The eleventh installment of Strikeforce's Challenger Series is set to air tonight (October 22) on Showtime from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. The five-fight main card will air live on the premium cable channel beginning at 11 p.m. ET.
Welterweight prospects Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker will headline the card in a rematch from five months ago that saw Bowling win by technical decision after the bout was prematurely called in the third round due to an accidental eye poke from Voelker.
Heavyweight knockout artists Lavar Johnson and Virgil Zwicker are also set to lock horns in the co-main event, while undefeated Muay Thai specialist Billy Evangelista returns to action from injury to face Waachiim Spiritwolf in a main card lightweight affair.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of the event, beginning with the Showtime telecast at 11 p.m. ET.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the Showtime telecast to share their thoughts on the action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 10) before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after the show.
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS 11 QUICK RESULTS:
Bobby Voelker defeats Roger Bowling via technical knockout (strikes) at 3:58 of round two
Lavar Johnson defeats Virgil Zwicker via knockout (strikes) at 2:17 of round one
Billy Evangelista defeats Waachim Spiritwolf via unanimous decision
Julia Budd defeats Shana Olsen via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:51 of round two
John Devine defeats Brandon Cash via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:05 of round one
David Douglas defeats Dominic Clark via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:33 of round two
Paul Ruiz defeats Gregg Baker via submission (armbar) at 1:23 of round one
Richard Parra defeats Avery Kaykeoa via knockout (punch) at 0:56 of round two
Chris Bonilla defeats Alvaro Corral via submission (triangle choke) at 1:26 of round one
Keith Cutrone defeats Brandon Horton via submission (armbar) at 0:16 of round one
Matt Perez defeats Nathan Roberts via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:17 of round three
Christian Buron defeats Mike Gonzales via split decision
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS 11 PLAY-BY-PLAY LIVE MAIN CARD COMMENTARY:
170 lbs.: Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker
Round one: Voelker shows a right and eats a string of kicks from Bowling. Now a huge left hook from Bowling. Both guys busy with kicks. Bowling shoots. Voelker defends it well. Now Bowling gets him to the mat. He uses the cage to get back to his feet, but Bowling is all over him. Voelker sets up a guillotine and pulls guard. Bowling is punching to the body and now he's free of the choke and in Voelker's full guard. To half guard now against the fence. Voelker gets back to his feet and connects with a nice left. Big kick from Bowling. Bowling goes upstairs with a kick. Now he shoots for another takedown. Voelker stuffs it and they're clinched against the cage. Knees from Bowling. Now a quick takedown, but Voelker is back up right away. Knees from Bowling with Voelker's back pinned against the fence. Dirty boxing from both. Bowling going low for the takedown. Voelker does well to defend it. Nice punches from Bowling on the separation. Good counter right from Voelker. Bowling shoots again, but he has nothing. Tied up against the fence again. Knees from both. Bowling goes low again. Again Voelker shrugs it off. Nice exchange after they separate momentarily. Back to the clinch now. Nice shoulder punches from Voelker. Trip takedown from Bowling just before the bell. 10-9 Bowling.
Round two: Voelker with the center and he's jabbing. Nice kicks from both fighters. Voelker the aggressor early in this round. Nice leg kick from Bowling. Nice left from Bowling as he closes the distance for a takedown attempt. Voelker shakes it off and they separate. Jabs from both fighters. Nice left hook from Voelker. Bowling shoots. Voelker sprawls and lands several punches. Bowling is getting hit a bunch here. Now a big left hand rocks Bowling against the fence. He stands tough, though, and shoots for another takedown. Voelker sprawls and lands more punches from there. Now Bowling pulls guard and Voelker lands with more punches. Bowling trying for an armbar. He can't get there. He's trying again. Voelker postures and rains down more ground strikes. Voelker is straight up bullying Roger Bowling here. Fantastic ground and pound from Voelker. The referee has seen enough and he steps in to save Bowling. Wow! Huge win for Bobby Voelker.
Final Result: Bobby Voelker defeats Roger Bowling via technical knockout (strikes) at 3:58 of round two
265 lbs.: Lavar Johnson vs. Virgil Zwicker
Round one: Zwicker looking bouncy. He fakes a kick. Johnson stalking and swings with a right. Hard leg kick from Zwicker. Now a knee from Johnson and they tie up momentarily. Nice kick from Zwicker. He's showing good movement early. Johnson misses with a big right hand and Zwicker makes him pay with a leg kick. Johnson moving forward with jabs and he misses again with that right hand. Zwicker staying busy with punches and kicks, but he walks right into a huge punch from Johnson. Now he's backpedaling. He still kicking, though. Johnnson with a flurry of punches now. Zwicker looking for a clinch. Knees from Johnson as he drives Zwicker into the fence. Uppercuts now from Johnson. Big punches from Johnson and Zwicker is done! The referee steps in and Lavar Johnson continues to dominate the Challenger Series.
Final result: Lavar Johnson defeats Virgil Zwicker via knockout (strikes) at 2:17 of round one
165 lbs.: Billy Evangelista vs. Waachim Spiritwolf
Round one: Evangelista moving forward with Spiritwolf circling. Spiritwolf connects with a lunging right hand. Evangelista goes tumbling backward and Spiritwolf is all over him. He appears to be okay, but Spiritwolf is on top looking to land punches. Evangelista eats a couple of solid shots and then works his way back to his feet. Still clinched and against the fence now Spiritwolf working knees. Knees from both now. Spiritwolf goes low looking for a takedown. He gets it. Evangelista gives up his back but gets back to his feet. Spiritwolf picks him up and slams him back into the mat! Evangelista climbs back to his feet again, but Spiritwolf is still latched onto him. Knees from a busy Spiritwolf. Now a right hand. Now a single leg takedown attempt. Evangelista makes him pay with a nice knee, but Spiritwolf is still working for the takedown. More knees from Evangelista. Now a nice uppercut on the separation from Evangelista. Evangelista coming forward now and he lands a huge knee as Spiritwolf closes the distance for a clinch. Nice reversal from Evangelista and another knee. Spiritwolf still working for a takedown. Evangelista still defending it well and landing knees. Knee from Spiritwolf now. Another. Big misses from Spiritwolf on the separation. Evangelista now connects with a bomb! Spiritwolf looks wobbly. Elbow from Evangelista. Uppercuts from Spiritwolf. Back into the clinch with Spiritwolf looking for a takedown. The round ends there. Good round. Spiritwolf 10-9.
Round two: Evangelista takes the center right away. He ducks a right hand and they're back in the clinch with Spiritwolf driving him into the fence. Spiritwolf makes good on the takedown now. Evangelista reverses nicely and takes the top position. Nice punches from Evangelista. Spiritwolf climbs back to his feet, but they're still clinched. Knees from both fighters. Spiritwolf goes back to working for a takedown. Evangelista sprawls and shows a knee on the separation. Evangelista moving forward. Uppecut from Spiritwolf. Kicks from Evangelista. Nice uppercuts from Spiritwolf again. Evangelista shoots now, but Spiritwolf defends it well. Clinched against the cage again here and Spiritwolf scores with a takedown. Evangelista is back up and he lands a couple knees. More uppercuts from Spiritwolf. They separate and Spiritwolf looks gassed. Evangelista walking him down. Nice left hand from the undefeated fighter. Leg kick from Spiritwolf. Big right hand from Evangelista. Jab now. Inside leg kick from Evangelista. Hard left hand. Now a right. Now he shoots. Spiritwolf sprawls and now he's working for a takedown. They separate quickly and Evangelista goes back to work with punches on a tired Spiritwolf. Leg kicks from Spiritwolf. Nice exchange with both guys landing. Spiritwolf looking for the takedown again. Evangelista defends it and jabs before the bell. Nice round again. Tough to judge.
Round three: Evangelista stalking. Jabs from Spiritwolf. Right hand from Evangelista. A left hand from Evangelista turns Spiritwolf. He misses on a follow up high kick, but has some momentum built up here. Nice punches from Evangelista. Now he lands with a kick to the face. Spiritwolf falls into a takedown attempt. Evangelista has done a lot of takedown defending against the cage in this fight. They separate and Evangelista walking forward with punches. Spiritwolf still firing back. Body kick from Evangelista. More punches and a high kick from Evangelista. He's starting to open up now with his strikes. Spiritwolf misses with a right hand and eats two from Evangelista for it. Nice one-two from Evangelista. Superman punch from Evangelista. Spiritwolf still jabbing and firing punches, but he's eating a lot more than he's landing. Evangelista with another kick upstairs! Spiritwolf shoots again, and they're back against the fence. Spiritwolf is very tired. Evangelista finally gets separation and he goes back to work with punches. Jabs from Spiritwolf! Great action here at the end of the fight. Both fighters punching and connecting. Slamming takedown from Spiritwolf at the bell! Wow! Awesome ending. I think Evangelista did enough to win the last two rounds, but what a great showing from Spiritwolf!
Final result: Billy Evangelista defeats Waachim Spiritwolf via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Shana Olsen vs. Julia Budd
Round one: Budd with some stiff jabs right away. Olsen shoots in for the takedown. Budd defends it well against the cage. Budd has Olsen pinned into the fence now and she's working some knees and dirty boxing from there. Nice elbow on the exchange from Budd. Olsen circling and she eats a nice flurry of punches from Budd. Budd stalking bigtime here. Nice punches and kicks from a confident Budd. Leg kick from Olsen finds a home. Now she catches a body kick from Budd, but she can't get the takedown. She works for a body lock and now she has the takedown. Nice reversal from Budd and she takes the top position in half guard. Budd moves Olsen towards the fence and she's working a guillotine from half guard. Olsen gets out and moves away from the fence. Olsen trying to sweep, but Budd shows good control. Hammerfists from Budd. Now she postures up and lands a punch before Olsen can tie her back up. The referee calls for a stand up now and he's going to take a point away from Julia Budd for an illegal elbow on the ground. Wow. Back underway. Olsen moving forward with weak jabs, but she eats a couple from Budd instead just before the bell. 9-9 with the point deduction.
Round two: Budd takes the center, but Olsen shows some aggression with a flurry of punches before initiating a clinch. Budd reverses and puts Olsen's back into the fence. Knees from Budd. Both women working hard for position. Foot stomps from Budd. Again Budd connects with an elbow on the separation. Olsen closes the distance right away and gets back to the clinch. She's working hard for the takedown, but Budd lands on top of her in side control. Now to full mount and she's raining down the punches. Olsen gives up her back now and Budd continues to land punches. Back to full mount. More ground strikes. Olsen is in deep trouble. And that's it. The referee has finally called a stop to the onslaught. Impressive showing for Budd in her debut.
Final result: Julia Budd defeats Shana Olsen via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:51 of round two
265 lbs.: Brandon Cash vs. John Devine
Round one: Gloves touch and we're underway with the first fight of the night. Cash has the center with Devine circling. Hard leg kick from Cash. Jab from Devine. Now he shoots for a single and he gets it. Cash gives up his back, but he works back to his feet. Devine is latched onto him. Cash bent over eating some punches against the fence now. The referee steps in for a separation. Devine jabs and Cash kicks low. Another hard leg kick from Cash before Devine closes the distance and gets another takedown. Cash gives up his back again. Devine landing punches, and now he has both hooks in. More punches from Devine. He flattens Cash out and he's setting up the choke. It doesn't take him long. He slaps on the rear naked and Cash taps right away. Excellent win for John Devine.
Final result: John Devine defeats Brandon Cash via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:05 of round one