Strikeforce Challengers 17 marked the first excursion into Nevada for the recently purchased promotion.

The event took place from the Pearl at the Palms and was headlined by a rubber match between welterweights Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker.

Voelker reigns over Bowling; Replicates second round finish

In the conclusion of their trilogy, Kansas City-based brawler Bobby Voelker survived the early onslaught from Roger Bowling to claim a second consecutive win over the wrestler.

Bowling pushed the pace early, using a speed advantage to frustrate Voelker.  Despite an inadvertent eye poke from Voelker that produced a brief break in the action, Bowling claimed the opening round.

In the second round, Bowling worked relentlessly for a takedown, but Voelker kept the fight standing and delivered a brutal knee as the pair separated.  Bowling, clearly rocked, sought a takedown, but Voelker pounced and forced referee Josh Rosenthal to stop the fight.

Cole survives Jordan’s early barrage, claims decision victory

After Lavar Johnson was forced out of the planned fight with veteran Devin Cole, Shawn Jordan stepped in on three days’ notice to ensure the heavyweight bout took place.

Jordan, a Bellator veteran, forced the action early.  Scoring with a takedown, he momentarily took Cole’s back, but Cole reversed.  After back-and-forth action, Jordan rocked Cole late in the opening frame.

As the fight progressed, Cole began to counter Jordan and land frequently.  Cole used his wrestling to bring the fight to the ground and worked from side control, landing knees to the liver.

In the final round, a patient Cole outworked Jordan by picking his spots and working from top control.

The judges awarded Cole with the unanimous decision win.

OSP wastes little time to dispose of Cason

Light heavyweight prospect Ovince St. Preux exhibited improved striking, surviving the aggressive attack of Joe Cason and racking up yet another impressive win.

Cason pushed the pace off the opening bell, but OSP countered effectively before landing a huge knee that dropped Cason.  OSP quickly flurried and forced a referee stoppage just 72 seconds into the fight.

Kaufman picks apart Carmouche

Former Strikeforce 135-pound champ Sarah Kaufman took a step back toward the title by showcasing superior technique against former title challenger Liz Carmouche.

Despite Carmouche’s aggressiveness, Kaufman controlled the positioning throughout the fight. Carmouche frequently pressed for a takedown, but Kaufman sprawled effectively and kept the fight standing. From there, Kaufman peppered Carmouche with repeated jabs and bloodied her nose.

In a clear-cut bout, Kaufman was awarded the unanimous decision.

Amagov takes home a close decision over Stallings

Adlan Amagov, stepping in on late notice, did enough to convince the judges to give him a split decision win over Ron Stallings.

The pair started tentatively, but Amagov landed more frequently.  As the first round progressed, Amagov nailed a trip takedown and worked from side control.

In the middle stanza, the fighters traded kicks.  Stallings worked for a single leg takedown, but Amagov transitioned to a hip toss.  Stallings ended the round by dropping Amagov.

The final frame was dominated by Stallings.  Scoring with a takedown, Stallings worked for a kimura and then a straight armbar from side control before moving to mount.  Amagov managed to escape.  Stallings attempted a guillotine as the fight came to a close, but the fight went to the judges’ scorecards.

In a tightly contested contest, Amagov was awarded the win.


Bobby Voelker def. Roger Bowling by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 2:16

Devin Cole def. Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Ovince St. Preux def. Joe Cason by submission (strikes). Round 1, 1:12

Sarah Kaufman def. Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Adlan Amagov def. Ron Stallings by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)


T.J. Cook def. Lionel Lanham by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:59

Anthony Smith def. Ben Lagman by KO (punch). Round 2, 0:33

Bill Cooper def. Maka Watson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 2:39

Sterling Ford def. Brian McLaughlin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Photo: Sarah Kaufman (Showtime)