Strikeforce made its way to the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Mississippi tonight for Strikeforce Challengers 12. The card was headlined by a lightweight bout between former Shooto champ Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro and American Kickboxing Academy’s Justin “The Silverback” Wilcox.
Elsewhere, light heavyweight knockout artists Antwain “The Juggernaut” Britt and Ovince St. Preux squared off in a battle of future contenders, while Jan “Cuddles” Finney faced Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in a 135-pound women’s bout. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the main card.
Justin “The Silverback” Wilcox vs Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro
Wilcox landed a nice overhand right early in the fight and Ribeiro’s left eye began to swell. The fighters circled and traded sparse punches until Wilcox moved in for a takedown. Ribeiro fell to his back and Wilcox kicked at his legs. Ribeiro stood and Wilcox threw a combination. Ribeiro looked to clinch to pull guard, but Wilcox kept his distance and scored with a lead right hook.
Wilcox rushed in with a lunging right and Ribeiro tried to pull guard. Wilcox stepped free and backed away, then landed a body kick. He followed with a one-two that was blocked. Ribeiro jabbed and Wilcox cracked him with an overhand right. Both fighters shot in at the same time, but stayed on their feet and Wilcox threw a head kick just before the bell. 10-9 Wilcox.
Wilcox jabbed early in the second round and followed with an uppercut in close. Ribeiro answered with a stiff jab of his own and clipped Wilcox with a lead left hook. Wilcox answered with a right hand and a body kick. A nice right cross backed Ribeiro up and bloodied his nose. Ribeiro tried for a takedown and met with no success. Wilcox effectively countered a short right hand with a one-two.
Ribeiro shot in for another takedown and Wilcox stuffed it. And landed a glancing uppercut as Ribeiro flopped backwards and the fighters returned to their feet. Ribeiro missed with a jumping knee and Wilcox rocked him with a big right cross. Ribeiro circled and recovered, but ate another right from Wilcox. The fighters traded jabs and Wilcox threw a flying knee late in the round. 10-9 Wilcox.
Wilcox landed more quick jabs in the final round as Ribeiro circled away and looked to set up single strikes. Wilcox remained the aggressor and landed a decent right hook. He followed with another and avoided a wild right hook. Ribeiro landed his best punch of the fight with a hard right cross, but Wilcox was unfazed and countered with a combination. He cracked Ribeiro with an overhand right.
Wilcox stayed on the offensive and the fighters exchanged right hands. Wilcox partially connected, while Ribeiro hit air. Wilcox sprawled out of two takedowns and landed a short uppercut in close. He stood over Ribeiro and kicked at his legs. The referee returned the fight to the feet and Wilcox landed a grazing right. Ribeiro attacked with a flying knee, but it had little effect and Wilcox drilled him with yet another right. 10-9 Wilcox.
Winner: Justin Wilcox by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 10-3-0.
Ovince St. Preux vs Antwain “The Juggernaut” Britt
The fighters traded punches and St. Preux threw a kick to the body. He poked Britt in the eye and time was called. Fortunately, Britt was eventually able to continue and St. Preux fired off a pair of head kicks. Britt tagged him with two counter right hands. Looping punches were exchanged and St. Preux just missed with an uppercut. He ate a one-two but landed a Superman Punch. St. Preux connected with two punches to the body and a grazing head kick.
St. Preux stayed aggressive and landed a left hook, then another soon after. He hurt Britt with a liver kick and another body kick right after. Britt tried for a takedown, but wound up turtling as St. Preux teed off with punches from back control. He battered Britt’s ribs with punches and knees, then rolled into his signature calf slicer. Britt survived until the bell. Good finish to the round. 10-9 St. Preux.
The fighters clinched early in the second round and Britt took St. Preux down against the cage. He punched from the top, but St. Preux scrambled back to his feet. Britt took him down again and threw hammerfists from St. Preux’s half-guard. The pace slowed as Britt continued to work from the top with occasional punches and hammerfists.
Britt postured up briefly and fired off a quick flurry of hammerfists, then punched to the body. St. Preux made little effort to move as Britt peppered him with short strikes against the cage. St. Preux attempted to regain full guard, but Britt kept the pressure on with punches to the head and body. Britt rode out the round and landed a brief flurry in the final seconds. 10-9 Britt.
Britt shot in early in the final round as St. Preux appeared to be fatigued, but he managed to stay on his feet. Britt continued to work for the takedown and dragged St. Preux to the mat, but St. Preux spun back to his feet and took Britt down. St. Preux moved to mount, but Britt pushed him off and regained full guard. St. Preux threw a handful of punches from the top as the pace slowed again.
Britt briefly looked for an armbar, but St. Preux easily evaded danger and continued to methodically work from the top. Very little transpired, but Britt was unable to escape to his feet and St. Preux eventually moved to half-guard. Seconds later, the referee stood the fighters up and St. Preux hurt Britt with another liver kick. He returned to Britt’s half-guard and stayed there until the bell. 10-9 St. Preux.
Winner: Ovince St. Preux by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 8-4-0.
Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis vs Waachiim Spiritwolf
Zaromskis rushed right in with a jumping switch kick, but inadvertently poked Spiritwolf in the eye. Time was called to give him time to recover, but after a lengthy delay, Spiritwolf advised the cageside doctor that he could not see and the fight was stopped at the six-second mark. The official decision was a No Contest.
Result: No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke) at 0:06 of round one. Zaromskis is now 13-5-0, 1 NC, while Spiritwolf is 8-7-1, 1 NC.
Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche vs Jan “Cuddles” Finney
The fighters traded punches for the opening minute as each looked to set up quick combinations. Carmouche circled around and Finney landed a body kick. Finney stayed in the centre of the ring as Carmouche moved around the ring. Carmouche scored with a kick-punch combo and managed to take Finney down. Finney tried to set up a triangle choke from her back as Carmouche stayed busy with short hammerfists from the top in Finney’s guard.
Carmouche defended an armbar by picking Finney up and slamming her down, then landed two solid right hands. Finney used an ankle pick to reverse and take Carmouche down, but Carmouche quickly countered with a triangle choke attempt. Finney escaped danger and moved to side-control. Carmouche kept Finney’s right arm trapped, but Finney maintained top position in side-control until the bell. Close round. 10-9 Carmouche.
Carmouche began the second round with a flying kick and a standing backfist, which prompted Finney to clinch. Carmouche used a throw to take her down and secured a front headlock, but Finney spun out. Carmouche worked from Finney’s half-guard until Finney regained full guard. Finney looked for submissions as Carmouche threw punches to the body.
Carmouche stood and landed an axe kick to the body, then kicked at Finney’s legs. Finney kicked at Carmouche’s knees from her back, then stood. Carmouche briefly tried for a guillotine choke, but let it go and the fighters exchanged knees in a clinch. A stalemate followed and the referee broke them up. Carmouche landed another kick-punch combo and a counter right hook. She landed kicks late in the round. 10-9 Carmouche.
Punches were exchanged early in the final round and Carmouche clinched. She backed Finney up to the cage and took her down. Carmouche moved right to mount and teed off with punches as Finney rolled and turtled. More punches landed for Carmouche as Finney had nowhere to go and the referee stopped the fight. Big victory for Carmouche, who remains unbeaten.
Winner: Liz Carmouche by TKO (Punches) at 1:30 of round one. She improves to 5-0-0.
Caros “The Future” Fodor vs Derek “The Pretzel” Getzel
Getzel opened the fight with quick punches and a leg kick, then backed Fodor up to the cage. The pair exchanged knees to the body and Getzel scored with an elbow over the top. A short left hook followed for Getzel and Fodor answered with knees. Fodor tried for a trip and landed a knee and a short right hook. The clinch against the cage continued as the fighters battled for position with more knees to the body.
Fodor used a guillotine choke to reverse the clinch and he tripped Getzel to the mat. Fodor landed in side-control and moved to North-South position. He settled for a crucifix from the top and landed hammerfists. Fodor postured for a Kimura, but Getzel escaped. He switched to a Brabo Choke and rolled into an Anaconda Choke as Getzel tapped out. Solid victory for Fodor.
Winner: Caros Fodor by Submission (Anaconda Choke) at 4:39 of round one. He improves to 7-2-0.
Despite an unfortunate No Contest due to an early eye poke in the bout between strikers Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf, Strikeforce Challengers 12 was otherwise a solid event, but the promotion appeared to draw a very small crowd to the Jackson Convention Complex. Nevertheless, Justin Wilcox and Liz Carmouche both emerged with the biggest victories of their respective careers and should move on to title contention in 2011.