With WEC 50 and Strikeforce: Houston in the books, Cagewriter takes a look at the fighters who stood out.
No. 1 star -- Anthony Pettis: "Showtime" earned his shot at the WEC lightweight title with an amazing win over Shane Roller. Pettis and Roller fought a back and forth bout for more than 14 minutes. Then Pettis locked on a triangle choke, earning him his third win in a row.
No. 2 star -- Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante: At Strikeforce: Houston, Feijao dethroned "King Mo" with a third-round TKO. Cavalcante won with the same powerful striking that had earned him the title shot. He used knees as an antidote to Lawal's takedowns, and will now get to defend the belt that Lawal couldn't.
No. 3 star -- Dominick Cruz: In his first title defense, Cruz showed excellent movement, avoiding Benavidez's strikes while darting in to land strikes of his own. The five-round fight didn't slow him down, either. Next up? Scott Jorgensen, also a big winner at WEC 50.
Honorable mention -- Daniel Cormier: Four weeks, three fights, two continents, one result. As we wrote last week, Cormier fought in his third fight in a month on Saturday, but you didn't see any wear and tear on the two-time Olympian. He ran through Jason Riley in 62 seconds, and is now free to sit on his couch and play video games.
Honorable mention -- Chad Griggs: The full-time firefighter with mutton chops wasn't supposed to beat former professional wrestling star Bobby Lashley, but that's exactly what he did. He used an uppercut to first cut Lashley under the eye, then to set up the hammerfists that TKOed Lashley.
Dishonorable mention -- Texas State Athletic Commission: The state commission that oversaw Strikeforce:Houston did an abysmal job. Referee Jon Schorle stood up Bobby Lashley and Chad Griggs at a questionable time in the fight. He also hesitated in stopping the KJ Noons/Jorge Gurgel fight, looking as if he was going to step in, but then stopping. He then failed to recognize the illegal knee that Noons threw. To add to the troubles with refereeing, the state commission's timekeeper had troubles with the clock during the Jacare/Kennedy bout.
The UFC and Bellator both have events in early September in the Lone Star state. Hopefully, they'll get their act together by then.
Who were your stars from WEC 50 and Strikeforce: Houston?
- Anthony Pettis
- Shane Roller
- Daniel Cormier
- Dominick Cruz