EVERETT, WASH. (July 23, 2010) — Fast-rising heavyweight prospect Shane Del Rosario kept his perfect record in tact with a first round knockout over Lolohea Mahe in the main event of Friday’ STRIKEFORCE Challengers MMA event on SHOWTIME® from the Comcast Arena at Everett in Everett, Wash.
In the co-main event, undefeated Sarah Kaufman defended her STRIKEFORCE Women’s Welterweight World Championship with a thrilling third round knockout of challenger Roxanne Modafferi.
Del Rosario (10-0) came out swinging in the first, using his speed as an advantage over the larger Mahe (6-2-1). After a short stoppage of time after an inadvertent low blow to Mahe, Del Rosario pressed his opponent against the cage and continued with an onslaught of punches and knees. He used a left knee to the body to wound Mahe and followed up with a combo causing Mahe to double over in pain. The referee stopped the fight at 3:48 of the first round.
“I knew he didn’t like shots to the body, so I kept hitting the body until he dropped,” said Del Rosario, who hopes to have catapulted himself into the thick of things in STRIKEFORCE’s deep heavyweight division. “I’ve been training really hard and it’s finally paying off. I’m ready to step up the opposition and move on.
A wounded Mahe was clearly disappointed with his performance.
“He hurt me with the knee to the stomach,” Mahe said. “It just knocked the air out of me.”
In a hard-fought, technical match, Kaufman (12-0) stole the show and emerged victorious with an impressive body slam at 4:45 of the third round. Modafferi (15-6) seemed to win the first round, but Kaufman came out blazing in the second, finishing the round with a flurry of punches. The highlight-reel body slam brought the crowd to its feet and ended the title defense in dramatic fashion.
“I got a knockout,” Kaufman said. “It feels good to get the KO and to impress. She was really good at the take downs, but I could feel her getting tired. The opportunity was there with the body slam and I took advantage of it.”
Bobby Voelker (22-8) emerged victorious with a split decision victory over local fan favorite Cory Devela (9-5). The first round was close but Devela seemed to be the aggressor in the second even though he was on the bottom of the action. The hometown crowd was surprised when the scores were announced following the third, 29-28 Devela, 29-28 Voelker, 29-28 Voelker.
“I should have been better,” Voelker said. “I always want to finish my opponent. It just shows I need to go back and work on my game. I didn’t anticipate him to fight in the clinch like that – that surprised me.”
Devela, who had taken a year off from the cage to help his girlfriend battle cancer, disagreed with the decision.
“I was surprised, I thought I had it,” Devela said. “Even when I was on the ground I thought I was working on submissions. I just shouldn’t have left it up to the judges.
“He had a lot of control in the second, but I thought I was still active. I thought I would have come away with the decision. Nothing against him – but I’d like to do this fight again.”
In the second fight of the evening, Mike “Mak” Kyle (17-7-1) won his fifth straight fight with a first round submission (rear naked choke) of Abongo Humphrey (7-2) in a light heavyweight matchup.
Kyle threw solid combos throughout the fight, tiring Humphrey and getting him into positions where he was susceptible to submissions and a barrage of punches. The win may enter Kyle into consideration to challenge the winner of “King” Mo Lawal’s STRIKEFORCE Light Heavyweight Title defense against Rafael Feijao, who Kyle defeated in 2009.
“I stayed calm and relaxed and I knew I was in great shape,” Kyle said. “He gave me that choke – he gassed out.
“I never gave up when a lot of people thought I should. This is just a stepping stone for me. I’m waiting for a lot of things to open up. When I’m blessed with the opportunity, I’ll be ready for it.”
Humphrey, who suffered only his second career loss, knew he made some mistakes.
“I didn’t execute my game plan at all,” Humphrey said. “I dropped my hands a couple of times. It was just bad all the way around. He’s a good fighter – I give him a lot of respect. I’ll just live to fight another day.
In the opening fight of the telecast, hometown favorite Caros Fodor (3-0, 1 NC) dominated Thomas Diagne (1-2) en route to an impressive unanimous decision victory. Fodor, who lives and trains in nearby Kirkland under MMA legend Matt Hume, consistently went for the clinch then attempted the takedowns and submissions.
The undefeated prospect couldn’t complete the submission attempts and was disappointed in earning his first decision victory.
“I should have gone for the submission more when I had them,” Fodor said. “Tonight, against his style, I was a little patient. I wasn’t 100 percent, but it was still great to earn the victory in front of my hometown fans. No excuses, but I should have submitted him.”
Complete STRIKEFORCE Challengers Results:
Shane Del Rosario def. Lolohea Mahe – TKO (strikes) – Round 1 (3:48)
Sarah Kaufman def. Roxanne Modafferi – KO (body slam) – Round 3 (4:45)
Bobby Voelker def. Cory Devela – Split Decision – 29-28 Devela, 29-28 Voelker, 29-28 Voelker
Mike Kyle def. Abongo Humphrey – Submission (rear naked choke) – Round 2 (3:28)
Caros Fodor def. Thomas Diagne – Unanimous Decision (30-27, three times)
Brent “Mankill” Knopp def. Ryan Hayes – TKO (punches) – Round 2 (:55)
CJ March def. Taurean “Black” Washington – Unanimous Decision
Drew “The Eternal Fire” Brokenshire def. Jordan Macklin – Submission (Guillotine choke) – Round 1 (2:26)
“Psycho” Scott McDonald def. Doug Kay – Submission – Round 1 (2:09)
Brewster The Rooster” Inman def. Quincy Spruill – Submission – Round 1 (3:57)
Jamen “Chainsaw” Olney def. Jordan Currie – Unanimous Decision
John Elam def. Frankie Orr – Split Decision
Wendel Horton def. Keith Mortuiccio – TKO (1:43)
STRIKEFORCE (www.STRIKEFORCE.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.