Strikeforce Challengers 15 Stock Report

By Jason Probst Apr 1, 2011
Justin Wilcox (left) dispatched of Rodrigo Damm. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com



STOCKTON, Calif. -- Strikeforce Challengers 15 hit the Stockton Arena Friday night, with five bouts on the Showtime-televised card. In the main event, Justin Wilcox scored a technical knockout of former Strikeforce lightweight title challenger Rodrigo Damm after the conclusion of the first round, following a brutal five-minute assault that left the canvas and Damm bloodied.  

Here's the Strikeforce Challengers 15 Stock Report.  

Stock up

Justin Wilcox: Following up on his impressive decision of Vitor Ribeiro, Wilcox pressed the action, scoring with big rights to set the tone. Damm was exceptionally game, but could do little more than eat a sustained beating throughout the first round.  

Wilcox's power and wrestling are a strong base. His improving standup game is a key addition; with it, he'll be exceptionally tough to deal with, especially as he gets more comfortable unloading his big shots.  

Lorenz Larkin: A late sub for Satoshi Ishii, Larkin came into his bout against Scott Lighty with an 8-0 record and nothing to lose. He fought like it, showcasing a busy and exciting standup style, en route to an upset KO at 3:15 of the second round. Larkin's a talented fighter, using a medley of varying strikes, and he kept Lighty constantly guessing.  

Larkin had a breakout performance here in finishing the K-1 veteran, and to the brave go the spoils. After opening with thudding leg kicks in the opening round, and using spry movement, he drilled Lighty with several good kicks and punches, and taking a few in return.  

Larkin took the first round, and was winning the second big, when he drilled Lighty with a bodacious left uppercut that split the guard and dropped the decorated kickboxer hard for the win. Late-sub bouts are always interesting, especially when it's a virtual unknown stepping in against a name guy. Larkin's definitely a talent to watch in the light heavyweight division.  

James Terry: A fast welterweight, Terry showed he's the goods in a first-round KO of Josh Thornburg. Opening with a hard right hand in the first moments of the bout, Terry utilized efficient movement, and increasingly sharp combos in the fight, which never hit the mat.  

Thornburg seemed to be trying to get his rhythm and time Terry, and landed a couple glancing counters, but Terry eventually found a hot one. Timing a nice right hand over a jab, he drilled Thornburg, dropping him on the spot to end the duel. With his strong collegiate wrestling background and gifted standup, he'll definitely warrant attention with this impressive win.  

Terry has a knack for good public relations, as well. In his postfight interview, he said that he wants to fight Ronnie from “Jersey Shore.” The crowd loved it; no word on whether Ronnie is willing.  

Caros "The Future" Fodor File photo

Fodor dominated David Douglas.
Caros Fodor: Using aggressive, in-close fighting and a superior ground game, Fodor wore down David Douglas for a third-round standing TKO. The pair spent much of the bout either engaged in the clinch or on the mat, and Fodor simply soldiered ahead, putting mustard on strikes from in close, often landing with hard knees in the trenches.  

His work rate eventually wore Douglas out, and he seized the opportunity in the third, planting Douglas against the cage and repeatedly bashing him with whatever was available. It was a good showing for Fodor, who showed an intensity and aggression you look for at this level.  

Hold

Wayne Phillips: In a spirited performance, Phillips hung tough against Damion Douglas. His standup was a little wild at times, but he used his southpaw stance and reach to land some nice shots against Douglas. Dropping a split decision, Phillips did pretty well, and if he can sharpen up his striking he should move a couple notches up the ladder.  

Damion Douglas: Winner of a controversial split duke over fellow welterweight Phillips, Douglas was sharper on the feet, but not as active. After Phillips sunk a threatening rear-naked choke at the end of the first round, Douglas needed time to regain his wind. Outworked in spots over the rest of the fight, he nonetheless rallied back in some exchanges to win the decision.  

Stock Down

Rodrigo Damm: Damm was brave in taking a one-sided shellacking in the main event against Wilcox, and simply couldn't get on track. It's always tough being a submission-based specialist in this sport, especially as wrestlers improve their standup.  

Scott Lighty: Originally slated to face judo specialist Satoshi Ishii, Lighty got late sub Lorenz Larkin instead, an unbeaten upstart who beat him standing, despite Lighty's presumed advantages there. Such fights are always tougher for a guy in Lighty's position, and are virtually no-win affairs. Lighty showed a big-time chin in taking hard shots from the dangerous Larkin, until the end came in the second round.  

David Douglas: Outworked and stopped in three by Fodor, Douglas gave a game effort, one that was increasing against an incoming tide he couldn't stem. He opened up strong, but couldn't seem to hold off Fodor's work in the clinch, which eventually sapped him and led to the defeat. He didn't win here, but showed that, with some better conditioning and technical refinement, he could win at this level given time to improve in those areas.

Josh Thornburg: Outsped against James Terry, Thornburg looked like he was settling down into a tortoise-catches-hare strategy. Just when he started to look dialed in, Terry dropped the hammer, defeating him via KO. A tough loss for Thornburg.  

Jason Probst can be reached at jason@jasonprobst.com or at www.twitter.com/jasonprobst.


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