Strikeforce Houston offered fans a night of good fights.  It had two championship bouts as well as two other bouts that had significant impact in the Strikeforce promotion.  The night opened it’s televised portion of the show with a heavyweight bout between former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley vs Chad Griggs.  The next bout was a lightweight match up between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Jorge Gurgel and K.J. Noons.  The next two bouts were the two featured title bouts between Tim Kennedy and Jacare Souza for the middleweight championship and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Rafael Feijo Cavalcante for the light heavyweight championship.

Lashley came out strong, taking Griggs down at will and working some ground and pound.  Lashley seemed to overwhelm Griggs out of the gate but Griggs never gave up.  Griggs was able to do enough to survive Lashley’s onslaught and was able to cut him with an upper cut near the end of the first round.  The cut was under the eye of Lashley but seemed to affect his game plan.  In round two, Lashley came out and again was able to take Griggs to the ground but was unable to finish the fight.  The fight was stopped so that the cage side doctor could check the cut under Lashley’s eye.  The doctor determined that Lashley could continue and the fight went on.  With both fighters slowing down, Griggs was able to start working his game plan.  With round two coming to a close and Lashley running out of gas, Griggs was able to land some good strikes.  Lashley looked for a take down but Griggs had other ideas.  As Lashley looked for a double leg, Griggs pounded Lashley to the mat with some hammer fists.  After the round ended, Lashley was unable to make it to his feet and the ref called the bout.  Griggs get the victory by TKO.

Gurgel vs Noons looked like it could be fight of the night on paper.  The fight started with both fighters swinging.  Gurgel seemed very content with standing and trading punches with Noons instead of going for a take down and attempting to work his jiu jitsu skills.  The first round was very entertaining with both fighters standing in the pocket exchanging punches.  As the round came to a close, Gurgel landed a flurry of punches that might have won him the round.  As the bell sounded though, Noons caught Gurgel flush on the chin dropping him to the canvas.  The punch was clearly after the bell but the damage was done.  Gurgel was wobbled and could barely make it to his corner.  Gurgel did not give up, he came out in the second round and continued to throw punches.  Gurgel, showing his heart, was still out on his feet.  The first punch that Noons threw hurt him again and the second put him back on the canvas.  Noons looked to the ref to stop the fight but the ref encouraged him to continue.  Noons went in to finish the fight and landed shot after shot before the ref stepped in and stopped the fight.  With Gurgel hurt on the ground and the ref coming in to stop the fight Noons hit Gurgel with an illegal knee that put Gurgel to sleep.  The fight was over and Noons was not penalized for the knee to a downed opponent.  Noons gets the victory via TKO.

The first title fight of the night was next; Tim Kennedy vs Jacare Souza for the vacant middleweight title.  This was a five round war that went back and forth.  Both fighters seemed content to win this fight on the feet.  Souza, a black belt in both jiu jitsu and judo, attempted only two take downs in the fight and they were both stuffed by Kennedy.  Souza never got the fight to the ground and did not really try to get it there.  Kennedy, on the other hand, was able to take Souza to the mat when he wanted to, however he was not able to keep Souza on the mat or do any significant damage.  This fight was a five round slug fest.  In round two, Kennedy suffered a cut around the eye but he did not seem to be fazed by it..  Like a true sniper, Kennedy continued to battle, outstriking Souza in almost every round.  When the bell sounded the end of the fifth round, both fighters threw their hands up in the air believing that they had one the fight.  Truly the fight was very close and could have gone to either fighter.  The judges awarded the victory via unanimous decision and new middleweight champion Jacare Souza.  This was a very controversial decision as many people felt that Kennedy won the fight and deserved the decision.

The final fight of the evening was between Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Rafael Feijo Cavalcante for Lawal’s light heavyweight championship.  Both fighters came out trying to find their range.  Lawal was able to work some strikes and get a vicious power slam but Feijo was able to immediately get back to his feet.  Feijo was able to weather the early storm from Lawal and worked his strikes throughout the first round.  Lawal came out in the second round and brought the fight to Feijo.  Lawal was able to land his strikes and get his take down but again he was unable to control Feijo on the ground.  Feijo again was able to get right back to his feet and continued to strike with Lawal.  The third round started off just like the first two rounds.  Lawal came out and continued to try and impose his will on Feijo.  Feijo had other ideas as was able to use his Muai Thai and caught Lawal with a knee that hurt the champ.  A stunned Lawal shot in for another take down and again was greeted by a knee and some punches.  Lawal would not give up, he continued to work for the take down.  Attempting a double leg, Lawal was able to push Feijo up against the fence but Feijo continued to land hammer fists to the side of Lawal’s head.  Lawal try to fight through it but he was out on his feet.  Referee Big John McCarthy had seen enough and stoped the fight in the third round.  Rafael Feijo Cavalcante earned the victory with a TKO and is the new Strikeforce light heavyweight championship.

Even though fans will remember some poor refereeing and some bad and incorrect comments made by the announcers, Strikeforce Houston was one of the better shows put on by the promotion.  Every fight was action packed and did not disappoint fans.

About The Author

Josh Davis
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.