Bobby Voelker TKOs Roger Bowling at Strikeforce Challengers

Roger Bowling was supposed to be one of the young up-and-coming stars of the Strikeforce Challengers Series, but Bobby Voelker had other ideas.

Voelker brutalized Bowling with ground and pound in the second round of their fight on Friday night, forcing the referee to step in and hand Voelker a technical knockout victory.

Bowling put on a great show in beating Voelker by technical decision in May, but that fight ended in controversy when Voelker accidentally poked Bowling in the eye, and Strikeforce wanted to pair the two up again and get a more decisive ending. As it turned out, it was Voelker who got the decisive victory.




"I wanted to be better," Voelker said. "I trained hard, harder than I've ever trained. Morning, day, night, all the time. I just came in prepared."

It showed: Voelker is 31 years old and was fighting in his 31st pro fight, but he's still getting better.

In other Strikeforce Challengers action:

-- Lavar Johnson brutally knocked out Virgil Zwicker in the first round of a heavyweight clash. Johnson has now won seven straight fights, all by knockout or TKO, and it would be nice to see him take a step up in competition. Strikeforce should book Johnson against Shane Del Rosario next.

-- Billy Evangelista and Waachiim Spiritwolf brawled for 15 minutes of sloppy but exciting action, with Evangelista winning a unanimous decision to improve to 11-0.

"I wanted to make it exciting for everybody," Evangelista said afterward. Mission accomplished.

-- Making her MMA debut, muay Thai fighter Julia Budd showed off an impressive ground game against the previously undefeated Shana Olsen, controlling the fight from the top and finishing it with ground and pound in the second round, winning by TKO. Budd said afterward that she's ready to fight Strikeforce women's 145-pound champion Cris Cyborg.

"She's an awesome fighter," Budd said of Cyborg. "I'm game for it, though."

It sounds crazy to think a 1-0 fighter could take on the mighty Cyborg, but Strikeforce may not have any better options.

--Heavyweight John Devine improved his record to 6-4 by submitting Brandon Cash in the first round with a rear-naked choke. It wasn't a particularly impressive fight, and it raises the question of why Strikeforce and Showtime could find TV time to show off these two heavyweights, but hasn't been able to put Daniel Cormier, one of the best heavyweight prospects in MMA, on television this year.

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