Strikeforce Challengers 9 Live reports from the Comcast Arena in Everett, Washington tonight with live play-by-play for Strikeforce Challengers 9. The event was headlined by a heavyweight bout between undefeated rising star Shane del Rosario and hard-hitting Hawaiian Lolohea Mahe.

Also on the card, the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship was on the line when Sarah Kaufman defended against Roxanne Modafferi in the 135-pound women’s co-main event. In a light heavyweight bout, Mike “MAK” Kyle faced former EliteXC contender Ron “Abongo” Humphrey.


Shane del Rosario vs Lolohea Mahe

Round 1:
The fighters exchanged punches early on and del Rosario backed Mahe up to the cage. He landed knees to the body until the referee separated them. Del Rosario threw kicks and Mahe answered with a one-two, then clinched. Time was called after Mahe was hit with a low knee, but action resumed and Mahe landed a grazing right hand.

A big overhand left and a head kick both landed for del Rosario and he clinched again, but grabbed the cage. He was warned, but the fight continued in the clinch and del Rosario landed a knee to the head, two to the body and a flurry of punches that prompted the referee to stop the fight as Mahe turtled.

Winner: Shane del Rosario by TKO (Knees & Punches) at 3:48 of round one. He improves to 10-0-0.


Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship

Sarah Kaufman vs Roxanne Modafferi

Round 1:
The fighters clinched right away and Kaufman backed Modafferi up to the cage. Modafferi reversed and a battle for position ensued. Both landed knees to the body and Modafferi tripped Kaufman to the mat. Kaufman tried to work back to her feet against the cage, but Modafferi kept her down and wound up in Kaufman’s guard. Modafferi threw short punches with her free hand until the referee brought the fight back to the feet.

Kaufman landed a three-punch flurry and Modafferi missed with a kick. Kaufman clinched and landed more knees to Modafferi’s thigh, then avoided a throw. Modafferi tried to bring the fight to the ground, but Kaufman stayed up. The fighters exchanged knees to the midsection in close and ended the even round in a clinch. 10-9 Modafferi, if barely.

Round 2:
Modafferi landed body kicks and a right hand in round two and the fighters exchanged punches. Kaufman flurried and Modafferi dove for a takedown. Kaufman stuffed it and the fight returned to a standing clinch. Kaufman kept Modafferi pressed up against the cage and landed a knee and punches. Modafferi answered with a one-two of her own and tried to pull guard. Kaufman held her up in the air against the cage.

Modafferi released her standing guard and tried for a hip toss takedown, but Kaufman defended. Kaufman landed a hard knee to the body and both connected with punches. Neither fighter held an advantage in the clinch and Kaufman once again defended a takedown. The crowd began duelling chants of “USA!” and “Sarah!” in support of each fighter. Kaufman secured a Thai clinch and landed two knees. She flurried with big punches late in the round. 10-9 Kaufman.

Round 3:
Modafferi threw a head kick and a jab to open the third round and ate a three-punch combo in return. Both fighters connected with punches in an exchange and Kaufman clinched. She pressed Modafferi up against the cage and the referee called for action as a relative stalemate followed. Modafferi managed to take Kaufman down and struck from the top. Kaufman defended well and kicked Modafferi off. Modafferi stood and landed three diving punches in succession, but Kaufman scrambled to her feet.

An exchange of knees followed and time was called to fix the tape on Kaufman’s glove. Action resumed and Kaufman landed a one-two. A right hook scored for Kaufman as well and she stuffed a takedown. The fighters traded knees to the body and short strikes over the top. Kaufman took Modafferi down and Modafferi immediately tried for a triangle choke. Kaufman picked her up and slammed her down, knocking her out cold. Crazy finish to what was an extremely competitive fight.

Winner: Sarah Kaufman by KO (Slam) at 4:45 of round three. She improves to 12-0-0 and remains the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion.


“Vicious” Bobby Voelker vs Cory “The One” Devela

Round 1:
The fighters immediately clinched and Devela backed Voelker up to the cage. He landed sparse knees, but the action was scarce until Devela scored a takedown. He moved right to mount and rained down punches as Voelker tried to scramble out. Hard shots landed for Devela, but Voelker held on and managed to scramble back to his feet. Another clinch followed and Voelker landed a knee to the body.

Devela drilled Voelker with a knee to the jaw from a Thai clinch, then took him down again. He threw short punches from Voelker’s half-guard and tried to set up a Brabo Choke. Voelker evaded danger, but Devela landed more punches and secured a guillotine choke. Voelker pulled his head out and struck from Devela’s guard. He landed punches until the bell. 10-9 Devela.

Round 2:
Voelker opened round two with a combination and a body kick and the fighters clinched again. Devela tried for a takedown and Voelker defended. Devela reversed a throw and landed on top briefly, but Voelker took top position in Devela’s guard. Devela tried for an armbar from his back and Voelker easily fought out with hammerfists. Voelker remained in Devela’s guard and continued to throw hammerfist strikes.

Devela tried to posture for a Kimura from the bottom, but Voelker had none of it. More short strikes landed for Voelker and he avoided Devela’s attempts at a triangle choke. Devela tried to use the cage to work back to his feet, but Voelker kept him down and stayed busy with hammerfists. Devela worked for another Kimura and then a heel hook, but Voelker took his back in the process. The fighters scrambled to their feet and Devela scored with punches before the bell. 10-9 Voelker.

Round 3:
The final round began with a clinch and an exchange of knees in close. Voelker tried for a standing guillotine choke, but Devela took him down briefly. Voelker stood and backed Devela up to the cage. More knees landed for both fighters and Voelker backed away momentarily, then clinched once again. Devela attempted another takedown, but Voelker stayed on his feet.

A big exchange of punches followed and the fight returned to a clinch. Voelker got Devela down and landed in side-control. He fought out of a weak guillotine choke attempt and struck from the top. Devela worked for an ankle lock from the bottom, then gave it up and stood. Again, the fighters traded hard punches and Voelker stunned Devela with an uppercut. Devela gamely fired back and the round ended with another big exchange. Great round. 10-9 Voelker, barely.

Winner: Bobby Voelker by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 22-8-0.


Mike “MAK” Kyle vs Ron “Abongo” Humphrey

Round 1:
Kyle landed a nice right hand to begin the fight and Humphrey answered with a leg kick. An uppercut and a left hook found the mark for Kyle and Humphrey missed with a spinning back kick. Humphrey clinched and backed Kyle up to the cage. Both fighters landed knees to the body in the clinch and Humphrey teed off with punches. Kyle backed away and Humphrey took him down. He worked from the top in Kyle’s half-guard.

Humphrey tried for a guillotine choke from the top, then stood and landed a hard right hand. Kyle tried to stand and Humphrey locked on a Brabo Choke. Kyle escaped, but Humphrey secured a Preuvian Necktie soon after. Kyle battled back to his feet and scored with punches and a flying knee, but Humphrey took him down. He struck from the top, but Kyle reversed. Kyle passed to mount and Humphrey bucked him off. He secured a guillotine choke at the bell. 10-9 Humphrey.

Round 2:
The fighters traded jabs and front kicks in round two and Humphrey connected with a lead left hook. Kyle answered with a combination and an uppercut as Humphrey closed the distance. Kyle scored a partial takedown, but Humphrey locked on a heel hook. He used it to trip Kyle and took top position in Kyle’s guard. Humphrey postured up and threw punches until the referee stood the fighters up.

Humphrey pushed forward with punches, but Kyle took him down. He took Humphrey’s back and tried for a rear-naked choke, then switched to punches. Kyle once again worked for the rear-naked choke and quickly got it, forcing Humphrey to submit. Solid win for Kyle in his return to Strikeforce.

Winner: Mike Kyle by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:28 of round two. He improves to 17-7-1, 1 NC.


Caros “The Future” Fodor vs Ousmane Thomas Diagne

Round 1:
The fighters clinched early on and Fodor dropped Diagne with a left. Diagne stood and was dropped again by a left hook. Fodor swarmed with knees as Diagne got back to his feet and kept the pressure on in a clinch against the cage. The fighters remained in the clinch for quite some time as Fodor peppered Diagne with short knees. Diagne reversed and broke free.

Diagne landed a body kick and a one-two as Fodor backed him up to the cage. Another clinch followed and Diagne took control by pressing Fodor against the cage and landing knees to the thigh. The fighters separated and Diagne landed a spinning back kick to the body. Fodor was unfazed and continued to push forward. Back in the clinch, Fodor looked for a takedown, then landed two knees to the body. 10-9 Fodor.

Round 2:
Diagne opened round to with body kicks and jabs, which led to another clinch. Fodor took control and threw short knees and punches to the body. More knees landed to the thigh of Diagne, but the pace slowed. Fodor just missed with a knee to the face and continued to target Diagne’s legs and ribs. Fodor threw a quick flurry, but Diagne used the opportunity to reverse against the cage.

Little transpired and the fighters separated, with Diagne scoring with a pair of kicks. Fodor answered with two lead right hooks and scored a big takedown. He landed in side-control and tried to secure a Brabo Choke as Diagne attempted to stand. Fodor kept Diagne down and worked from the top. He locked on a tight Kimura and wrenched it behind Diagne’s back, but Diagne somehow managed to roll and escape. The round ended in a clinch. 10-9 Fodor.

Round 3:
The fighters exchanged strikes in the final round and clinched, but soon broke free and Diagne threw flashy kicks. He partially landed an axe kick and Fodor countered with a combination. He backed Diagne up to the cage with punches and scored a takedown. From half-guard, he once again worked for a Kimura on Diagne’s left arm.

As in round two, Diagne fought off the hold and managed to roll forward to escape. Fodor released the Kimura and both fighters stood. Fodor used a front headlock to drag Diagne to the mat, then took partial back control as Diagne rolled to his stomach. Fodor threw short punches and hammerfists and prevented Diagne from standing. He finished the round in side-control with more hammerfists. 10-9 Fodor.

Winner: Caros Fodor by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 6-2-0.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, Strikeforce)

  1. Just finished watching the fight. That slam was devistating. I sort of feel bad for her. But then again, as a Canadian myself, I’m glad that Sarah Kaufman got the win.