(Photos courtesy of Rich Hundley III/Strikeforce)
Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro stood with Justin Wilcox for three rounds and paid the price for it, as Wilcox showed an improved stand-up game en route to a decision win. The two squared off at Friday night’s Strikeforce Challengers 12 event i Jackson, Miss.
Ribeiro, a Brazilian jiu-jistu expert, was unable to get the night’s main event to the ground where he would have had the obvious advantage, but it wasn’t all his doing. Wilcox’s outstanding takedown defense kept the fight where he could land some powerful right hands, ultimately bruising up the Brazilian’s face.
Wilcox continues to improve with each fight. The win was his fifth in a row and it appears he is destined to be on a main Strikeforce card soon.
After the fight, Wilcox explained the execution of his game plan.
“We wanted to exploit his stand-up,” he said following the official call of the fight. “You know, at AKA we got the best stand-up.”
The official call for the night’s main event was Justin Wilcox defeated Vitor Ribeiro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
The night of fights did not go without it’s share of controversy. Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf fought for an entire six seconds before an inadvertent eye-poke by Zaromskis caused a visit by a cage-side physician. After it was clear that Spiritwolf was unable to continue, the fight was called a no contest.
Prior to the end of the fight, the referee explained to Spiritwolf that he had five minutes to collect himself before agreeing to continue. There was some argument, however, from play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo. During the in-cage post-fight interview, Ranallo said, “I’ve always been under the impression that you’re only allowed five minutes for a groin strike.”
Strikeforce Rule Director, Cory Schafer, explained what the actual rule is.
“In the case of an accidental foul, the referee has the discretion to give the fighter up to five minutes,” he explained. “And here in Mississippi, they are progressive. They took the opportunity to review the video to make sure that it was an accidental eye-poke.”
Schafer went on to add, “If the fighter can’t continue based on an accidental foul, it’s a no contest.”
Ovince St. Preux picked up a solid win as he handed Antwain Britt his second consecutive loss in Strikeforce. After dealing with some sloppy, but effective, striking from St. Pruex in the first round, Britt picked it up in the second. He landed a couple strong takedowns to get the fight to the canvas, as his opponent showed some signs of exhaustion. From there, Britt kept St. Preux on his back for a majority of the round, landing a mixture of hammerfists and punches.
The third round saw Britt securing another takedown and controlling early, but St. Preux was able to get the fight back to the feet and get a takedown of his own. St. Preux worked from within Britt’s guard, staying active and scoring with strikes from that position. The referee stood them up with with 45 seconds left in the final round, only to have St. Preux land a solid kick to Britt’s mid-section.
The kick sealed the deal for the former collegiate linebacker, as he walked out of the Jackson Convention Complex the victor. St. Preux scored a big win, defeating Britt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
“I’ll put everybody in check in alphabetical order,” St. Preux said after the victory. “I started with Antwain and (I’ll) work my way down to the A-B-Cs.”
Caros Fodor impressed with a win over Derek Getzel in the first round of their fight. Fodor spent most of the time pressed up against the cage after Getzel initiated the clinch, but he eventually reversed the position. Caros ended up getting the fight to the ground where he sunk in an impressive d’arce choke at 4:39 of the opening stanza.
Jan Finney just can’t seem to catch a break. She lost her second straight fight, this time to an impressive Liz Carmouche via TKO at 1:30 of round three. The loss for Finney drops her record to a less than stellar 8-9, while Carmouche remains undefeated at 5-0. Look for Carmouche to make some noise in the women’s 135-pound division.