Strikeforce’s Three Stars: Santos, Bowling and Melendez

Maggie Hendricks

In a month packed with fights, Strikeforce still managed to stick out with memorable decisions and fast knockouts. Here are Cagewriter's Three Stars from Saturday night's fights; tell us yours in the comments or on Facebook.

No. 1 -- Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos: She was out of the cage for 18 months, then only needed 16 seconds to defender the Strikeforce featherweight title. She is so far ahead of any competition that she poses a conundrum for Strikeforce matchmakers. Who will emerge to steal that belt? It clearly wasn't Hiroko Yamanaka. Santos said after the bout Ronda Rousey talked too much, so maybe the Olympian is next for Cyborg.

No. 2 -- Roger Bowling: Jarron Peoples learned the hard way to not anger Bowling. Peoples weighed in nine pounds over the welterweight limit, which understandably angered Bowling. He took out his anger with a flush uppercut that knocked out Peoples in just 42 seconds. Unfortunately, three of the main card fights went to a decision, so there was no time for Bowling's win to be shown on Showtime.

No. 3 star -- Gilbert Melendez: The Strikeforce lightweight champion beat up on Jorge Masvidal for five rounds, then challenged Zuffa to bring him better fighters. With Strikeforce and Showtime signing a new deal, Melendez will stay put, but he still wants to fight the best. Melendez's plea for great fighters to "Step into my hexagon" should be printed on t-shirts immediately.

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