The ninth installment of Strikeforce Challengers is set for tonight (July 23) at "The Ice Box" at Comcast Arena in Everett, Washington. The five-fight main card will air live on the premium cable channel Showtime beginning at 11 p.m. ET.
Heavyweight sluggers Lolohea Mahe and Shane del Rosario are set to trade leather in the night's featured main event, while Strikeforce female welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman will defend her title for the first time ever against dangerous top contender Roxanne Modefferi in the co-headliner.
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 IX QUICK RESULTS:
Shane Del Rosario defeats Lolohea Mahe via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:48 of round one
Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Sarah Kaufman defeats Roxanne Modafferi via knockout (slam) at 4:45 of round three
Mike Kyle defeats Ron "Abongo" Humphrey via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:28 of round two
Bobby Voelker defeats Cory "The One" Devela via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Caros Fodor defeats Thomas Diagne via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brent "Mankill" Knopp VS Ryan Hayes
Taurean "Black" Washington VS CJ Marsh
Chris Inman VS "Smokin" Joe Hernandez
"Psycho" Scott McDonald VS Doug Kay
Drew "The Eternal Fire" Brokenshire VS Mike Minniger
Jamen "Chainsaw" Olney VS Levi Alford
Frankie Orr VS John Elam
Wendel Horton VS Keith Mortuiccio
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS IX PLAY-BY-PLAY LIVE MAIN CARD COMMENTARY:
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lolohea Mahe - (265 pounds)
Round one: Gloves touch and here we go with the main event. Del Rosario with a nice leg kick. Decent exchange with both guys throwing hard punches. Del Rosario swings and misses on a head kick. He goes back to working the leg now and lands two hard kicks to Mahe's thigh. Into the clinch after an exchange. Mahe is pinned against the cage and del Rosario is working punches and knees to his body. The referee steps in and calls for a seperation. Mahe misses with a wild right hand. Del Rosario goes upstairs with another head kick and connects this time, but Mahe isn't fazed. Another hard leg kick from del Rosario. Mahe charges forward with an overhand right. Del Rosario covers up and initiates a clinch. Mahe gets pinned against the fence again and del Rosario starts in with more knees. There's a low one, and Mahe gets a pause in the action to recover from the unintentional blow. Back underway now and Mahe times a straight right hand right as del Rosario attempts another leg kick. Another right hand from Mahe. Del Rosario is backing him down, though, and he lands another leg kick. Now a body kick. Mahe is backed into the fence and del Rosario clinches. Knees to the body now from del Rosario. He's blatantly grabbing the cage for leverage. The referee pulls his hand off the fence and gives a stern warning. Knee to the head now from del Rosario and Mahe is hurt. Two more knees to the body followed up by a couple uppercuts and Mahe is down and done. This fight is over. Del Rosario improves to 10-0 with a big stoppage win over a tough Lolohea Mahe.
Final Result: Shane Del Rosario defeats Lolohea Mahe via technical knockout (strikes) at 2:48 of round one
Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Sarah Kaufman vs. Roxanne Modafferi - (135 pounds)
Round one: Modefferi sprints at the champ and throws a flying knee! Kaufman isn't fazed and clinches. Lots of positioning here. Knees from Modefferi. Trip takedown now for the challenger. Kaufman trying to use the cage to get back to her feet, but Modefferi is all over her. Finally Modefferi puts Kaufman on her back. Closed full guard for Kaufman. Modefferi looking to land ground strikes, but she's not doing much damage. The referee calls for a stand up. Kaufman is clearly more comfortable here as she lands some punches right away. Modefferi misses a spinning back kick, but she gets a clinch. Modefferi looking for a hip toss, but Kaufman defends it well. Kaufman with some knees now. Modefferi drops for a double leg, but Kaufman defends it nicely. More knees from Kaufman as the round ends. Nice round for the challenger.
Round two: Kaufman takes the center and starts in with her jab and one-two combo. Kaufman is teeing off now and Modefferi is in trouble. Modefferi tries to shoot for a takedown to get away from the punishment, but Kaufman sprawls nicely and stays upright. Knees from both chicks. Muay Thai clinch for Kaufman and she's handling Modefferi here. She punches out of the clinch and again flurries with punches. Modefferi covers up and tries a spinning backfist that somehow earns her a clinch. Modefferi tries another hip toss, but Kaufman keeps her feet and almost takes her back, but she gives it up. Back to the clinch and more knees from both women are landing now. Modefferi looking for a trip again, but Kaufman won't have any of that as the crowd starts in with chants for the champion. Single attempt from the challenger, but she doesn't come close. Kaufman with more knees to the body. Those have to be taking their toll. Seperation and Kaufman goes off with another flurry of punches just before the bell sounds. 10-9 for the champ.
Round three: High kick gets blocked by Kaufman. Modefferi keeping her distance with the jab as Kaufman counters with a right hand. Nice exchange leads to another clinch...theme of the night. Knees from both women. Modefferi is working hard for a hip toss and she gets it. Into the champ's full guard. Kaufman holding on looking for a stand up. The referee calls for action and Modefferi responds by standing and landing some punches. Upkicks from Kaufman and now she's back on her feet. Into the clinch and Kaufman continues to work the knees from there. Timeout from the referee as Kaufman has some loose tape on her glove. The corner guy takes care of it and we're back underway. Nice one-two lands for Kaufman. Two right hands from the champ lead to a double leg takedown attempt from Modefferi. Kaufman sprawls and they're back in the clinch. Knees from both. Kaufman sneaks a nice left hand in there. Modefferi with some nice dirty boxing and now she pulls guard. Kaufman postures and picks Modefferi up and slams her into the mat! Huge slam! The referee wastes no time intervening as Modefferi is out. Wow. A finish that Gerald Harris and Rampage Jackson would be proud of for sure. Impressive.
Final result: Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Sarah Kaufman defeats Roxanne Modafferi via knockout (slam) at 4:45 of round three
Cory "The One" Devela vs. Bobby Voelker- (170 pounds)
Round one: Voelker lands an uppercut right away, but Devela closes the distance and gets a clinch. He pins Voelker against the fence and he's looking for the takedown. He's working hard and he gets it. Right into full mount with hooks. Voelker is in deep trouble here. The mount is very high. Devela is raining down punches. Voelker lands a punch from the bottom and that pushes Devela off of him. Voelker quickly back to his feet, but Devela stays on him. He looks for a choke momentarily, but gives it up and goes back to the clinch. Quick, hard knee from Devela and now he has another takedown. Right into half guard and he's landing more ground strikes from there. Elbows now from Devela. He's looking to pass, but Voelker is having none of that. Devela looking for a guillotine now, but Voelker is safe in half guard. Voelker uses it to reverse and get the top position and his head is free now. Devela has full guard. Both guys miss on big punches as the round ends. Big round for Devela. Lots of action.
Round two: Voelker comes out aggressive and lands a nice kick. Devela gets a clinch and he's working to get the fight back to the mat. Knees from both guys. Double leg attempt from Devela and he gets it. Voelker gains the top position and Devela has half guard after some acrobatic maneuvering. Ground strikes from Voelker. Devela looking for an armbar here, but Voelker does a nice job to escape and keep his top position. Voelker is slowly moving Devela towards the cage. He finally gets there. Devela tries to buck out and push Voelker off of him, but Voelker stays heavy and keeps his position. Devela is being aggressive from his back, but he needs to get out of this spot if he wants any chance to get this round back. Blood coming from Devela's nose now. Develas looking for a kneebar, but Voelker won't allow it. Devela gets to his feet now and he drills Voelker with two huge punches right as the bell sounds. That should still be Voelker's round.
Round three: Clinch right away and Devela wants the takedown. Voelker's back is against the fence here. Lots of jockeying for position. Nice right hand from Devela. Another big one as they separate. Quick shoot from Devela, but Voelker sprawls and shakes it off. Voelker lands a nice knee before Devela initiates another clinch. More dirty boxing from Devela. Knees from Voelker. Devela thinks about a trip takedown, but Voelker won't allow it. Single leg attempt from Devela now, but Voelker defends nicely. They separate and Voelker backs Devela up with some hard punches. Devela counters with a nice combination of his own and now he shoots again. Voelker defends it well. Now Voelker with a takedown attempt. He gets it and has the top position. Heel hook attempt from Devela. Voelker escapes and Devela stands. Back into the clinch. Devela is desperate for a takedown here. Quick flurry from Devela. Big punches from both guys now. Develas tees off again and Voelker is showing off his chin again. The round ends there. Great fight. That was probably Voelker's round. Very close fight. This is anybody's decision. The announcers seem to think Devela dominated though, so what do I know.
Final result: Bobby Voelker defeats Cory "The One" Devela via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Ron "Abongo" Humphrey vs. Mike Kyle - (205 pounds)
Round one: Abongo is the aggressor early on. Kyle is looking to establish his jab here and keep his distance. Abongo looks for a takedown, but he gets nowhere with it. More jabs from Kyle. His reach looks like it could be an issue for Abongo. Nice leg kick from Abongo. Abongo shoots and pins Kyle against the cage. Kyle defending the takedon nicely. Knees from Abongo. Kyle returns fire with some of his own. They separate and Abongo flurries with some punches. He stays right in Kyle's face and no he gets a takedown. Into Kyle's half guard as he has him pinned against the fence. Punches from the top by Abongo. North south position for Abongo and he's looking for the anaconda choke. Kyle escapes but gives up side mount. Another nice escape from Kyle, but Abongo capitalizes and has a guillotine. Kyle escapes again and this time he gets back to his feet. Flying knee lands for Kyle and he charges forward. Push kick now for Kyle. Another big knee for the AKA guy, but Abongo makes him pay with another takedown. Abongo on top landing punches. Kyle reverses and now he's on top in Abongo's half guard. He's looking for the full mount, but Abongo scrambles and gets the top position. Guillotine attempt again but Kyle is saved by the bell. Good round. I'd give it to Abongo.
Round two: Abongo comes forward with punches right away. Kyle again looking to establish his jab. He looks to be trying to avoid another takedown by keeping his distance. Abongo charges forward, though, and gets into a clinch. Kyle reverses and gets the takedown though. Abongo reverses and gets the top position. He's landing punches in Kyle's guard. Quick stand up from the referee here. Wild punches from both fighters and Kyle gets another takedown here. Full mount for Kyle. Abongo gives up his back and he looks tired. Kyle gets his hooks in and he's looking for the choke. He postures and now he's landing big punches. Now he has the choke in deep and Abongo has no choice but to tap. Good fight and a surprising submission win for Mike Kyle.
Final result: Mike Kyle defeats Ron "Abongo" Humphrey via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:28 of round two
Thomas Diagne vs. Caros Fodor - (155 pounds)
Round one: Gloves touch and we're underway. Foder opens up with some jabs. Diagne answers with a leg kick and circles away. They lock up into a clinch and Diagne pins Foder's back against the cage. Foder gets separation and drills Diagne with a big left hook. Diagne is hurt. Knees now from a Thai clinch from Foder. Diagne is hanging on for dear life in the clinch and he looks to have recovered as Foder works more knees to the body and legs of Diagne. Diagne now working some knees of his own, but Foder is still the aggressor here. Diagne tries to escape the clinch, but Foder is all over him. The same escape works no for Diagne and they separate. Kick to the body lands for Diagne. Now a jab, but Foder closes the distance and gets back to the clinch position. Knees from both fighters. Foder tries a hip toss, but Diagne defends it nicely. They separate for a moment and Diagne takes advantage and lands a spinning back kick. Foder doesn't like it and initiates the clinch again, pushing Diagne against the fence. Foder gets low and looks for a takedown, but Diagne brushes it off easily. Knees from both fighters as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Foder.
Round two: Jab, kick combination right away from Diagne. He's using his jab nicely here to start round two, but Foder gets another clinch. Diagne pushes out and lands a straight kick. Right back to the clinch for Foder. Knees and dirty boxing from Foder, who has turned up the aggression here after a slow start to this round. Diagne appears to be bleeding from his eye here. Lots of jockeying for position here. Big right hand lands for Diagne, but Foder maintains the clinch somehow. Now Diagne gets the separation he was looking for and he just misses on a big flying knee. Foder shakes it off and stays right in his face. He charges forward now with punches and he gets his clinch back. More dirty boxing from here. Foder drops down quickly now and he gets a slamming takedown. Very nice. Right to side control. Transition to a guillotine attempt here. Now he's got Diagne's back and he's raining down punches. Diagne tries to sweep his way out, but he ends up back on his back with Foder on top of him. Kimura attempt from Foder now! Diagne takes advantage of it and rolls out and gets back to his feet. Foder goes right back to the clinch position and the round ends there. 10-9 Foder.
Round three: Big punches and another spinning back kick attempt to start the third round for Diagne. Surprisingly, Foder looks for a clinch and gets it. Diagne gets separation, and goes on the attack right away with punches and kicks. Big high kick finds a home from Diagne and Foder could be in trouble here. He saves himself by gaining another clinch. Diagne is desperate to get his distance back, and he gets it. Nice body kick. Foder charges forward with punches and no he has a double leg takedown attempt. He gets it and goes right to half guard. He's looking for the kimura again. Now to side mount, still looking for the kimura. He has it pretty deep. Diagne is trying to escape, but this looks really bad. Foder lets it go and Diagne gets back to his feet. They stay in the clinch and Foder lands a couple of knees before Diagne tries to shoot for a takedown of his own. He ends up in a bad position on the ground for the mistake and no Foder has his back and he's landing big hammer fists to the side of Diagne's head. Diagne rolls over to his back now and Foder has side control. North south position now and the fight comes to an end there. Foder is going to win this fight.
Final result: Caros Fodor defeats Thomas Diagne via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)