Lightweight veterans Billy Evangelista and Jorge Gurgel will square off in the main event of tonight’s (Nov. 6) fourth installment of Strikeforce "Challengers," which will take place at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and air live on the premium cable channel Showtime beginning at 11 p.m. ET.
As always, MMAmania.com will provide LIVE coverage of the results of the five main card fights on the Showtime telecast below.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the Showtime telecast at 11 p.m. ET 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 event.
Without further delay, see below for the latest "Challengers" results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action!)
Strikeforce Challengers "Evangelista vs. Gurgel" Quick Results:
Billy Evangelista defeated Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision
Shane del Rosario defeated Brandon Cash via submission (omoplata) at 2:57 of round one
Luke Rockhold defeated Jesse Taylor via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:42 of round one
Warren Merritt defeated Ousmane Thomas Diagne via submission (heel hook) at 3:49 at round one
Zoila Frausto defeated Elisha Hellspur via unanimous decision
Preliminary Card (Untelevised):
Ben Holscher defeated Johnny Goh via unanimous decision
Casey Olson defeats Chris Culley via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:32 of round one
Cole Escovedo defeats Maurice Eazel via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:47 of round one
Rico Altamirano defeats Alex Trevino via unanimous decision
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS IV MAIN CARD FIGHT RECAPS:
Billy Evangelista vs. Jorge Gurgel
Fight recap: Both fighters came out looking to use kicks to score points and slowly find their comfort zone in the stand up department. Evangelista was constantly switching from southpaw to orthodox, but that didn't seem to affect Gurgel too much, although Evangelista seemed to be slightly outworking him a bit. Evangelista ended the first frame with a strong takedown, which more than likely won him the round. Gurgel came out much more aggressive in the second round, throwing some quick, hard combos, but Evangelista seemed to have a counter for everything he threw. Halfway through the round Evangelista earned himself another takedown. From there he smothered Gurgel with some nasty ground strikes, bloodying up his nose. Gurgel's work off his back was surprisingly ineffective, but he was able to hold his full guard until the referee called for a stand up. Once they were back on their feet Gurgel connected on a pinpoint head kick that sent Evangelista reeling back to the mat. Gurgel pounced and tried to finish the fight with a guillotine, but Evangelista survived through a very close back and forth round. Gurgel's confidence was high in the beginning of the third round and he was clearly pushing the pace looking to win the round and the fight. Evangelista had other ideas though, trading blow for blow with the Cincinnati resident. He scored a late takedown with 30 seconds to go, too, finishing the fight on top of Gurgel pounding away with ground strikes. This fight certainly lived up to the hype as both fighters left it all in the cage. It's anybody's guess as to who won, but I'd give it to Evangelista.
Final result: Billy Evangelista defeated Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision
Brandon Cash vs. Shane del Rosario
Fight recap: Cash came out of the gates looking to land his right hand on Del Rosario's chin for a one punch knockout. He landed it, but Del Rosario somehow avoided going to sleep. It looked like the referee wanted to step in and stop the fight, but Del Rosario did a great job of fending off Cash's attempts to finish him off. He kept his composure and after a minute or two finally got his wits back. From there, his talent prevailed over Cash's power and aggression as he worked his way into a omoplata submission off his back for the comeback win. Very entertaining fight.
Final result: Shane Del Rosario defeated Brandon Cash via submission (omoplata) at 2:57 of round one
Luke Rockhold vs. Jesse Taylor
Fight recap: This fight was a very entertaining wrestling match right from the get go. Taylor had trouble getting Rockhold to the ground, but once he did, Rockhold transitioned nicely to "JT Money's" back. Taylor tried to fight off the submission, but once a guy like Rockhold gets your back it's only a matter of time before he locks in a choke. He did just that, and eventually Taylor had no choice but to tap out.
Final result: Luke Rockhold defeated Jesse Taylor via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:42 of round one
Ousmane Thomas Diagne vs. Warren Merritt
Fight recap: Both fighters worked some stiff leg kicks in the early going until Diagne scored a big scooping slam takedown. From there he worked the ground and pound with punches to the head and body. Warren defended the strikes as best as he could from his back, even mixing in a few body shots of his own from the bottom. Then Diagne's aggression got the best of him and Warren found an opening for a heel hook. He sunk it in and Diagne's choices were either tap or snap ... he wisely chose to tap.
Final result: Merritt Warren defeated Ousmane Thomas Diagne via submission (heel hook) at 3:49 of round one
Zoila Frausto vs. Elisha Hellspur
Fight recap: Despite a reach advantage for Hellspur, Frausto set the early pace by keeping her distance and picking Hellspur apart with low kicks, punches and a few sporadic superwoman punches. There wasn't an abundance of action in the first round, but Frausto more than likely did enough with her striking to steal the round. The second round started out much different, with both women trying to press the action a lot more, but after the first minute or so the pace slowed back down almost with the feel of a sparring session. Then out of nowhere, Frausto connected on a huge head kick that split Hellspur wide open. She smelled the blood, turned on the aggression and easily won the second round. Hellspur came out stalking Frausto in the final frame, probably knowing she more than likely needed a knockout to win the fight. The bad news for her, however, was that that strategy just created more openings for low kicks and punches from Frausto. Hellspur also tested Frausto's clinch game in the last round, but she found that to be a mistake as well, eating numerous knees from there. A few takedown attempts also seemed to get her nowhere, and she ended up losing the fight unanimously.
Final result: Zoila Frausto defeated Elisha Hellspur via unanimous decision
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