Bobby Voelker (right) vs. Roger Bowling: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
FRESNO, Calif. -- Bobby Voelker evened the score with Roger Bowling on Saturday night, and this time around, the verdict carried with it no controversy.
Voelker pounded out a TKO victory in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 11 at the Save Mart Center. The end came at 3:58 of the second round, as Voelker avenged his contentious technical decision loss to the Team Vision product at Challengers 8 in May.
Bowling came out aggressive in the first, but presented little offense that put his opponent in any real danger. Midway through the second, it was obvious that Bowling was tired and hurt after absorbing several shots. Voelker turned it up, taking top position and unloading until the referee stepped in to rescue the battered Bowling.
In the pair's first meeting, the Finney's MMA fighter caught Bowling with an accidental eye poke in the third round that prevented his then-undefeated opponent from finishing the fight. The match went to the incomplete scorecards, and Bowling was awarded a unanimous technical decision.
Lavar "Big" Johnson had little trouble knocking out Virgil Zwicker in the first round of the co-main event. Johnson came out measuring “Rezdog” with his left jab, looking to set up a hard right. Zwicker was game, however, dropping his hands at one point and taunting his much larger opponent. It did not take Johnson long to find his range, stunning Zwicker and pushing him against the fence with wild power punches. The American Kickboxing Academy product finally landed the uppercut he was looking for, and Zwicker crumpled to the canvas. Knowing the fight was finished, Johnson walked away, even before the official stoppage at 2:17.
Hometown favorite Billy Evangelista kept his undefeated record intact with a tough decision win over a game but outmatched Waachiim Spiritwolf. Spiritwolf came out strong, dropping Evagelista with a right hook just after the opening bell. Evangelista went immediately into survival mode, hanging on and trying to recover. He did just that, bouncing back and controlling the pace of the action-packed contest.
Spiritwolf proved to have an amazing chin, walking through knees and head kicks, all the while winging wild punches that would occasionally catch Evangelista cleanly. But Evangelista stuffed multiple takedown attempts and kept the pressure on his game opponent.
The final round was as exciting as fights get. Evangelista stalked a wobbly Spiritwolf around the cage, and both fighters let loose, swinging with everything they had. The crowd came to life, roaring with deafening approval. In the end, all three judges scored the fight for Evangelista: 30-27 (twice) and 29-28.
Debuting Muay Thai-turned-MMA fighter Julia Budd put an end to Shana Olsen’s undefeated streak, dominating her more experienced opponent from start to finish. Budd used her range and takedown defense en route to a second-round TKO victory.
Budd showed her inexperience early, losing a point for landing an illegal elbow, but Olsen couldn't capitalize, never truly finding her pace. Budd landed on top during a scramble, transitioned to mount and kept the pressure on Olsen until the referee intervened at 2:51 of round two.
John Devine had little trouble with local fighter Brandon Cash, submitting the striker via rear-naked choke in the first round. Devine turned it into a wrestling match, avoiding Cash’s power by staying clinched. The wrestler took Cash’s back several times, flattening him out and sinking in the choke at 3:05 of round one.
David Douglas pulled off an impressive come-from-behind victory over local fighter Dominic Clark in the night’s first bout. Clark dominated the first round, but Douglas found his range in the second and dropped Clark with a clean right. Douglas followed his stunned opponent down and pounded away until the ref stepped in at 2:33.