shows would make a welcome addition to the Sky Sports schedules.