clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Falling Action: Winners, Losers After Strikeforce's St. Louis Event

Watching Alistair Overeem and his brother Valentijn saunter through a hotel lobby in St. Louis this weekend, it was difficult not to feel a sense of overwhelming pity for the nightclub bouncers who reportedly mixed it up with these two in a street fight last spring.

Even with superior numbers I'd hate to try and convince the Overeem brothers, who hover in the neighborhood of 500 collective pounds, to do anything they don't want to do. These are guys with muscles coming out of their ears and the fight training to put them to good use.

Don't believe me? Just go back and watch what Alistair did to Brett Rogers on Saturday night. Then tell me you wouldn't opt to relinquish total control of your nightclub rather than trying to kick him out.

On that note, let's sort through the aftermath of Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery...

Biggest Winner: Alistair Overeem. There's no contest here. He defended his title, demolished a credible challenger as if it was nothing more than a warm-up for a real fight, and – as long as his drug test comes up clean – answered some critics. You can't ask for much more. Except maybe a fight with Fedor Emelianenko some time in 2010.

Biggest Loser: Kevin Randleman. He got choked out for his third straight loss and it's hard to see how Strikeforce can continue to justify putting him in televised fights. It's been a long ride, though not necessarily a good one of late. Might be time to find another line of work.

Worst Game Plan: Brett Rogers. Maybe that's unfair, since we hardly got a chance to see what his game plan might have been, but for a guy who vowed to be more aggressive after his loss to Fedor, that was a surprisingly timid approach. If you begin the fight against a guy like Overeem by backing up and waiting for him to strike first, you'll probably end that same fight by covering up and waiting for the ref to stop it.

Most Likely to Cause Nightmares: Rafael Cavalcante. As Rocky Balboa would say, this guy can really swat. From the way both "Feijao" and Antwain Britt were swinging leather, you could tell this one wouldn't last long. Even sitting fifty feet from the cage you can feel it in your shoes when "Feijao" lands.

Worst Decision: Lyle Beerbohm's win over Vitor Ribeiro. How two judges gave every round to "Fancy Pants," who spent the majority of the fight defending against submissions, will forever remain a mystery to me. Ribeiro clearly won at least two of those rounds, and the other was a toss-up. Ribeiro ought to be filing a police report, because he was absolutely robbed on Saturday night.

Most Likely to Get KO'd in His Next Fight: Roger Gracie. Yes, he won, but if Gracie doesn't improve his striking or his takedowns (preferably both), he's going to be put to sleep once he faces a real opponent. His jab is lazy, his punches move in slow motion, and his chin hovers high in the air as he presses forward. His jiu-jitsu game is top notch, but that will only get him so far if he really wants to get in the Strikeforce mix.

Most Depressing Exit: Andrei Arlovski. He entered to a loud ovation, wearing a slick Dolce & Gabana robe. He left to the sound of crickets chirping, his head hung low and his robe balled up in the hands of his cornerman. You won't find a more likable guy in MMA. I don't know if it's a mental problem or a physical one that's keeping him from performing up to his ability, but something has to change. Seems like he knows it, too.

Brightest Prospect:
Ronaldo Souza. "Jacare" never let Joey Villasenor in the fight, and even though he couldn't put him away he had little trouble putting him down again and again. If he can continue to improve his striking there's no telling how far he might go.

Best Promotional Move: Strikeforce's Alliance with Jesse Finney. Unless you're a St. Louis local, you probably don't know Finney. He owns a gym in town and promotes local shows in addition to doing a little fighting of his own, and he's also the guy who helped Strikeforce book the undercard. He must know his business, because several sections of the Scottrade Center were taken up by fans who seemed to care more about the local boys on the card than their more famous counterparts. I didn't know Lee Brousseau could sell so many tickets, but Finney did. That's why enlisting his help was a smart decision.

Most Anticipated Lab Results: Strikeforce's Independent Drug Tests. It was a clever bit of trouble-shooting, but it's not over yet. The results should be available in about two weeks, and a lot will depend on what Strikeforce does with them. If everyone's clean, great. If not, consequences will need to be swift and severe to show that this wasn't just a token display.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting