Mike Kyle bested Marcos Rogerio "Pezao" de Lima in Cincinnati. | Photo: Sherdog.com
American Kickboxing Academy representative Mike Kyle cruised to a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Brazilian prospect Marcos Rogerio de Lima in a preliminary light heavyweight matchup at Strikeforce “Barnett vs. Kharitonov” on Saturday at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
Kyle (19-8-1, 1 NC, 3-3-1 SF) swept the scorecards by 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 counts, as he won for the fifth time in six outings.
De Lima (8-1, 1-1 SF) spent much of the 15-minute bout moving backwards, as Kyle attacked with straight punches and jabs. He also landed a few timely takedowns and kept the Marco Barbosa protégé off balance and unsure of himself. Kyle, the reigning King of the Cage light heavyweight champion, opened a nasty lateral gash on De Lima’s left eyelid with punches and elbows from inside guard and remains a factor in Strikeforce’s 205-pound division.
‘Feijao’ Bounces Back, Finishes Polacio
Former light heavyweight champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante wiped out 2000 Olympic Silver medalist Yoel Romero Polacio in the second round of their preliminary 205-pound tilt. In his first appearance since surrendering his title to Dan Henderson in March, Cavalcante (11-3, 4-2 SF) closed the curtain 4:51 into round two.
A tepid round one in which Polacio (4-1, 0-1 SF) was warned for inactivity gave way to an action-packed second. The Cuban wrestler swarmed Cavalcante early in the period, but the experienced Brazilian defended well, sheltered himself from the blows and waited for an opportunity. He missed with a head kick but followed with a spinning-back fist that had Polacio on wobbly legs. Punches and elbows came next, as Polacio worked to get back to his feet. Once there, he was met with a knee and a left hook and went crashing back to the canvas. A brutal standing-to-ground punch from Cavalcante polished off the prospect.
Mein Routs ‘Cyborg’ with Elbows
Canadian welterweight prospect Jordan Mein made a spectacular first impression in his Strikeforce debut, as he walked through some stout low kicks from Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, outboxed the Brazilian and finished the former title contender with a series of savage standing elbows 3:18 into the third round.
Santos (18-15, 1-3 SF) was the aggressor from the outset, as he unleashed his famed low kicks to great effect. However, his output dropped drastically as the fight extended, and Mein (23-7, 1-0 SF) took over with accurate punches, beautiful combinations and crisp counters. The Canadian came out gunning in round three and landed a crippling body shot that seemed to break the Brazilian’s will.
He followed up with punches, backed him into the fence and let loose with the elbows. Blood was spilled, and the referee intervened.
Davis Stops Nunes in Second
Raging Wolf champion Alexis Davis stopped AMA Fight Club representative Amanda Nunes on second-round punches in a preliminary women’s welterweight matchup. The end came with a mere seven seconds remaining in round two.
Davis (11-4, 2-0 SF) grinded down Nunes from the clinch and, while she ate her share of punches, tired the Brazilian in close quarters. Nunes scored with a takedown in the second period, but Davis transitioned immediately to the top, battered her with ground-and-pound and moved to mount. Nunes (6-2, 1-1 SF) surrendered her back in response and, without means to defend herself, absorbed a series of unanswered punches from behind, resulting in the stoppage. With that, her six-fight winning streak was over.
Steele Hands Mierzwiak First Defeat
Takedowns, top control and ground-and-pound carried Dominique Steele to his fourth consecutive victory in his promotional debut, as he outpointed the previously unbeaten Chris Mierzwiak by unanimous decision in a preliminary middleweight bout. Scores were 29-28, 29-27 and 29-27.
Steele (4-1, 1-0 SF) weathered a rough start that included a first-round knockdown and leaned on his superior conditioning as the fight deepened. Mierzwiak (3-1, 0-1 SF) slowed visibly in round two and appeared completely spent in the third. He had trouble staying on his feet, went down on the end of a straight right hand and, outside of a handful of submission attempts, mustered little offense of note over the final 10 minutes.
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