THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It was time for the lesser lights to show their wares recently as Strikeforce presented their latest Challengers show, broadcast on Bravo 2 this past weekend here in Britain, with Mauro Ranallo, Stephen Quadros and Pat Miletich handling commentary duties.
The show began with welterweight action as Nate Moore went up against Tarec Saffiedine. An interesting wrestler versus striker contest saw Saffiedine using his kickboxing skills to good effect throughout the fight, and showing good take down defence as well when Moore wanted to take the fight to the ground. A big right from the Belgian in the second dropped Moore and gave Saffiedine the impressive knockout win.
The welterweight action continued as Roger Bowling took on Bobby Voelker. This certainly was an explosive battle as both men came out with all guns blazing. But first strike went to Bowling as he took the upper hand, impressing in all aspects as he initially overwhelmed Voelker with some impressive striking and take downs. There was an unfortunate ending though as Bowling hurt his right eye during a referee’s separation, the corner of Voelker’s glove catching the eye as they came apart. After a lengthy examination from the doctor the fight was finally called off, with the judges called on to give their decision, unanimous in favour of Bowling. A very good performance by Bowling, but it was a shame that those in attendance didn’t show the fighters a bit more respect here.
Yet more welterweight action followed, with Nathan Coy against Tyron Woodley. This proved to be just as explosive as the previous fight, a great back and forth encounter with both men putting on tremendous performances both in the stand up and on the ground. Woodley’s best moment came towards the end of the second when he went for an arm bar, only for Coy to be saved by the bell. Coy’s best work came in the third with his excellent ground game. The judges were called upon again as they gave the split decision in favour of Woodley in a fight that really could have gone either way.
The main event saw Matt Lindland taking on Kevin Casey in the middleweight division. Lindland came into this one needing a win, and it was a great performance from the veteran. The first round looked pretty even, a nice back and forth round. But as soon as the second round started Lindland dominated, tying Casey up like a pretzel and going a step further in the third round with his relentless ground and pound, and with Casey having no answer to this assault the referee stepped in, giving Lindland the impressive TKO win.
In conclusion – another impressive showing for the up and comers (and the veteran) on Strikeforce’s roster. All four fights delivered, with the main event the fight of the night for me.
Although I must say I was a little disappointed with the conduct of the fans when Roger Bowling suffered his eye injury. When it became obvious that something was wrong and that he wouldn’t be able to continue they booed the house down, a disrespectful sign if ever there was one, leaving me wondering what would have happened if he’d suffered a far more serious injury.