Strikeforce Barnett vs. Kharitonov Play-by-Play: Dominique Steele vs. Chris Mierzwiak

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Dominique Steele vs. Chris Mierzwiak (middleweight)

Round 1: Steele comes out swinging, landing a couple hard shots early. Mierzwiak tries to take him down, but Steele lands on top. Mierzwiak goes for a quick submission, but can’t secure it. They return to the feet, clinch up, and Steele executes a throw, but Mierzwiak brings the fight right back to the feet. Steele lands a jumping knee in the Thai clinch, Mierzwiak tries for a takedown, but gets caught briefly in a guillotine choke. They remain standing in the clinch. Mierzwiak lands an uppercut and drives home a knee to the chin, takes Steele to the mat, and immediately takes Steele’s back. Mierzwiak can’t sink the choke and Steele finally gets out and back to the feet. He unloads a flurry of punches on Mierzwiak, but the speed in his hands is gone. scores round one 10-9 for Mierzwiak

(Note: Mierzwiak has Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin in his corner.)

Round 2: Steele opens with a couple solid punches, but misses with the jumping knee. He gets Mierzwiak down on all fours and starts ground and pounding him. Mierzwiak puts Steele in his guard, if briefly, but Steele is relentless in pursuing his ground and pound and knees to the body. Mierzwiak attempts a triangle choke, but Steele slams his way out and continues pummeling Mierzwiak. They return to their feet and Steele fires off a flying knee that grazes Mierzwiak’s head, but Mierzwiak fires back with punches. Steele fights through it and presses Mierzwiak to the cage. Mierzwiak attempts a knee to the body, but Steele drops him with a straight right. Steele drops down in side control and pins Mierzwiak’s arms, but appears tired, unable to unleash the fury of ground and pound he did earlier in the fight. scores round two 10-9 for Steele.

Round 3: They clinch up, Mierzwiak trying to get Steele to the mat, but both fighters look fairly gassed. Steele pushes Mierzwiak to the mat, landing in his full guard. They scramble and return to their feet with Steele at Mierzwiak’s back. Steele then scores the double-leg takedown with two minutes left in the fight, although he doesn’t appear able to do much with top position in Mierzwiak’s guard. Steele passes to side control, but Mierzwiak slips out the back door and takes Steel’s back, locking on the figure-four body triangle. Steele quickly reverses position, facing Mierzwiak in his full guard to finish the round. scores round three 10-9 and the fight 29-28 for Steele.

Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27), R3

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