Photos by Dave Mandel, MMAWeekly.com
After their record-setting show back in March, Strikeforce quietly held the weigh-ins for its second MMA show on Thursday night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown San Jose.
There is a big buzz in the MMA community surrounding Strikeforce, as their card is filled with Pride, K-1, and UFC veterans. In the main event, Vitor Belfort looks to avenge his last loss, as he takes on Pride star Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight bout, though both fighters agreed to a catch weight of 210 pounds. Both fighters made weight without much of a hitch.
Local sensation Cung Le looks to improve his MMA record to 2-0 as he takes on Brian Warren, who previously lost to Le in a San Shou kickboxing bout.
Two of the fights that are generating the most buzz are lightweight fights. Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Clay Guida, fresh off his upset win over Josh “The Punk” Thomson, looks to defend his title against another local fighter, Shooto veteran Gilbert Melendez.
In the other highly anticipated lightweight bout, Nor Cal Alliance lightweight Tyson Griffin faces his toughest test to date as he takes on UFC and K-1 veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig, who is coming off a fresh win in the UFC. All of these fighters made weight without any problems.
The biggest hitch in the night was James Irvin being four and a half pounds over the light heavyweight limit of 205 pounds, as he weighed in at 209.5 pounds for his fight against Ultimate Fighter 1 alumni Bobby Southworth, who weighed in at 203.5 pounds.
Southworth agreed to go on with the fight even though Irvin failed to make weight. The California State Athletic Commission fined Irvin $50, and it was also agreed that $1,500 of Irvin’s purse will now go to Southworth instead. It will be interesting to see if trying to make weight will have any ill effects on Irvin tomorrow night.
Josh “The Punk” Thomson, who is looking to recover from his upset loss at the last Strikeforce event, weighed in at a ripped 154.5 pounds and will be looking for a win against tough Hawaiian fighter Harris Sarmiento, who weighed in at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds.
Thomson was also involved in the highlight of the night, as he did a little trash-talking during the rules meeting. While being told that Vaseline would be the only substance allowed in the locker room, Thomson made a remark regarding the accusations stemming from his loss to Clay Guida at the last Strikeforce event. Thomson asked whether baby oil would be allowed in the locker room. After being told that baby oil would not be allowed, Thomson replied back with, “I’ll bring some degreaser just in case.”
Other feature fights include UFC veteran Eugene Jackson taking on journeyman Mike Seal in a middleweight contest, while WWE Tough Enough winner and local celebrity Daniel Puder will take on Tommy “The Law” Tuggle in the night’s only real heavyweight match-up. With more than 10,000 tickets apparently sold already, as well as the huge walk-up that is expected, Strikeforce already looks like a successful promotion that will be here to stay.
Here are the weigh-in results, as reported by Dave Mandel:
-Vitor Belfort (209) vs. Alistair Overeem (210)
-Brian Warren (180) vs. Cung Le (184)
-Gilbert Melendez (154) vs. Clay Guida (156)
-James Irvin (209.5) vs. Bobby Southworth (203.5)
-Tyson Griffin (155.5) vs. Duane Ludwig (155.5)
-Harris Sarmiento (155) vs. Josh Thomson (154.5)
-Mike Seal (186.5) vs. Eugene Jackson (184)
-Tommy Tuggle (247.5) vs. Daniel Puder (219)
-Jared Hamman (204) vs. Scott Graham (191)
-Luke Stewart (185.5) vs. Bill Duvall (181)
-Juan Miranda (151) vs. Clint Coronel (155)
-Chris Aramante (185) vs. Sean Basset (185)