Fabricio Werdum scored a stunning upset of Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” on Saturday in San Jose, forcing the top-ranked heavyweight to tap to a triangle and armbar just 69-seconds into the fight.
After dropping Werdum with an early combination, Emelianenko rushed to get into his guard, but fell into a deep triangle after narrowly avoiding an armbar.
Emelianenko tried to roll free, but Werdum tightened the triangle, cranked on his arm, and forced the legend to tap 1:09 into the headliner.
Werdum improves to 14-4-1 with the victory and will likely face heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem next, while the first true loss of Emelianenko’s historic career drops “The Last Emperor” to 32-2 and snaps a nearly 10 year, 28 fight win streak.
In the night’s co-main event, former middleweight champ Cung Le avenged the lone loss of his career as he scored a second-round TKO of Scott Smith.
Smith appeared to have the upperhand early as he pressured Le from the opening bell, but Le quickly took control, dropping Smith late in the first before downing him again with a spinning back kick early in the second and finishing him off with punches on the ground 1:46 into the round.
Strikeforce 145-pound women’s champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos successfully defended her title over an outmatched Jan Finney, dropping the challenger throughout a dominant opening round before finally putting her away with punches midway through the second.
In the Showtime-televised main card’s opening bout, former lightweight champ Josh Thomson forced Pat Healy to submit to rear naked choke with just 33-seconds remaining in the close battle.
The official “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” results were:
- Fabricio Werdum def. Fedor Emelianenko via submission (triangle armbar) – Round 1, 1:09
- Cung Le def. Scott Smith via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:46
- Champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos def. Jan Finney via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:56
Strikeforce women’s 145-pound championship
- Josh Thomson def. Pat Healy via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 3, 4:27
Pictured: Fabricio Werdum