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Strikeforce Challengers: 'Woodley vs Bears' recap and final thoughts


Strikeforce has now officially wrapped up the fifth edition of it's "Challenger Series" from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.

Undefeated wrestling stud from the University of Missouri Tyron "T-Wood" Woodley made his third start for the promotion and won his third straight for them as well, improving his professional record to 5-0 with 5 submissions, defeating a red hot Rudy Bears midway through the first round of the featured main event with an arm triangle choke.

I've said it before, "T-Wood" is pound-for-pound one of the most explosive fighters in the world. His world class athleticism, wrestling pedigree and strength are going to make him a handful for anyone at 170 pounds, and at 27 years old, he's only going to get better with each fight.

Woodley had no trouble handing Bears his first loss in seven fights, scoring takedowns at will, landing big shots in the stand up and once again finding the opening on the ground for the submission finish.

It won't be long before this guy is going to start showing up on some of the bigger cards for Strikeforce. He's a star in the making for sure.

Kerry Vera and Kim Couture put on a very entertaining fight in the co-main event. Vera - wife of UFC light heavyweight Brandon Vera - proved to have the more technical and effective striking, knocking out Couture - wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture - in the first round.

Couture once again proved her toughness though, staying aggressive and competitive despite absorbing a ton of punishment from Vera. After the fight Vera was asked who she'd like to fight next. She gave the usual, "whoever they want me to fight," response, but a suggestion of Canadian Sara Kaufman certainly sounded like an interesting idea from one of the announcers.

We'll see who Strikeforce chooses for her next opponent, but one thing is apparent, she looks to have a lot of talent and a style that's translates to exciting fights for the fans.

"Vicious" Bobby Voelker and Erik "Bad" Apple may have stole the show with their main card welterweight battle though. These two went at it right from the opening bell, and the result was a memorable back and forth barn burner of a fight.

They set a ridiculous pace right from the jump and the action never seemed to slow down. Both fighters were hurt at times, but it was Voelker who was able finally finish the fight, despite being dropped more than once, including inside the first minute of the fight.

Anderson Silva protege and former Elite XC standout Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante got back to his winning ways after suffering the first technical knockout loss of his career to Mike Kyle back in June. The Brazilian overcame a slow start and a game Aaron Rosa to score a second round technical knockout victory.

It wasn't the prettiest win of his career, but for "Feijao" a win has to be huge for his confidence coming off the loss. He should be a big player in the Strikeforce light heavyweight division moving forward.

That's a wrap from Kansas City.

Next up for Strikeforce, the promotion will return home to the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California for "Evolution" on Dec. 19. Featured on the Showtime televised card will be the return of the company's former 185 pound kingpin, Cung Le, who will be in action for the first time in over a year and a half when he takes on hard hitting brawler, Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith.

"King Mo" Lawal, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler, Mike Whitehead, "Jacare" Souza, Matt "The Law" Lindland and some of the promotion's other top stars are also expected to be in action for the blockbuster event.

Keep it locked to for more on the developing fight card and all your Strikeforce news and notes.

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