Strikeforce: Houston on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas did not make a major buzz to casual mixed martial arts fans but the event had some bright moments. The light heavyweight championship has changed hands, a vacant middleweight crown has been settled and there were a couple of supporting bouts that were filled with controversy.
Karl James Noons scored a second round knockout that did not escape scrutiny and controversy. As K.J. Noons knocked down opponent Jorge Gurgel, the referee failed to stop the fight immediately. This allowed Noons to keep striking and sneak in a knee to the head of a fallen Gurgel. Despite the controversy, it was clear that Noons was the better fighter landing the more crisp strikes.
Former pro-wrestler Bobby Lashley absorbed his first loss to little known Chad Griggs. Lashley dominated with his ground and pound but he got caught with an uppercut that opened a cut below the corner of his left eye. Lashley appeared exhausted in the second round, getting caught with another brutal strike as he was attempting a takedown. The second round ended with Lashley on the ground, struggling to get back up from the beating he took from Griggs. The referee called the stoppage right after the second round.
In the fight for the vacant middleweight title, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defeated Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision. I had Jacare winning the first three rounds, giving away the fourth and a draw in the final round. Jacare, who is a jiu-jitsu expert, surprisingly engaged Kennedy in a stand up game.
The main event that featured Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal defending his light heavyweight title against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Feijao came from behind to dethrone King Mo. The fight was just about even after two rounds. By the third round, King Mo looked gassed out. Feijao rocked King Mo and never let up until the referee stopped the fight at the 1:14 mark.
The replay of Strikeforce: Houston is set on Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHO1 and SHO2 HD.