Between both men, they had 32 career fights and zero decisions.
Obviously, this one was destined for a first round stoppage and both fighters delivered.
Lumumba Sayers was on an incredible roll, scoring two finishes in less than three minutes combined in his last two Strikeforce bouts, but Anthony Smith would not be denied. Smith rose to the occasion with the best performance of his entire career last night, tapping out Sayers after dominating for the majority of the first round.
So how did Smith pull it off? And what happens next to both talented young middleweights?
Follow me after the jump for our Anthony Smith vs. Lumumba Sayers Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman post-fight review and analysis.
Early on, Smith was leading the way in terms of striking, setting the tone with an aggressive attack. After absorbing some heavy shots, Sayers had had enough and he shot in for a takedown, but this backfired in a big way.
Not only did Sayers not score the intended takedown, but he found himself on the ground being mounted by Smith. Smith is more of a submission specialist on the ground than a ground-and-pounder so he was looking for a potential armbar or rear naked choke transition but it never came. When Smith gave the slightest bit of ground, Sayers exploded free and got back to his feet.
Not finished yet, Smith latched on a standing Kimura and rolled him to the canvas. After an exchange along the fence, Smith slipped and fell to his back. Sayers aggressively dove in looking to return the favor with punches on the ground but Smith latched on a beautiful triangle choke which was so tight it almost forced an instant tap.
For Lumumba Sayers, he was far too sloppy with his offensive grappling and it backfired in a big way. He made a huge mistake initially with his first takedown, getting reversed and mounted. To top it off, he dove straight into a triangle choke when he could have tried to pass guard or worst case, simply avoid going to the ground with a superior grappler. He paid the price and his record will permanently prove that.
For Anthony Smith, this was the most complete performance of his career. He was in charge during the stand-up, on the ground and even off his back. If he can continue to build off of this fight, he could actually be a fighter to keep an eye on in the Strikeforce middleweight division. He's got pretty entertaining grappling skills and they will only get better with time considering his age.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did Smith impress you with his excellent showcase of grappling and striking? Does he have a high ceiling or was this a one time thing?