Conor Heun pulled off the surprise upset victory on the undercard Photo by Jeff Sherwood via sherdog
The undercard fights from tonight's (June 18, 2011) Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" event was available for free on HDNet from Dallas, Texas and there was plenty of action to be seen.
Fans hoping for an exciting conclusion to the lightweight battle between Gesias Cavalcante and Justin Wilcox were left with a bitter taste in their mouths when Wilcox dove forward directly into one of "JZ's" thumbs early in the second round.
The first round featured both men juking and jiving and landing big strikes with Wilcox slightly getting the better of them. The second round looked to be more of the same as both men traded flashy kicks but the unintentional eye poke ended that. Wilcox dropped to the canvas in agony as if he'd been shot. The ringside physician ruled that there was no way "The Silverback" could continue.
The final result of the fight would be a "No Decision," much to the dismay of both fighters. It was especially disappointing for Cavalcante, who'd been impatiently waiting since last October to get another fight in the promotion. Both men will be in limbo until Strikeforce decides what to do with them. Hopefully, they'll be matched up with each other again on a future card shortly.
The rest of the undercard is recapped after the jump.
in a much-anticipated lightweight battle and what ended up being the best fight of the undercard, Magno Almeida and Conor Heun put on one of the most exciting grappling wars that you'll see this year. Almeida twisted Heun into a pretzel with his repeated arm bars and leg locks but Heun gritted through them and pounded away with elbows and hammerfists.
In what may have been the turning point of the fight, Heun slipped out of a choke attempt and spent the final minute of the match pounding away with heavy hammerfists and elbows from above. In the end, the wrestler impressed the judges enough to eke out a unanimous decision victory with a clean sweep of 29-28 on all the judges' scorecards.
In catchweight action, Nah-Shon Burrell met Joe Ray at 180 pounds. Right off the bat, it was clear that Burrell had the strength and power advantage as he repeatedly landed cleanly with his striking and he had his way with Ray with takedowns and top control. Ray fought back with a plethora of submission attempts and repeatedly had Burrell in trouble in the first round but Burrell wore him down as the fight continued and eventually was awarded a unanimous decision. Ray's submission attempts simply weren't enough to put him in a position to win.
The night go off to a blistering start as welterweights Brian Melencon and Isaac Vallie-Flagg put on a very entertaining bout. Melencon opened violently in the first round, hurting Vallie-Flagg badly with his power and overwhelming his opponent. Vallie-Flagg gutted through it though and took advantage of his tiring opponent in the remaining two rounds, outstriking Melencon in the clinch and peppering his legs with a smattering of kicks. In the end, it was barely enough to warrant a split decision victory, much to the crowd's dismay.