Strikeforce: Nashville Live Play-By-Play & ResultsStrikeforce returned to primetime CBS television tonight with their biggest card yet at Strikeforce: Nashville. The event featured a trio of title fights and was headlined by a Strikeforce Middleweight Championship bout between reigning titleholder Jake Shields and former PRIDE champ Dan Henderson.

Elsewhere, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal captured the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship from Gegard Mousasi, while Gilbert Melendez retained the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against Shinya Aoki. has live play-by-play for the stacked card.


Strikeforce Middleweight Championship

Jake Shields vs Dan “Hendo” Henderson

Round 1:
Shields opened the fight with kicks, but looked to keep his distance. Henderson floored him with a right hook to the temple, but Shields recovered and latched onto a leg. He tried for a heel hook, but Henderson spun out and backed away. Shields landed another kick and Henderson drilled him with three right hooks. Shields fell and Henderson allowed him to stand. Henderson dropped him again and swarmed with punches. Shields survived and stood.

Shields landed a body kick as Henderson flurried with punches. Henderson punched his way into a clinch against the cage, but a stalemate followed and the fighters were separated. Henderson missed with an uppercut and Shields countered with a body kick and a takedown. Henderson escaped and got to his feet, then scored with knees to the body in a clinch. He landed another flurry before the bell. 10-9 Henderson. Possibly 10-8.

Round 2:
Henderson stuffed a takedown early in round two, but Shields took him down on the second try. Henderson partially took Shields’s back and tried briefly for a rear-naked choke, but Shields easily escaped and moved to side-control and then mount. Shields threw punches from the top as Henderson rolled to his side. More punches followed for Shields, but Henderson regained half-guard momentarily.

Shields moved back to mount and scored with more punches. Henderson tried to roll, but could not. Shields tried for an arm-triangle choke, but could not get it and let it go. Big punches landed for Shields as Henderson could do nothing. Shields continued to throw punches against the cage, but Henderson regained half-guard again. Shields threw hammerfists until the bell. 10-8 Shields. Crazy.

Round 3:
Shields jabbed to begin the third round and threw a cautious leg kick. Henderson answered with jabs of his own, but Shields took him down. Henderson scrambled back to his feet and the fighters separated. A body kick and a one-two landed for Shields and he took Henderson down again. Shields worked from Henderson’s guard, then passed to half-guard and side-control.

Shields looked to move to mount, but Henderson defended well. Once more, Shields’s attempts to pass to mount were thwarted, but he landed short punches from the top. Shields used a guillotine choke to move to mount. He let go of the hold and punched from the top. Shields spun for an armbar just before the bell, but time expired. 10-9 Shields. Maybe another 10-8. Very interesting fight.

Round 4:
Henderson threw a big right hand to open the fourth round and Shields stayed on the outside with kicks. Shields scored a brief takedown, but Henderson scrambled to his feet. Shields took him down again and both fighters were trapped in partial crucifixes at the same time. Shields slammed Henderson down in an ensuing scramble and worked from side-control. Shields looked to set up a Kimura and then moved to mount.

Henderson regained half-guard, but Shields moved to side-control and applied a straight armbar. He let it go and punched from Henderson’s half-guard. Shields tried for another straight armbar and used it to move to mount. Henderson rolled over and Shields continued to throw punches. He took Henderson’s back briefly and returned to punches from mount. Shields struck until the bell. 10-9 Shields.

Round 5:
Shields landed a knee in the final round and backed away from a right hand. He jabbed and avoided two hooks from Henderson. Shields scored a takedown against the cage and landed in half-guard. He moved to side-control and isolated one of Henderson’s arms. Shields landed knees to the body and moved to mount. Henderson could do little more than hold on. Shields looked for an arm-triangle choke, but gave it up and peppered Henderson with punches from the top.

Shields landed hammerfists from the top and tried for a straight armbar, but Henderson squirmed free. Back in mount, Shields landed more punches and prevented Henderson from doing anything. Once again, Shields tried for an arm-triangle choke and he used it to keep Henderson in place. Henderson rolled and nearly swept Shields, but Shields stayed on top in mount. He spun for an armbar and then a kneebar. Time expired. 10-9 Shields. Amazing performance.

Shields was awarded with a well-earned decision victory, but the win was overshadowed by post-fight antics. Jason “Mayhem” Miller, whom Shields defeated in November, entered the cage and interrupted Shields’s interview to ask for a rematch. A fight broke out among many in the ring as the telecast went to commercial. Hardly the image that MMA needs on primetime television.

Winner: Jake Shields by Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-46, 48-45) after five rounds. He improves to 25-4-1 and remains the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.


Strikeforce Lightweight Championship

Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez vs Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki

Round 1:
Aoki circled early on and Melendez landed punches to the body. Aoki threw a kick and Melendez caught it, then tripped him to the mat. Melendez backed away and Aoki stood up. Time was called after Melendez was poked in the eye. The fight resumed and Melendez landed a nice right hand. He pulled guard with a triangle choke and an armbar, but Melendez escaped and stood up.

Aoki landed a kick and Melendez countered with a punch that hit Aoki in the lower back. Melendez stuffed a takedown and stood over Aoki. He kicked at Aoki’s legs and dove in with two punches. Melendez followed with more big shots, but Aoki weathered the storm and scrambled to his feet. He landed a nice body kick and Melendez replied with a one-two. More punches and a knee landed for Melendez before the bell. 10-9 Melendez.

Round 2:
Aoki looked to close the distance early on and caught a right hook to the nose. He pulled guard and Melendez struck from the top. Melendez landed more punches to the head and body and stood up. Aoki landed his best punch of the fight with a left hand and Melendez closed in with three lead right hooks.

Aoki landed a knee and Melendez answered with a flurry. After close to a minute of inactivity as the fighters circled, Aoki pulled guard. Melendez threw a diving punch, but the referee quickly stood the fighters up in a stalemate. Aoki pulled guard again and Melendez landed two punches. Fairly uneventful round. 10-9 Melendez.

Round 3:
Melendez stuffed back-to-back takedowns in round three and landed two right hands. Aoki clinched and muscled Melendez to the cage, but Melendez spun free. Aoki pulled guard and Melendez struck from the top. Referee Mario Yamasaki moved in to stand the fighters up just as Melendez landed two hard punches. The fight returned to the feet and Melendez stuffed a takedown.

Again, the fighters were stood up and Aoki resorted to flopping to his back. Melendez threw single punches from the top, then pressed Aoki up to the cage. He landed some big punches, but Aoki was unfazed and the fighters returned to the feet. Aoki landed a knee and Melendez countered with a one-two. 10-9 Melendez.

Round 4:
Aoki looked to close the distance in the fourth round and was backed up by a one-two. Aoki missed badly with a flying knee and pulled guard. Melendez landed punches to the body and stood up. Two right hands scored for Melendez and Aoki had no answer. One-twos to the head and body landed for Melendez and he followed with a knee. Melendez pressed forward with a flurry of punches and Aoki circled to the side.

Aoki tried unsuccessfully to pull guard and returned to circling around the cage as Melendez looked to set up a knockout punch. Aoki failed again to take the fight to the mat and went to stand Aoki up, but Melendez blasted him with three huge punches. Time was called while the confusion was settled and Aoki was okay. Action resumed and Melendez scored with another big flurry. 10-9 Melendez.

Round 5:
Jabs were exchanged in the final round as the action remained sparse. Time was called after Aoki was poked in the eye. The fight quickly resumed and Aoki finally pulled guard successfully. He used rubber guard to hold Melendez in place, but Melendez moved the fight up to the cage. He postured up and landed punches, then stood and threw more.

The fight returned to the feet and Melendez landed a one-two. Aoki tried to pull guard and failed. He stood up and pulled guard yet again. Melendez stayed down momentarily, but stood up again and circled around Aoki. Melendez sprawled out of a takedown. And another. He punished Aoki with hammerfists and some big punches in the final 15 seconds. 10-9 Melendez.

Definitely a lacklustre performance from Aoki, but Melendez fought an intelligent fight.

Winner: Gilbert Melendez by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) after five rounds. He improves to 18-2-0 and remains the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion.


Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi

Round 1:
Mousasi threw a quick head kick to open the fight and the fighters traded hooks. Lawal tried for a takedown and Mousasi defended with hammerfists. Lawal managed to get Mousasi down and avoided a triangle choke. He postured up and threw punches, but Mousasi blocked them. Lawal landed a diving punch and moved to side-control. Mousasi regained guard, then upkicked from his back as Lawal stood over him.

Mousasi landed another upkick, but ate a flurry of punches in return. Lawal returned to Mousasi’s half-guard briefly, but stood up. Mousasi continued to upkick and Lawal threw punches. Mousasi got back to his feet and stuffed a takedown. Mousasi landed a big kick and knees. Lawal took him down, but appeared to be fatigued. Mousasi stood and the fighters traded punches before the bell. 10-9 Lawal in a close round.

Round 2:
Lawal looked to shoot in for a takedown in round two and Mousasi peppered him with punches on the way in. Lawal managed to take Mousasi down and partially took his back. Mousasi rolled to his back and blasted Lawal with hammerfists and swinging punches. Two big upkicks landed for Mousasi and he looked briefly for a triangle choke. Lawal stood over Mousasi and was hit with more upkicks. Mousasi stood and landed a combination, but Lawal took him down yet again.

Mousasi struck from the bottom as Lawal stayed still. More upkicks and another triangle choke attempt followed for Mousasi and he got back to his feet. Lawal scored a weak takedown and Mousasi tried for a triangle choke. Lawal escaped and the fighters stood. Mousasi landed punches against the cage and jumped on Lawal’s back, but time expired. Razor-thin round as Mousasi was effective off of his back. 10-9 Mousasi, barely.

Round 3:
Lawal appeared to be tired in the third round and the fighters traded single strikes. Mousasi landed a nice combination and a short right hook that backed Lawal up. Lawal answered with uppercuts in close and took Mousasi down. He postured up and struck from the top and Mousasi answered with strikes from his back.

Mousasi tried to scramble to his feet, but Lawal held him against the cage. He threw short punches and Mousasi defended. Back in Mousasi’s butterfly guard, Lawal landed a handful of effective punches and then followed with a flurry. Mousasi rolled to his side and Lawal kept him down until the bell. 10-9 Lawal.

Round 4:
Mousasi opened the fourth round with kicks and Lawal replied with a lunging one-two. Lawal scored a takedown and Mousasi upkicked from his back. Lawal threw short punches from the top and Mousasi landed another upkick. Lawal kept the pressure on with small strikes, but could not land anything damaging.

The fighters were stood up and Mousasi stuffed a takedown. Lawal tripped him to his back, however, and resumed his methodical attack from the top. From side-control, Lawal landed knees. Very little happened as Lawal seemed content to hold position while Mousasi could not escape. Lawal stood before the bell. 10-9 Lawal.

Round 5:
Both fighters landed punches early in the final round and Lawal took the fight to the mat once again. Mousasi threw upkicks from his back and Lawal returned to his guard. He punched from the top as the action remained sparse. Time was called after an illegal upkick while Lawal was on the ground. Mousasi was penalised one point.

The fight resumed on the ground and Mousasi threw big hammerfists and punches from his back. Lawal stood, then passed to side-control. He threw punches until Mousasi scrambled to his feet. Lawal took his back and Mousasi broke free. Mousasi landed a combination, but was slammed down again. The fight returned to the feet and both fighters landed punches. Lawal scored another takedown. 10-9 Lawal.

Definitely not the most exciting fight, but a solid game plan from Lawal.

Winner: Muhammed Lawal by Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45) after five rounds. He improves to 7-0-0 and becomes the new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.


Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs Tim Stout

Round 1:
Miller opened the fight with leg and body kicks as Stout threw punches that missed the mark. Miller scored a takedown and immediately began to batter Stout with punches from the top. More punches followed from Miller and Stout struggled to defend. He rolled over and gave up his back. Miller punished him with more punches and Stout began to bleed badly from the face. After a few more punches to the sides of Stout’s head, referee Mario Yamasaki wisely stopped the fight.

Winner: Jason Miller by TKO (Punches) at 3:09 of round one. He improves to 23-7-0, 1 NC.


Undercard Fights:

Ovince St. Preux defeated Chris Hawk by TKO (Punches) at 0:47 of round one. He improves to 4-4-0 with the win.

Andy Uhrich defeated Dustin West by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:36 of round one. He improves to 6-1-0 with the win.

Cale Yarbrough defeated Josh “The Warhammer” Schockman by TKO (Knee & Punches) in round two. He improves to 7-1-0 with the win.

Zach Underwood defeated Hunter “The Future” Worsham by Unanimous Decision after three rounds. He improves to 5-0-0 with the win.

Dustin Ortiz defeated Justin Pennington by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:27 of round one. He improves to 1-0-0 with the win.

Cody Floyd defeated Thomas Campbell by KO (Knee) at 0:41 of round three. He improves to 1-0-0 with the win.


Aside from the post-fight scuffle between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and members of Cesar Gracie’s camp, Strikeforce: Nashville was otherwise a fairly solid event despite all three title fights going the distance. The promotion crowned a new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion in Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, but it will be interesting to see where Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields winds up next.

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