Thomson and Misaki take decisions while ‘Jacare’ and Sayers cruise at Strikeforce

Maggie Hendricks

Josh Thomson won in his first fight in more than a year with a decision over K.J. Noons in the co-main event at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey in Ohio Saturday night. Thomson was not happy with his performance.

"It was [expletive]," Thomson told ringside commentator Mauro Ranallo after the fight.

Thomson used his wrestling prowess to control K.J. Noons for the first round and much of the second. A frustrated Noons had no idea how to get out from underneath Thomson's frame. In the third, Thomson used a beautiful takedown to set up an arm triangle choke. The submission looked close as Noons had trouble defending, but he was able to maneuver out from the choke. Still, Thomson controlled Noons' every move, and held on until the fight ended.

Though he and Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez have fought twice, a trilogy is possible.

"I do feel like [a championship shot] next," Thomson said.

In other action, a flat Paul Daley tried to grapple his way to a win over Kazuo Misaki, but it didn't work as Misaki won the split decision 30-27, 28-29, 29-28. Daley was able to get takedowns, but a faster Misaki had better stand-up. In the third, Daley threw an elbow from Misaki's closed guard to open a gushing cut just over Misaki's eye. The fight was allowed to continue as blood poured from Misaki's head like a faucet. Misaki still held on for a win.

After beating up Bristol Marunde for three and a half rounds, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza showed off his world-class jiu-jitsu with an arm triangle. Souza tapped out Marunde, who had taken the fight on short notice, at 2:43 in the third round. After the fight, Souza said he wants another chance at the Strikeforce middleweight belt, which he lost to Luke Rockhold in September.

Lumumba Sayers made quick work of Strikeforce veteran Scott Smith. He slammed Smith early, and caught him in a guillotine to end the fight at 1:34 in the first round. This is Smith's fourth loss in a row, and fourth in five fights.

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