Three Strikeforce Heavyweight Alternate Bouts End in Three First Round Finishes

February 12, 2011

Shane Del Rosario

Three Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix alternate fights resulted in three finishes with Shane Del Rosario, Chad Griggs and Valentijn Overeem all coming away with wins.

Shane Del Rosario kept his record unblemished with a first round armbar submission over Lavar Johnson to put himself in the prime position as an alternate for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix should anyone not be able to continue beyond the first round.

Johnson showed his power with big punches in the first few moments of the fight, but Del Rosario weathered the storm and kept out of any real trouble.

Following a few exchanges with both men landing efficient strikes, Del Rosario took the fight to the mat, and it was the beginning of the end for Johnson. Del Rosario shifted to the mount quickly and began to reign down blows on Johnson who defended well, but was in deep trouble on his back.

With the seconds ticking away in the first round, Del Rosario took the chance on a submission and went for an armbar. It looked like Johnson might slip out, but Del Rosario kicked his hips up and locked out the elbow, causing his opponent to tap out.

Del Rosario now sits as the man who will get the first call should any of the participants of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix not be able to continue after the first round.

“It’s just an honor to fight the same night as these guys. I’m going to go home, train hard, I’m now the first alternate so if they call me up, I’ll be ready to go, ready to fight hard,” Del Rosario said after the win.

People tried to call Chad Griggs’ win over Bobby Lashley a fluke. He was out to prove otherwise and he did so by punching Gian Villante over and over again, until he was TKO’d, to win at Strikeforce in New Jersey.

Griggs was swinging hard and heavy as soon as the fight started, and Villante didn’t show much head movement to avoid the strikes. Griggs flurried on Villante a couple of times during the short fight, and Villante showed great resiliency but it was short lived.

Villante fired back with a head kick of his own, blasting open Griggs’ ear, which resulted in blood flowing down the side of his head. Griggs didn’t back down however and he popped Villante with a big punch, dropping the former NFL hopeful. A few more punches on the ground and referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the fight giving Chad Griggs the win.

According to CompuStrike, Griggs landed an astonishing 85% of his strikes, with 25 power strikes landed.

Valentijn Overeem made quick work of Ray Sefo at Strikeforce on Saturday night, finishing the K-1 legend with a neck crank early in the first round of their heavyweight bout.

There was no giant secret that Sefo had his biggest advantage on the feet, and once he started to settle into his striking, Overeem took the fight right to the ground.

Once he was in side control, Overeem positioned himself under Sefo’s head and put pressure on the neck, and got the tap to get the submission win.

Valentijn is currently an alternate in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and he has said if the stars align and he’s somehow pulled into the tournament he’d even fight his brother, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, if they met in the finals.