It might have taken Matt Lindland
a few minutes to get warmed up, but once the 40 year-old fighter shook off the cobwebs it was bad news for Kevin Casey
at Strikeforce: Challengers
in Portland, Ore.
After surviving a rear naked choke attempt in round one, Lindland took over down the stretch and ended things by battering an exhausted Casey with punches from the top position until referee Shawn Gregory called a stop to it at 3:41 of round 3. For a fighter in just his fifth pro bout, Casey acquitted himself adequately, but the aggression and wrestling ability of Lindland proved to be too much for the jiu-jitsu brown belt.
There's little chance that this victory alone will catapult Lindland, who came into the bout with a two-fight losing streak, into top contender status, but at the very least it proves that his grappling skills and pure strength are still viable weapons against credible opponents.
In other action from the event, Tyron Woodley
took a split decision victory over Nathan Coy
despite barely surviving the final round in a close fight that only got closer down the stretch. Though Woodley looked like the more dynamic fighter early on, he faded late in the match and seemed more relieved than triumphant when the final bell sounded.
An exciting performance from Roger Bowling
was marred by an accidental eye-poke from Bobby Voelker
in the third round, prompting a doctor's stoppage after Browning complained that it felt like he had "an eyelash" lodged in his right eye.
As a result of the stoppage due to an accidental foul, the fight went to the judges' scorecards, all of which favored Bowling, who set a blistering pace early on and nearly put the game Voelker away with several powerful strikes on the feet.
Belgian fighter Tarec Saffiedine
put an exclamation point on his bout with Nate Moore
, finishing what was an entertaining fight with a brutal right hand that knocked Moore out cold at 1:21 of round 2. Afterwards Saffiedine said he didn't feel the punch that landed cleanly and did Moore in, but it was clear to everyone watching that the fight was over almost as soon as the blow landed.
And finally, Pat Healy
earned a hard-fought unanimous decision over Bryan Travers
in a gritty lightweight battle that saw no shortage of high-flying slams.