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Strikeforce Undercard Live Blog: Terry vs. Burrell, Villante vs. Smith, More

This is the Strikeforce live blog for tonight's four Showtime Extreme preliminary bouts at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The undercard bouts are Nah-Shon Burrell vs. James Terry, Trevor Smith vs. Gian Villante, Ricky Legere vs. Chris Spang and Alonzo Martinez vs. Estevan Payan.

The live blog is below.

James Terry vs. Nah-Shon Burrell

Round 1:
Herb Dean is the referee. The wrestler Terry pumps out jabs to gauge the distance. Terry lands a clean right overhand. A nice Burrell jab pushes Terry back. Burrell follows with a leg kick. Terry pushes forward with a takedown attempt, driving Burrell against the cage and eventually to the floor. Burrell gets to his feet, but Terry quickly returns Burrell to the floor. Burrell explodes back to his feet but Terry quickly reclaims control. This time Terry works to take Burrell's back. Burrell stands and Terry switches to a single-leg. Terry scores one more takedown with a little over 30 seconds remaining. Burrell escapes to his feet. MMA Fighting scores the first round 10-9 for Terry.

Round 2:
Burrell does a nice job finding angles to land punches. Terry scores on a right hand and closes the distance for a takedown. Terry takes Burrell's back. Burrell stands up and frees himself from Terry. Terry lands a nice right uppercut followed by a left. Burrell lands a right and Terry answers back with a clean right of his own. Terry ties up with Burrell and Burrell launches a high knee to break the clinch. Terry shoots and Burrell sprawls. Terry holds onto the double-leg with Burrell against the fence. Terry finishes the takedown and controls Burrell for the remainder of the round. MMA Fighting scores the second round 10-9 Terry.

Round 3:
Burrell plays headhunter as Terry circles to avoid Burrell's punches. Burrell traps Terry against the cage and lands several shots. Burrell confidently scores with a knee. Burrell lands an uppercut. Terry is slowing down here and giving Burrell a chance to get back into the fight. Burrell goes wild, charging in with hooks and flying knees. Meanwhile, Terry seems content trying to block Burrell's shots. An overhand by Burrell pushes Terry back. With around a minute left, Burrell rocks Terry with the best shot of the fight, a launching right uppercut. Terry attempts the takedown and scores it with 21 seconds remaining. MMA Fighting scores the final round for Burrell but the overall fight 29-28 for Terry.

Whoa ...

Nah-Shon Burrell wins via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Terry appeared to have cruised in the third and paid for it. Still, Terry should have won the fight on the first two rounds.

Gian Villante vs. Trevor Smith

Round 1:
The light heavyweights collide early with Villante stuffing a shot and punishing Smith with a knee. Villante lands with rights. Villante catches a leg kick and sends Smith to the floor with a straight right punch. Villante pours down hammerfists (to the back of the head!) and referee Kim Winslow stops the fight. Stoppage was a little on the early side, but fight didn't look at all competitive.

Gian Villante wins via TKO - Round 1, 1:05

Ricky Legere vs. Chris Spang

Round 1:
Here we have a wrestler (Legere) vs. striker (Sprang) matchup and Legere shoots early. Legere scores a takedown early, lifting Sprang high and then driving him down towards the mat. Sprang throws up an armbar attempt, but Legere postures to escape. Legere goes to work with short punches and elbows. Legere stands to push Sprang's legs away and passes to side mount in the midway point of the round. Sprang escapes to halfguard and then full guard. Eventually, Sprang kicks Legere off to bring the fight back to standing. Sprang drops down for a guillotine choke attempt in the closing moments. 10-9 Legere.

Round 2:
Sprang throws a beautiful flying knee that connects, but under the chin of Legere. The knee also allows Legere to catch Sprang and put him on the ground. Legere goes back to work to score points with ground and pound punches. The referee stands them up at 1:50. Legere quickly attempts another takedown and eventually lifts Sprang up for the big slam. Legere finishes the round trying to pass from Sprang's halfguard. Another 10-9 for Legere.

Round 3:
Sprang keeps the fight standing early, but Sprang eventually finds an opening to take Prang down. Legere isn't able to stay active enough and the fight is stood up. Legere shoots and lifts Prang up for the easy takedown. Prang kicks Legere off. Legere shoots but he misses. Sprang quickly takes the back of Legere and tries for a choke hold. Sprang doesn't have the hooks and Legere manages to escape. Legere claims full mount and finishes the round strong. Best round for Sprang in the fight, but it's still 10-9 in round three and the fight 30-27 for Legere, according to our score cards.

Ricky Legere wins via unanimous decision (29-28 3x)

Alonzo Martinez vs. Estevan Payan

Round 1: Kim Winslow is the referee. They are quick to trade hands and the wrestler Martinez connects on a nice knee early. Each are throwing and landing big shots. Martinez attempts an ankle-pick takedown at 3:17, but the Arizona Combat Sports fighter Payan frees his leg. Back to their feet, Payan muscles Martinez near the cage and unleashes a punch combo. Martinez shoots for the double-leg with a little over a minute remaining and Payan again successfully defends. Martinez held his own, but it's Payan who controlled the first round on the feet, landing more significant strikes with higher accuracy. MMA Fighting scores the first round 10-9 for Payan.

Round 2: Payan continues to effectively implement his game plan, working his stiff jab while finding openings to follow up with right hooks, and also right uppercuts. Martinez throws a head kick that makes contact with Payan. Payan greets Martinez's takedown attempt with a kick and Martinez is a little stunned. Payan continues to effectively utilize the jab. Payan defends another takedown. Once again, Payan controls the striking game and has stuffed all over Martinez's takedown attempts. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Payan.

Round 3: Martinez opens actively with kicks. He lands a good kick to the body and then a leg kick. Payan's jabs continue to present problems for Martinez. Payan lands a nice straight right hand. To his credit, Martinez is taking these shots and not going down. Martinez makes desperate attempts at bringing the fight to the floor, but Payan easily defends. Martinez missed all six of his takedown attempts. Payan's superior boxing was the difference in this fight. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 and the fight 30-27 in favor of Payan.

Estevan Payan wins via unanimous decision (30-27 3x)

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