Strikeforce Challengers 18 Live Play-By-Play & ResultsStrikeforce made its second appearance at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for Strikeforce Challengers 18. The lightweight main event featured UFC veteran Jorge “J.G.” Gurgel taking on California’s Joe Duarte in a matchup that was pivotal for both fighters’ Strikeforce careers.

Also on the card, Olympic bronze medallist in judo “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey put her unbeaten record on the line when she made her much-anticipated Strikeforce debut against jiu-jitsu specialist Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio. has live play-by-play for tonight’s Strikeforce main card.


Joe “Hybrid” Duarte vs Jorge “J.G.” Gurgel

Round 1:
Jabs were exchanged to open the fight and Gurgel landed a counter left hook. The fighters traded punches in a brief exchange and Duarte landed a nice right hand soon after. Gurgel scored with a hard leg kick and followed with a counter left hook as Duarte threw a kick. Gurgel landed a combination to the body and head and Duarte fired back with a right hook.

A leg kick landed for Gurgel and he tried for a takedown, but Duarte sprawled out and stayed on his feet. Gurgel landed a combination and Duarte once again found a home for his right hook. Duarte jabbed and took Gurgel down. Gurgel tied him up and threw elbows from the bottom. Duarte punched to the body. 10-9 Gurgel.

Round 2:
Duarte avoided a combination in round two, but Gurgel scored with an inside leg kick. Left hooks landed for both fighters and Gurgel got the better of the exchange. He followed with a leg kick, but Duarte bloodied him near the eye with another left hook. Gurgel landed a leg kick and Duarte countered with a right hook. A left hook also scored for Duarte and he began to land jabs.

Gurgel shot in for a takedown, but Duarte easily avoided it. Gurgel threw kicks to the head and leg, then tried for another takedown, but Duarte once again stuffed it. Duarte landed more jabs and Gurgel fired back with another kick. An overhand right wobbled Gurgel briefly and Duarte landed another combination. A nice counter right hand connected for Duarte, but he was unable to take Gurgel down. 10-9 Duarte.

Round 3:
Gurgel landed a combination in the final round and clinched for a takedown, but Duarte shrugged him off. The fighters traded power punches and Gurgel closed the distance again, but Duarte circled out. Gurgel threw a kick-punch combo and dropped down for a takedown. Duarte reversed and landed on top in mount. He threw punches and took Gurgel’s back momentarily. Gurgel regained guard and struck from the bottom. Duarte tried to pass to half-guard, but Gurgel kept him in place and Duarte was unable to mount any meaningful offence.

Gurgel threw elbows from the bottom and Duarte finally punched from the top. Gurgel appeared to be more active with strikes, but Duarte stayed busy enough to keep the fight from being stood up. Duarte got back to his feet on his own and landed a combination to the body. Gurgel landed a right hook and followed with more punches. Duarte took him down and the fighters traded strikes on the ground until the bell. Very close round. 10-9 Duarte by a slim margin. The bout could go either way.

Winner: Joe Duarte by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 10-2-0.


Nate James vs Danillo “Indio” Villefort

Round 1:
The fighters traded punches and leg kicks for much of the opening minute. Villefort mixed in standing elbows and began to taunt. James fired back with a combination, but Villefort secured a Thai clinch and landed knees briefly. He backed James up to the cage and landed knees to the thighs.

James reversed the clinch and landed a knee of his own, but Villefort threw him to the mat. Villefort moved right to mount and then took James’s back. He tried for a rear-naked choke and James defended. James threw punches backwards with his free hand and survived until the bell. 10-9 Villefort.

Round 2:
Villefort cartwheeled out of a hard leg kick from James in the second round and James followed with a one-two soon after. Villefort landed a leg kick and a kick to the body. The fighters traded punches and James landed a combination. Villefort attempted a hip toss, then picked James up instead and slammed him down.

Villefort worked from the top, but James scrambled out and rolled. He wound up on top in Villefort’s guard and avoided a triangle choke attempt. Villefort looked briefly for a leg submission, but James stood over him and landed punches. He settled into Villefort’s guard and punched to the head and body until the bell. 10-9 James, barely.

Round 3:
James landed punching combinations in the final round and Villefort taunted. He landed a knee to the body and took James down. James reversed, but Villefort locked on a guillotine choke. James freed himself and wound up in Villefort’s guard. Villefort elbowed from the bottom and James replied with strikes from the top.

James remained active with punches and elbows until referee Herb Dean stood the fighters up. James landed a jabd and ate a trio of knees. Villefort landed a standing back elbow and James took him down. James struck from the top in Villefort’s guard and kept Villefort down with short strikes until the end of the fight. 10-9 James.

Winner: Nate James by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 13-7-1.


Pat “Bam Bam” Healy vs Eric “Little Lee” Wisely

Round 1:
Healy closed the distance in the opening round and took Wisely down. Wisely locked on an armbar from the bottom and Healy was forced to spin out to escape. He wound up on top and postured up with punches. Wisely kicked Healy off and the fighters returned to their feet. Healy jabbed and Wisely used solid head movement to avoid the strikes.

Healy landed a one-two and ducked under two haymakers from Wisely. He took Wisely down and struck from the top, but Wisely rolled into a heel hook. Healy escaped and stood up. He could not pass Wisely’s guard, but managed to land more short punches from the top. Wisely scrambled to his feet and ate a right hand. Close round. 10-9 Wisely.

Round 2:
Healy clinched in the second round, but Wisely rolled for a kneebar and continued to hunt for submissions from his back. Healy remained calm and wound up on top in Wisely’s guard. He threw short punches and avoided Wisely’s submission attempts. Healy once again struggled to pass Wisely’s guard, but finally managed to move to half-guard.

Healy looked to set up an arm-triangle choke, but moved to side control instead. He landed knees to the body as Wisely held on from the bottom. Healy punched to the ribs as well as Wisely refused to release his grip around Healy’s head. Wisely tried for an armbar very late in the round, but Healy escaped and punched from the top. Another close round. 10-9 Healy.

Round 3:
As in the first two rounds, Healy clinched in the final stanza, but Wisely reversed the clinch against the cage. Healy took him down and threw punches from a standing position as Wisely upkicked. Healy landed a nice elbow and a right hand to the body, but appeared to inadvertently poke Wisely in the eye. The fight continued on and Healy struck from Wisely’s guard.

Healy continued to throw punches to the head and body from the top and prevented Wisely from setting up any submissions. Wisely landed elbows from the bottom, however, and remained active. Healy threw more short, grazing punches, then stood up and landed two more. He mixed in elbows as well as the competitive fight came to a close. 10-9 Healy.

Winner: Pat Healy by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 25-16-0.


“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio

Round 1:
Rousey clinched right away, but D’Alelio countered with a standing guillotine choke. Rousey freed her head and tripped D’Alelio to a knee. Rousey secured a flying armbar and indicated that D’Alelio had tapped as she was dragged to the mat. D’Alelio did not tap, but referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight anyway, giving Rousey the second questionable technical submission win of her career.

Winner: Ronda Rousey by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 0:25 of round one. She improves to 3-0-0.


Derrick “Caveman” Mehmen vs Roy “The Wolf” Jones

Round 1:
The fighters immediately traded right hands to open the fight and Mehmen backed away. He walked forward with a one-two and clinched against the cage. Jones countered with two punches of his own and a devastating flying knee. Mehmen crumpled briefly and Jones took his back. Mehmen stood and Jones landed another knee. He followed with more knees and body kicks as Mehmen recovered. Time was called after Mehmen was struck in the groin. Action resumed and Jones countered a left hook with a right hand.

Mehmen took Jones down and worked from the top. Jones tied him up and Mehmen was unable to land anything damaging. He managed to throw short elbows and hammerfists as Jones looked to scramble to his feet. Jones attempted a guillotine choke briefly and Mehmen passed to half-guard. He threw more short strikes from the top. He remained on top and peppered Jones with strikes until the bell. 10-9 Jones despite Mehmen’s ground control.

Round 2:
Jones landed a flying spinning knee to the side of Mehmen’s face to open round two as Mehmen took him down. Mehmen immediately began to bleed all over the place and his left eye swelled shut. Time was called to check the bad cut, but the fight was allowed to continue. Action resumed on the ground with Mehmen in Jones’s half-guard. A bloodied Mehmen struck from the top as Jones tried to tie him up.

Blood continued to pour out of Mehmen’s left eyelid, but he remained active enough from the top to keep referee Herb Dean from standing the fight up. He threw hammerfists and elbows from Jones’s half-guard and prevented him from standing up. Mehmen, despite being a bloody mess, stayed on top until the bell to handily win the round. 10-9 Mehmen.

Round 3:
Jones attempted to pull guard with a guillotine choke in the final round, but Mehmen easily escaped and continued to bleed heavily from the massive gash above his eye. Mehmen struck from the top and postured up with strikes as Jones attempted to scramble to his feet. The fighters were eventually stood up and Jones landed a stiff jab.

Mehmen clinched briefly, then backed away. He tried for a takedown and Jones sprawled out of it. Mehmen pulled Jones’s legs out from under him and wound up on top. He threw short strikes and prevented Jones from standing up. Mehmen moved to mount late in the round and landed punches and elbows to close out the round. 10-9 Mehmen.

Winner: Derrick Mehmen by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 12-3-0.