Strikeforce: Houston Live Play-By-Play & ResultsStrikeforce made its first trip to Houston, Texas tonight for Strikeforce: Houston. The event was headlined by a pair of title bouts. In the night’s main event, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal put his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship on the line against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.

A new Strikeforce Middleweight Champion was crowned when decorated former Army Ranger Tim Kennedy faced jiu-jitsu specialist Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza, while “King” KJ Noons took on Jorge “J.G.” Gurgel in a lightweight bout. has live play-by-play for the event.


Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship

Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal

Round 1:
Cavalcante rushed in with a one-two right away, but Lawal backed away. Cavalcante threw another combination and Lawal answered with a hard flurry of his own. He clinched and tried to take Cavalcante down. Cavalcante defended, but Lawal picked him up and viciously slammed him down. Cavalcante stood and Lawal kneed his thigh. Cavalcante broke free of the clinch with a spinning back elbow and the fighters exchanged jabs. Cavalcante landed a body kick and Lawal threw a three-punch flurry.

Cavalcante landed a jab and a right cross. More jabs and an uppercut scored for Cavalcante, as well as a knee. He defended a takedown from Lawal and sidestepped a wild right hand. Cavalcante landed a right cross and two big knees. Lawal countered with a diving right hand of his own. Lawal taunted, but very little happened in the final minute until Cavalcante scored with a hard leg kick. The first half of the round was all Lawal, but Cavalcante rebounded nicely. Close round. 10-9 Cavalcante for crisp strikes.

Round 2:
Single strikes landed for both fighters in the opening seconds of round two and Lawal pushed forward with a flurry of punches in close. Cavalcante broke free and landed a hard leg kick. Lawal landed a jab and a body shot, then ducked under a haymaker right hand. Cavalcante threw a head kick, but Lawal blocked it and took Cavalcante down. Lawal punched from the top, but Cavalcante escaped to his feet. Strikes were exchanged in a clinch and the fighters separated.

Cavalcante threw a lunging combination that backed Lawal up. Lawal answered with one of his own and scored with a three-punch combo to the body. A stiff jab landed for Lawal and Cavalcante answered with a left hand. Lawal avoided an uppercut and fired off four punches to the body. Cavalcante shrugged off a clinch and Lawal snapped his head back with a jab. Cavalcante answered with a jab of his own. Lead right hooks scored for Lawal and he clinched. He landed knees to the leg before the bell. 10-9 Lawal.

Round 3:
Cavalcante landed a big right hand that briefly staggered Lawal in round three and he followed with more punches and knees. Lawal recovered and answered with uppercuts in close, but Cavalcante floored him with two big hooks. Lawal dove at Cavalcante’s legs for a desperation takedown. Cavalcante defended and punished him with short punches and hammerfists. Lawal fell to his knees and Cavalcante threw elbow after elbow until referee “Big” John McCarthy stopped the fight. Huge win for Cavalcante.

Winner: Rafael Cavalcante by TKO (Elbows) at 1:14 of round three. He improves to 10-2-0 and becomes the new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.


Strikeforce Middleweight Championship

Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza vs Tim Kennedy

Round 1:
The fighters cautiously circled early on and traded punches in a brief exchange. Souza threw a lead right hand and a front kick that backed Kennedy up. Souza landed a hard left hook and a series of right hands that forced Kennedy to try to clinch. More right hands landed for Souza. Kennedy backed away and threw a body kick. Both fighters landed lefts and Souza’s boxing appeared to be vastly improved.

A one-two and a kick scored for Souza and Kennedy fired back with a right hand. Quick punches and a leg kick connected for Kennedy, but Souza answered with another solid combination in close. Souza landed two leg kicks and the fighters traded punches. Souza threw a right hand as Kennedy answered with a left. Souza slipped against the cage after the punch, but he quickly got back to his feet. More strikes were exchanged in the final seconds. 10-9 Souza.

Round 2:
Both fighters landed quick punches early in round two and Kennedy threw a body kick. A rushing flurry landed for Kennedy, with a right hand sending Souza off-balance momentarily. Kennedy slipped after a flying knee, but got to his feet and fought off a guillotine choke. Souza landed a nice right hand and a big one-two, but Kennedy answered with a counter hook. The fighters exchanged hard punches in close and Kennedy landed a stiff leg kick.

Kennedy threw a body kick and a lunging right hook, then followed with a knee to the body in a clinch. Souza replied with a right hand and ate another leg kick. Finally, he shot in for a takedown, but Kennedy defended well against the cage and Souza was forced to back away. A front kick to the leg landed for Kennedy and he followed with more leg kicks and a Superman Punch. Souza threw a front kick to the face and a right hook before the bell. Very close round. 10-9 Kennedy, just barely.

Round 3:
Kennedy rushed in with leg kicks and wild punches in the third round and Souza clinched briefly. The fighters separated and Kennedy landed a lunging left hook. He clinched and Souza shrugged him off. Both fighters landed punching combinations and Kennedy threw a hard right hook. Souza answered with a big three-punch flurry that opened a cut above Kennedy’s left eye. He connected with a right hook to the temple as well.

Kennedy landed a leg kick and missed with a one-two. He ducked under a combination and secured a body lock, then took Souza down. Souza looked to scramble to his feet, then regained full guard. He scrambled again and kicked Kennedy off, then stood up. Kennedy threw a lead left hook and ate a right hand counter. Another right hook landed for Souza and Kennedy countered with a body shot. He just missed with a looping left. 10-9 Souza.

Round 4:
Souza landed leg kicks in round two, but Kennedy cracked him with a hard right hand counter. A punch-kick combo scored for Kennedy and he landed a body kick as well. Souza replied with a three-punch flurry, but missed the mark. Kennedy tried to secure a Thai cinch, but Souza escaped. Kennedy threw a Superman Punch and scrambled out of a takedown attempt from Souza. The fighters returned to their feet and Kennedy landed a leg kick.

Kennedy attempted another Superman Punch, but came up short. He continued to target Souza’s front leg with push kicks, but Souza answered with a right hook. Time was called after a kick from Kennedy strayed low. An extended break followed after issues with the official round clock, but the fight resumed and Kennedy threw a head kick. Souza blocked it and the fighters exchanged single strikes. Both landed left hooks late in the round. Close round. 10-9 Kennedy.

Round 5:
Kennedy opened the final round with a lunging one-two that backed Souza up to the cage. He circled to the side and the fighters traded hard punches. A lead left hook scored for Kennedy and Souza replied with a stiff jab. Kennedy ducked under a looping right hook and connected with three counter punches. He threw another combination, but Souza drilled him with a right hook counter. Kennedy shot for a sloppy takedown and Souza cracked him with a right. Kennedy clinched briefly, but Souza shrugged him off. Another clinch followed and Kennedy landed a knee to the body.

Souza backed away and the fighters pawed out with jabs. Souza landed a right hook to the body and Kennedy quickly answered with one of his own. Souza missed with a one-two and clinched. He backed Kennedy up to the cage, but Kennedy punched free. Souza took advantage of a slip from Kennedy and briefly took his back, but Kennedy spun to escape. Kennedy began to walk Souza down, but Souza snapped his head back with a big right hand. Kennedy replied with a big slam before the bell. Extremely close round that could potentially decide the fight. 10-9 Kennedy by a razor-thin margin.

Winner: Ronaldo Souza by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 13-2-0 and becomes the new Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.



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