Monday, June 08, 2009

Arlovski suffers "Grim" fate at Strikeforce

Originally posted on

Nearly everyone predicted a quick finish to the heavyweight contest between Brett Rogers (10-0) and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (15-7). A much smaller portion of the prognosticators envisioned a win for "The Grim."

But the Minnesota-native wasted little time in proving his detractors wrong, patiently waiting through a series of feints from "Pitbull" before unleashing a series of piston-like power punches. While the first four shots missed their mark, Arlovski retreated straight back before ending up against the cage. With his motion halted, Rogers' blows found their mark.

A powerful left hook rocked the Belarusian, and a right that followed forced him limp. Another left connected to Arlovski's neck as he fell to the floor, and referee "Big" John McCarthy was there to save the former champ before Rogers could inflict any further damage. The bout was over just 22 seconds after it began, and "The Grim" described his attack as "beast-like."

"That's what happens when you work hard," Rogers said. "I wasn't feeling respected, and I've got to thank Arlovski for allowing me the chance to come out here and prove that I'm worth hanging with the boys in the top ten."

The upset win for Rogers makes him the clear-cut favorite to challenge current Strikeforce heavyweight champion at the promotion's newly announced August 15 event. A clearly disappointed Arlovski has now dropped two-straight contests.


While the war of words leading up to the welterweight contest between Joe Riggs (30-10) and Phil Baroni (13-11) made it easy to anticipate a stand-up war, "Diesel" elected to work a safer strategy by dragging his opponent to the floor and attacking his historically suspect gas tank.

A few submission attempts on the floor but Baroni on the defensive, and Riggs kept the pressure on his opponent with a ground-and-pound attack.

As the third round started, Riggs elected to work more from his feet, punishing Baroni with a series of flying knees. Baroni retreated consistently through the frame, and Riggs' attack was a bit hesitant, though good enough to earn him a unanimous decision. Following the bout, an emotional Riggs explained why he wasn't quite able to earn the finish.

"I broke both my hands again," Riggs said. "I got a family to support."

The win is Riggs' second-straight, and the 26-year-old is now 3-2 fighting for Strikeforce. Baroni's loss, his first since dropping to 170 pounds, snaps a three-fight winning streak.

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