Strikeforce Challengers: Joe Duarte Beats Jorge Gurgel

Joe Duarte beat Jorge Gurgel by unanimous decision in a close, competitive fight in the main event of Friday night's Strikeforce Challengers event.

It was a decision that easily could have gone either way, as Duarte landed some clean punches and was successful in repeatedly taking Gurgel down, but Gurgel was active from his back.

The big question now is whether Gurgel has anything left. A former UFC fighter and Ultimate Fighter alum, Gurgel is still fairly well-known among MMA fans, but he has now lost three of his last four fights, and five of his last seven. Gurgel isn't good enough to beat high-level UFC or Strikeforce opponents, and at age 34 we may have seen the last of him on a Zuffa-owned fight card.



In other Strikeforce Challengers action:

-- Nate James outlasted Danillo Villefort to win a unanimous decision. Villefort was in control early on, but he quickly tired out and looked exhausted by the start of the second round. James' superior cardio allowed him to take charge as the fight went on, doing enough in the second and third rounds to win the decision.

-- Pat Healy beat Eric Wisely by unanimous decision in a fight notable mostly because of the significant size advantage Healy had: Wisely was game off his back, but he should probably move down to featherweight, while Healy is a big lightweight and was able to control him from the top for 15 minutes.

-- In the bloodiest fight of the night, Derrick Mehmen won a unanimous decision over Roy Jones despite fighting the second and third rounds with an enormous cut over his left eye: At the start of the second round Mehman went for a takedown just as Jones went for a spinning kick, and the result was Jones' heel connecting with Mehman's head, opening up a huge cut. Referee Herb Dean called a pause in the action to allow the ringside doctor to check the cut, and it was surprising that the doctor allowed the fight to go on. But the fight did continue, and Mehmen used his takedowns and wrestling to control the fight and win the decision.

-- The night's biggest controversy came when Ronda Rousey fought Sarah D'Alelio: Rousey quickly took D'Alelio down and sunk in an arm bar, and then referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in and stopped the fight, even though D'Alelio didn't tap. Rousey got the win by submission, but Strikeforce should book a rematch to let these two settle it themselves -- and Mazzagatti shouldn't be the ref for that rematch.

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