At Strikeforce: Challengers, held outside of Tulsa on Friday, Daniel Cormier walked away with a win from his MMA debut, and Thomas Longacre won a decision.
Daniel Cormier vs Gary Frazier
Both fighters were making their pro debuts, both had a background wrestling, and both had a ton of fans in the crowd. Cormier, the two-time Olympian who has only tried MMA for a few months, stayed poised throughout the fight, showing progess in Muay Thai with a kick and knee. Frazier tried for takedowns but was unsuccessful. More than once, Frazier ran from Cormier. In the second round, Cormier took Frazier down and engaged in ground and pound for about a minute. Frazier turned onto his belly, and Cormier hit near Frazier's ears until the referee stopped the fight at 3:39 in the second round.
Travis Calonoc vs. Thomas Longacre
In what was an early candidate for fight of the night, Thomas Longacre won a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring it 30-27. Longacre's kickboxing was technically beautiful, and wore down Calonoc over the course of the fight. Calonoc tried both knees and submission attempts on Longacre, who had little MMA experience, but Longacre deftly avoided damage. The fighters, both from the Tulsa-area, had vowed to put on a good fight for the fans. They did that, not stopping at all, and even throwing a flurry of punches as the final bell sounded.