Strikeforce Challengers 12 recap: Wilcox dominates Ribeiro, St. Preux tops Britt
by Dann Stupp on Nov 20, 2010 at 12:50 am ET
After paying his dues on preliminary cards and Strikeforce Challengers events, lightweight Justin Wilcox has earned the right to main-card billings on major shows.
The American Kickboxing Academy fighter and longtime Strikeforce fighter scored a unanimous-decision victory over the struggling Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro.
The fight headlined Strikeforce Challengers 12, which took place Saturday at the Jackson Convention Complex in Mississippi and aired on Showtime.
Wilcox, a former collegiate wrestler and competitive bodybuilder, avoided his opponent's dangerous ground game with an effective sprawl, battered him with efficient and calculated striking, and displayed stellar conditioning to neutralize his opponent's game plan during all three rounds of the fight.
Wilcox took an early lead by connecting with straight rights, and an exceptionally adept sprawl during a second-round takedown attempt seemed to take the wind out of Ribeiro's sails. In the third, Ribeiro clearly was in desperation mode, and Wilcox easily snuffed out his telegraphed advances and punished him with additional uppercuts.
In the end, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 in Wilcox's favor.
"We wanted to exploit his standup," said Wilcox, who campaigned for a fight with Lyle Beerbohm in his post-fight interview. "At AKA, we have great standup."
Wilcox (10-3 MMA, 4-1 SF) now owns a five-fight win streak, and the past four wins have come under the Strikeforce banner. Ribeiro (20-5 MMA, 0-2 SF), who was once one of the 155-pound division's most promising prospects, now has last four of his past five fights.
St. Preux dominates first round, wins decision
Antwain Britt survived a first-round beating and came back to win the second, but light heavyweight Ovince St. Preux's smothering top game allowed him to win the decisive third round to pick up a unanimous-decision victory in the night's co-headliner.
After a brief delay at the beginning of the fight when Britt took an accidental finger to the eye, St. Preux went on the offensive with body-jarring body kicks. And once he wrestled Britt to the mat and had him in the kneeling section, St. Preux took his back and unloaded a vicious barrage of strikes. First came punches to the head then knees to the ribs and then a perhaps-unwise heel-hook attempt.
Britt amazingly survived the round and dominated the ground action in the second, but St. Preux returned the favor in the third and secured the round and the win with a smothering top game.
"I knew coming into the fight Antwain would be a tough opponent, and it showed," St. Preux said.
St. Preux (8-4 MMA, 2-0 SF), who scored an eight-second knockout of UFC vet Jason Day in his previous bout, now owns five straight wins. Britt (11-5 MMA, 1-2 SF), meanwhile, suffers his third loss in four fights.
Zaromskis-Spiritwolf ends in no-contest; Carmouche and Fodor cruise
An intriguing welterweight bout between DREAM champion Marius Zaromskis (13-5 MMA, 0-2 SF) and Waachiim Spiritwolf (8-7-1 MMA, 0-1 SF) lasted a mere seven seconds and concluded with a disappointing no-contest.
Zaromskis, who looked to rebound from back-to-back Strikeforce losses to
Nick Diazand Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, shot across the cage at the opening bell with a flying knee. Unfortunately, a finger entered and lacerated Spiritwolf's eye during the process, and the referee immediately called for a timeout.
Spiritwolf tried to shake it off with a few minutes of recovery time, but after confirming the fighter couldn't see out of the bleeding eye, the cageside physician was forced to halt the bout due to the laceration, which resulted in the no-contest.
After suffering a brutal knockout loss to Strikeforce women's middleweight champ Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in June, Jan Finney (8-9 MMA, 0-2 SF) didn't fare much better against undefeated 135-pounder Liz Carmouche (5-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) and was stopped by strikes in the third round.
Carmouche used crisper striking and multiple takedowns to win the first two rounds, and then in the third, she scored a takedown, hopped into mount and rained down a steady stream of blows to force the referee's intervention at the 1:30 mark.
"Girl-Rilla" now owns five consecutive wins, four of which have come via stoppage.
In the night's opening bout, Northwest submission specialist Caros Fodor (7-2 MMA, 2-0 SF) scored a first-round drag-takedown and easily maneuvered into a dominant ground position to force a tap-out from fellow lightweight Derek Getzel (1-2 MMA, 0-1 SF).
Once on the mat, Fodor quickly moved into north-south position and locked in the fight-ending D'arce choke at the 4:39 mark of the round. Fodor, who trains with Matt Hume's AMC gym in Washington, now owns six submissions in his seven career wins.
The full results included:
•Justin Wilcox def. Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
•Ovince St. Preux def. Antwain Britt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•Waachim Spiritwolf vs. Marius Zaromskis declared no-contest (Spiritwolf's eye laceration)
•Liz Carmouche def. Jan Finney via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 1:30
•Caros Fodor def. Derek Getzel via submission (D'arce choke) - Round 1, 4:39
•Wes Shivers def. Goldman Butler via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:15
•Jacob Noe def. Wesley Little via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•Jeremiah Riggs def. James Sharp via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•Anthony Mitchell def. Jeffery Hedgepeth via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:02*
•Thomas Vazquez def. Brian Hall via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:11*
•Joel Cooper def. Brian Burse via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:27*
•Ken Duboise def. Travis Robertson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)*
Wow, I should check out that fight between Shaolin and Wilcox later.